“She’s like a jungle girl!”: Belinda Lee recalls how a teacher humiliated her because her uniform had faded in colour
The 46-year-old host revealed in an episode of Tuesday Report that her family couldn't afford to get her new uniforms and how her growing up years left her with low self-esteem.
In an episode of Mediacorp infotainment program Tuesday Report, Belinda, 46, shared that she had really bad grades when she was in school.
How bad? The host once scored only seven out of a hundred for a Math examination.
Belinda said her family was really poor and so she couldn't afford tuition.
Belinda was fostered by her relatives when she was a baby and only returned to live with her parents when she was about three. She said that experience made her unmotivated to work hard as she felt unloved.
To make things worse, the people around Belinda weren't the most encouraging. In fact, they were the total opposite.
"My family always told me negative things like "You're a failure" and it was why I had really low self-esteem growing up. I was terrified no matter where I went. Be it my grades or the way I dealt with people, it was very obvious that I was a problem child," she said.
Given her circumstances, it was no surprise that Belinda "really disliked going to school".
"The entire school knew how bad my grades were, and I became the butt of everyone's jokes."
You must be wondering, shouldn't her teachers have stepped in to help her?
That's where you're terribly wrong.
The person who gave Belinda the hardest time was actually a teacher who once shamed her in front of her class.
"We weren't well off. My uniform turned from sky blue to greyish blue, and I was wearing a white shirt that had faded to yellow. One day, a teacher singled me out and made me stand in front of the class, on a stool no less," she recalled.
"She pointed at me in front of everyone else and exclaimed: "Don't be like her! She's like a jungle girl!".
Can you just imagine how traumatising that must have been for a young kid like Belinda?
"At that time, I just wanted to dig a hole and hide in it, I wanted to disappear from this world. That was also the first time I knew how it feels like to be humiliated," said Belinda.
As a result, the host developed an "orphan's heart mentality" and chose to keep all her troubles to herself.
"I had a lot of setbacks when I was in school but I didn't dare to tell my parents about them. Neither did I want to give them the excuse to say that my grades were suffering because I was getting bullied," she explained.
Watch the episode of Tuesday Report: Late Bloomers to find out how Belinda bounced back from her low points in life here or in the embedded video below: