Joey Mead King: Cultivating compassion

Nov 13, 2019, 03:11 AM
"Don't fall because you'll bruise your knees and you cannot be a beauty queen."

Joey Mead King — supermodel, TV personality, and co-judge of Asia's Next Top Model — grew up in a community that valued looks more than a college degree, which may come as a surprise, considering how education is prioritised among Asian families.

It seemed natural then that Joey went on to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. By the time she was 15, she knew that she wanted to be a model. Blessed with good looks that could kill, you'd think that she would have had it easy in the glamorous world of television and media, but her interview with our podcast host Simone Heng would reveal otherwise.

In this all-new third episode of Buro.'s Brave Living, Joey revisits her complicated childhood, how she hustled to get jobs as a teen model, and lets us in on her unconventional life with her partner, now known as Angelina Mead King.

Hit play to get inspired!

00:00 What does it mean to live bravely?
Simone begins the podcast with quote from Brené Brown: “We all struggle to understand why some people who have survived trauma — be it in combat, domestic violence, sexual or physical abuse, or the quieter but equally devastating covert traumas of oppression, neglect, isolation, or living in extreme fear or stress — exhibit tremendous resilience and lead full, wholehearted lives, while others become defined by their trauma.” Buro.’s Brave Living was founded with that in mind. Simone then goes on to introduce our next guest, Joey Mead King, whom she refers to as her former mentor and a source of inspiration for women. 

2:48 Understanding young Joey
As an introverted child with mostly-absent parents and impermanent surroundings, Joey often found herself alone. Kids are generally uncivilised and dangerous if left to their own devices, but she considered herself a good kid who stayed out of trouble. Here, she opens up about rescuing helpless creatures, her mother’s affair with her biological father, and the not-so-pretty years as a fearless teenager hungry to succeed before turning 30.

24:13 The abusive relationship
He was The Bad Boy — charming, successful and generous. It started with a slap after she was found talking to several boys in a club. The punches and black eyes came soon after, and for a while, she stayed because she felt like it was something she could fix.

35:35 On meeting her partner, Ian King
“Ian is different,” says Joey. His persistence with her paid off. But her whirlwind romance took a turn when she discovered a woman’s underwear in their home, which Ian later admitted to be his — to her relief. They got married in Beverly Hills in 2011, and despite all the changes in their lives, including Ian’s gender identity, they remain solidly in each other’s lives. 

For more inspiring stories, subscribe and tune in every fortnight to Buro.'s Brave Living with Simone Heng. Connect with us by following us on our website, Facebook, and Instagram