Turning Down An Invitation To Happiness? 

Following the fourth episode “Pawn to the Queen”, the heroine becomes a princess after overcoming the pain of public scrutiny. She has found a happy ending to her story as she dances with the prince inside the castle. Despite living in a fairy tale, the princess feels lost. She looks outside the window and discovers that the dazzling light that initially drew her into this adventure is drifting further away. At that moment, she realises that even though she is living a fulfilling life, she has never come close to the light that prompted her to pursue her dreams. She runs down the spiralling staircase of the castle and walks into a room, discovering a magical mirror that only shows the truth.

Bewildered, she asks, “who is the happiest of them all?” In the reflection, she sees the carefree mermaid she once was — the girl who was brave enough to chase after her dreams. She takes an apple from the magic mirror and bites into it without hesitation. She would rather give up the stereotypical idea of ” happiness ” and pursue what truly speaks to her heart. “In the process of chasing your dreams, we will get lost, compromise and even forget our original aspirations for immediate satisfaction. It seems like only a fool would turn down an invitation to happiness, but in our utilitarian society, chasing after a dream is already a fool’s errand,” Tia states.

What Does It Truly Mean To Be Happy?

In fairy tales, a happy ending always involves a prince and a castle. Is happiness really about living comfortably in a big, beautiful castle with no adventures and unknowns? In “Temptation Apple”, Tia and her team would like the audience to reflect on the possibilities of happiness. Does happiness only exist in fairy tales?

Tia muses, “In my eyes, a happy person is a person with a dream. They can always see all the possibilities life has to offer them. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote in Faust, ‘If ever I to the moment shall say: Beautiful moment, do not pass away! Then you may forge your chains to bind me.’ Now I finally understand what he means. It turns out that happiness is a process in life, and not the ending. Placing your value on your life and not what others think of you is the key to unlocking happiness. You have to live out your own definition of happiness.” Is Tia happy? She continues, “If you ask me, I am happy now because I understand that there are a lot of possibilities in life. I have the means and the courage to carve out a life that belongs to me.” It is easy to see why the princess chose to bite into the apple and leave everything behind. Like the princess, Tia is a mermaid that loves freedom and wishes to live out her dreams.

The Future Is In Our Hands

On the poster for “Temptation Apple”, the princess has taken off her glamorous clothes and her heavy makeup, reflecting her choice to walk away from what people around her define as a happy life. What happens when you run freely towards the future? No one knows, but at least the princess knows it was her own choice.

Videographic image for this episode shows Tia in her Pakakaas hook and Poem skirt, and jewellery from CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane,  looking curiously into the magical mirror.

To me, happiness is not something that can be found, but something that is lived. We should write the definition of happiness with our lives!

Tia Lee