Seen this lady? ‘Woman With Books’ just wants Singapore to smile

·3-min read

Oversized glasses and large cards with quirky messages are all it takes to make Singaporeans smile, one woman has learned through a social experiment.

The titular Woman With Books, who grabbed commuters’ attention with her star-shaped glasses seated behind hilarious, oversized captions, tells us she is trying to spread good cheer more than provoke a postmodern reckoning by posting images of her outings to Instagram in recent weeks.

“Nowadays, because it’s COVID-19, it’s so difficult. I want to make something funny to cheer people up on the Internet. I want to address millennials’ daily stuff and feelings that they don’t normally share with others in a humorous way,” the 28-year-old told Coconuts in an interview. She refused to reveal her name, saying she wants to remain a “mystery” to her fans. Over 1,000 people have followed her on Instagram.

“How To Find A Crazy Rich Husband,” one of the jumbo cards said. Another: “How To Spot A F*ckboy.”

The woman said that she printed the messages herself and stuck them to A3-sized journals. Some of the covers even came with her own artwork. Of all the captions she printed, her favorite and most popular one has been: “How To Transfer Money From My Mind To My Bank.”

“If I have one magical power, I would want to learn that. It’s addressing people’s needs, and, for me, I would love to do that if I have a special button to transfer money from my mind to my bank. That would be awesome,” she said. When she’s not making people laugh and dragging her friends to play paparazzo, she works as a digital content creator.

The titles were all based on real-life experiences and were deliberately picked to evoke reactions from onlookers, she added.

“It might look insane when you see someone carry the book with that title on it but it’s actually happening every day. It’s a way to capture the reality of things,” she said.

While the majority of online reactions have been supportive and lighthearted, some still took offense. A photo where she posed with the phrase “How To Find A Crazy Rich Husband,” for example, hurt some men.

“Look at your face first before finding a crazy rich husband,” one of the comments she had recalled said.

She did not expect people to react so differently to her photos.

“I never expected to receive those contrasting comments so it’s funny. It’s a social experiment so it’s quite fun to see people debating, people posting different comments and this is not a movement and I’m not against anything. It’s just for fun so why not?” she said.

For now, at least, she has no plans to take her experiment to another level and prefers to “go with the flow.”

“I have to work for my life too, you know,” she joked.

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This article, Seen this lady? ‘Woman With Books’ just wants Singapore to smile, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.