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TO READ THIS ON THE MAGAZINE, CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: This article is an excerpt from the second issue of our e-magazine, Crunch.

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Photo Credits to our Bloggerati @bobostephanie

“Lose weight”, “eat healthily”, “exercise more” … Ah, aren’t we familiar with most of these come New Year’s Day? With resolutions rolling out like crazy, it’s only natural to get caught up in the hype.

But if you look closely, you’ll notice more specific health-related resolutions, one of the most prominent being the desire to develop abs. Not that many manage to achieve this, and it’s not because they didn’t put any effort in their training (although many fall out of it not long after starting!).

So why does this happen? You’d be surprised to hear that it’s because of their diet. Who knew that food could play such a major role in ab-building?

Let’s take a look at what it takes to have the perfect diet.

Do eat enough protein

It’s going to be a bit tough to build muscle if you exclude protein from your diet. This is because protein helps you to not only build muscle, but to burn fat as well. How does it do this, exactly? It does this by making your body work harder; a ton of calories is burned just to break down this incredible macronutrient!

If that doesn’t sound like a winner in your book, I don’t know what does.

Do cook your own meals

The reason behind this is simple: you can’t control what goes into your meals if someone else prepares it for you. This is especially true if you’re the type of person to eat out.

While this does not necessarily mean you have to avoid eating out forever, it can’t be all of your meals. If you’re not a cook, you can start small. Pack lunch for a couple of days a week- you’d be surprised by the difference this can make.

Eat carbs after your workout

Forget the bad rep carbs have gotten from the press. Yes, you’d definitely gain weight if you eat too much of anything, but carbs have been treated unfairly in this particular aspect. Fact of the matter is, natural grain or starchy carbs such as brown rice and oatmeal are actually important in building abs- and this is even more so true when they’re eaten post-workout.

Not convinced? Carbs have the smallest chance of turning into body fat when you eat them after working out.

Don’t avoid healthy fats

This might sound crazy, but you should include fats in your diet. And when I say this, I mean healthy fats. These are mainly from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in food items such as raw nuts, fish oils and olive oils.

By eating the right amount of lean protein, good carbs and healthy fats, you’ll soon develop a metabolism that is able to burn fat more effectively.

Don’t ignore your diet

As tempting as it might be to take the “easy” way out by skipping out on meals to lose weight, this is actually counterproductive. Not only will you have less energy to perform the necessary workouts, your body will also be unable to effectively build the muscles you so desperately crave.

How can it, when it is deprived of the nutrients it needs? So pile on that lean protein- you need it.

Don’t push yourself

If you find that your current diet plan isn’t working out for you, don’t push yourself. It isn’t that easy to determine exactly how much of anything a person should consume, which is precisely why there should be some flexibility in your diet. This doesn’t mean that you should take this as an excuse to replace your brown rice with fast food, it is just that everyone’s body is different. So if something isn’t working out for you, it might be wiser to lessen, increase or replace the item entirely with another healthy alternative.

There you have it! Six easy tips to bear in mind, and you don’t even have to starve yourself to get results. Just eat healthy and workout, my friends, and your efforts will bear fruit.

For more interesting content like this one, do check out the second issue of “Crunch” here

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

TO READ THIS ON THE MAGAZINE, CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: This article is an excerpt from our second issue of our e-magazine, Crunch.

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Photo Credit to our ChurpChurp Alpha @prestonles

Is this situation familiar to you? You go to work and spend 8 hours on a laptop, go home, kick off your shoes, take a shower and then face another device yet again. In our fast-paced and quick-changing times, it is almost impossible to detox from social media. We always need to keep up with the why, the what and the how of the day or the week. Why do we do that?

When we think about the likes, the shares and the comments on pictures, they might come off as inconsequential but they actually matter. WHY? Because they are every element that make us human- they spell our addictions, our desires, our anxiety and our joy. All put together, they are essentially made up of two very basic neurochemicals in our brains, namely dopamine and oxytocin.

Dopamine creates the “WANT” reflex; desires which seek unpredictability and reward cues in us. Research actually found that people found it harder to resist tweeting than smoking! WOW.

The oxytocin in our brains on the other hand, is the “cuddle chemical” that is responsible for the feeling of trust in social media users. Did you know that 43% of Facebook users are more likely than other internet users to feel that people can be trusted?

Updating on social media

So why do people update their social media about themselves so very often?

One of the more prominent ways we portray ourselves is through things and they have to signify who we are. That would then create the intensity of how some people would feel for their favourite brands. Some research done in the past found that social media users have the same amount of psychological arousal to logos shown to them as to when they were shown a picture of a loved one or best friend.

If you like talking about yourself, why share a brand?

Many of us are unaware that we are hardwired to pass information around. Did you also know that 68% of people share the brands and things they love with people around them because it helps others perceive them and what they care for better? People share with others because they want to self-define, have self-fulfillment and to share the “causes”that they believe in. Hence, when creating content on social media about a product, it doesn’t have to cater to the masses but only to specific people.

While it is quite normal that your brand(s) would want product awareness to reach the masses, try consider targeting a certain age group, gender or even race that you would want to reach. Doing so will allow for the correct audience to react to your brand presence instead of an audience that your product does not cater to.

Using social media to your advantage

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Photo Credit to our Nuffie @nicolevalerietan

There is just so much happening online. What should you keep track of?

1. Comments
Comments are an important and powerful assessment of the credibility of a product. Comments are also known as a “shared reality” as consumers shared how reading another’s response would help them understand their thought processes.

Your brand might have a few positive and negative comments from users and these can’t be controlled. So try considering that while negative comments do exist, they have already created interactions and talk about the product(s) you are offering!

One key takeaway for you and your brand is that you have now created a platform for discussion among your users that you can use for your benefit – product improvement!

2. Selfies
Selfies are the “in thing” right now and rightly so. “Why?” you may wonder. It is because humans in general pay attention to a person’s facial features more than anything else in a picture. When a picture has someone’s face in it, it is 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments.

If you want to focus on brand advocacy, then a selfie or a photo with both a person (the influencer) and the product would work best. However, it is recommended to avoid “in your face” hard sell product placement that is off tangent to the influencer’s organic content, otherwise it might have a negative response instead.

3. Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a universal feeling that we all can relate to. When people think about a past experience or a good time they had, they are more willing to spend on products that represent that time frame of their life.

How can you use this to your advantage? Try selling your product with a throwback post about how it was used during a significant time of an influencer’s life and how that would make it best for future use. Another way nostalgia plays an important role can be through touching on experiences that your target market might share with someone they look up to, e.g., influencers. An experience from childhood times, a community event or even a personal life experience.

4. Colour Usage
Are you one of those marketers who fancy adding just about any colour to your ads? Maybe you’ll reconsider this as many consumers make decisions based on the colours portrayed alone. A brand should pick colours that support the personality they want to portray through their products.

Some colour pairings for your consideration: blue, to represent calmness and innocence; mint green, to give the feeling of freshness; and red, to reinforce boldness.

5. Emotional Triggers
There are just so many tricks used as conversation starters when a conversation takes place face-to-face, so why not through an ad as well? Brands can consider using humour in comment replies, photos and video captions. Humour shows enthusiasm that brands put into their products and has been shown to drive social media engagement as it appears to be more engaging as well.

Take for example Wendy’s Twitter account that replies to countless customers’ tweets with so much humour that it often goes viral! A small gesture goes a long way, so next time you see a fan’s tag, take notice and put aside time to reply.

Whether you are a client, an influencer doing branded content, or even just participants of the social media community, you are always an active participant instead of a silent listener, so make it count.

Written by Samantha Keo

If you need any help in creating ideas for your campaigns for the new year, you can reach out to us at adminmy@nuffnang.com and we will be more than happy to advise you!

For more interesting content like this one, do check out the second issue of “Crunch” here

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

TO READ THIS ON THE MAGAZINE, CLICK HERE

Disclaimer: This article is an excerpt from our second issue of our e-magazine, Crunch.

As a mother of her incredibly adorable son, Tyler, and a loving wife to her husband, Boon, Careen is definitely a family-oriented person. However, she never stopped her lifelong dream of being in the wedding and fashion industry. Just last April, she launched her very own bridal boutique, The White Atelier which specialises in custom-made wedding gowns and shoes.

Since then, she has been hustling through the constant juggle of work, family, blogging and everything in between. Despite her busy schedule, she still manages to always look put together and sophisticated; and the best part of it, down to earth and kind to everyone who crosses paths with her.

In the spirit of entering a brand new year, we were more than fortunate to be able to sit down for a chat with Nuffnang’s superwoman, Careen Tan, to catch up on all her latest endeavours, while getting some tips on how to ace 2018 like a #GirlBoss!

To know more about Careen, you can follow her on her blog here, her Instagram at @careentxy or her Dayre (where she gets personal!) here.

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1. Let’s start with the most cliché question. Tell us about yourself and what you do.

Hi everyone! I’m Careen, and I’m first and foremost a wife to my dear husband, Boon, and mother to my son, Tyler who just turned two! I’m also the founder of The White Atelier, a bridal boutique that provides custom-made
bridal gowns and shoes to brides in Malaysia and beyond. I’m also a blogger at www.careentan.com, a blog that I’ve been keeping for the past 14 years or so!

2. Describe yourself in 3 words.

Ambitious, optimistic, and practical.

3. What is the one trait of yours that you are proud of?

Okay, this is quite tough as I haven’t actually thought much about it before. I think one thing that has been pretty consistent for me all these years is that I’m not afraid of working hard. This started way back in my high school and uni days where I would work multiple part-time/freelance jobs to earn pocket money to support my expenses, and also to be able to contribute to my family’s finances. Coming from a large family (I have 6 other sisters!) has shaped me into always thinking of ways I could help my family live a more comfortable life. Whenever I got the opportunity to earn an extra buck, I would jump on it no matter how tired or busy I was.

This has continued on to my adult life where I would always think of ways that I can make my days productive. I don’t like to waste time, so I’m always finding ways that I can squeeze in time to work, finish up tasks and run errands. Even in my free time before bed, I would squeeze in a few articles from entrepreneur.com or inc.com to draw some insight and inspiration before I call it a day. I would feel extremely restless and unproductive if I hadn’t done enough or learnt something new in my day. So yes, I think that is one of the traits that I’m pretty proud of- that I’m not afraid of hard work.

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Spitting! Cannot stand anyone who spits in public.

5. If you can only use one word to describe your goals for 2018, what would it be?

Growth. Not just business-wise, but personal development-wise, and also family-wise. *shy*

6. What are your top 3 priorities for 2018? Why?

1. My relationship with God
2. Building a healthy family
3. Growing The White Atelier

These 3 have been top priorities for year 2017, and will continue to be in year 2018, and I believe also in the years to come!

Personally, I believe that everything I am and have comes from God. Starting The White Atelier this year has truly strengthened my faith and trust in Him, because truly without the open doors from Him, none of this would have been possible. I owe all that I am and have to God, really.

On family, I want to work on improving myself; to be a better version of a wife, mother and also as a daughter. I want to spend more quality, uninterrupted time with my family, raise Tyler well, be a supportive wife to Boon, and be a loving daughter to my parents. My family is my everything.

On business, I’m excited to bring new things to the table for The White Atelier, and see what the year brings for us! Will do all that I can to grow and build this business. It is my dream come true to be able to dress brides for their once-in-a-lifetime wedding, and I cannot be more grateful.

7. Can you share a few of your 2018 resolutions with us?

My 2017 resolution was “Do it, and do it well”, to live a life with no excuses.
For 2018, my resolution will also be the same as 2017- to do all that I do with excellence, and to live life without making excuses for myself.

That’s for the big picture! For micro resolutions, I aim to sleep and wake up earlier, be more organised and tidy *shy*, and exercise more!

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8. Last but not least, do share some tips on how you plan to stick to your 2018 resolutions, while juggling all your top priorities?

One thing I’ve learned from the many years of making lists upon lists of New Year’s resolutions is that they don’t work for me.

Detailed lists of resolutions may work for some, but I’ve come to realise that I get overwhelmed by the list a few months down the road, and when I reach the mid-year, I totally lose my list and forget what I set out to achieve in the first place- simply because there were waaay too many of them! #overlyambitious

So for 2017, I decided to forget the list, and just work on what I want to achieve as a whole. This was how I came up with my “Do it, and do it well” motto, which pretty much sums up what and who I want to be.

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TIP #1: FIND OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE
One of the things that would really help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions is to find out what works best for you. Perhaps it is not because you’re not good at keeping your New Year’s resolutions, but simply because the long
list just doesn’t work for you.

Explore and find out what works best for your personality type, and stick to it!

TIP #2: COMMIT TO YOUR RESOLUTIONS!
One of the reasons why I failed to keep to my New Year’s resolutions was because I forgot where I put them after a while. Life got busy after a few months, and when I finally remembered the list, I had already forgotten where I’d placed it!

Out of sight, out of mind. This applies especially true to New Year’s resolutions. So if you’re creating a list, print it out and have it stuck somewhere in your bedroom, study or office in plain sight. Then each time you go home or head into the office, you’d be reminded of them.

Or if you’re ditching the list and opting for a motto instead (like mine!), make it as simple and easy to remember as possible, and write it somewhere. Make it your desktop background, print it and frame it up, or put it as your Instagram bio (like mine! Hahaha).

TIP #3: REFLECT & REVIEW
Take time to pause and look back at your year, and see how you’re faring with your New Year’s resolutions so far. If you haven’t done much yet, remind yourself of your goals and keep working on them! If you’ve made progress, it’ll serve as great encouragement for you to keep moving forward and do better!

Reflecting and reviewing your resolutions every quarterly helps you stay on track. Doing so only in the last few months of the year might leave you without enough time to pick things up, which may leave you feeling defeated about your year in general- not a good way to end the year!

Reviewing your year every now and then helps you see how you’re faring, and whether or not you’ve been living your life according to what you set out to achieve. Constantly taking a pause to reflect and review your life is important, so that you can make sure that you’re on the right track!

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Talent Feature photos shot by Susan Yong

THANK YOU, CRUNCH, FOR HAVING ME IN THIS ISSUE! HERE’S TO A WONDERFUL AND FRUITFUL 2018 FOR EVERYONE! <3

For more interesting content like this one, do check out the second issue of “Crunch” here

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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There you have it. The New Year is here, and along with it, the promise of new beginnings, lessons and experiences. All of which are no less valuable than the other, especially towards your growth as a person.

But rather than sitting around and waiting for these changes to happen, why not take the initiative to make them happen? There is no better time to improve yourself than now, when you have fellow resolution-makers to keep you company.

So what are the things you can do to become a better person in a year? Let me count the ways:

Start exercising and eating right

When it comes to investing in yourself, there is nothing more important than your health. Not even your job should take precedence over it. After all, you have to live with yourself once it’s time to clock out of work- so take the time to go out for a morning walk or run before work starts. Your body and self-confidence will thank you for it.

As for eating, if you don’t start eating right, you may have food to eat now, but eventually, medicine will be your food. If that’s not a reality you want for yourself, it’s time to make a change.

Start giving

Be kind and considerate. Devote some time to charity work, donate money, help someone out at the office. Realise there are those outside of your immediate circle who are in need.

But most important of all, don’t expect anything back. Give because you care, but do learn the difference between being kind and being a push-over.

Be productive

Dedicate at least an hour a day to being productive. This can be anything. Maybe your dream is to become skilled at photography, maybe it’s to learn programming, maybe it’s to learn a new language. Point of the matter is, dedicate yourself to your dream. If there is one trait that successful people share, it is productivity.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that we stop learning once college ends. Stay sharp and invest in yourself.

Be more disciplined

This isn’t easy, but once you get the ball rolling, it’ll get easier, and you’ll reap the benefits.

The number one thing to remember when you have something to do that you don’t want to is to just do it. It might be painful, it might be totally joyless, but once you learn to do what you need to in a timely manner, you’ll soon be an efficient worker.

Spend more time with family and friends

Here is a fact that is true for everyone: our time on Earth is limited. No matter how busy you are, or how devoted you are to your career, you should always make time for family and friends. This doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment with them, but staying in touch really goes a long way.

Don’t be that person who regrets not spending more time with their loved ones.

Meet new people

Networking is an art that shouldn’t be underestimated, but do bear in mind to network wisely. Surround yourself with positive, high-achieving people. Being around such bright individuals will in turn motivate you to improve yourself, both in terms of personality and your value as an employee.

Meeting new people is also a great way of broadening your mind; you’ll be exposed to different views, backgrounds and opinions. Learning to see the world with a different perspective is an enriching experience on its own.

Be grateful

Complaining is a huge waste of energy. While everyone is allowed to be negative every once in a while, it is a drain on your resources if it’s a constant.

Again, this might be easier said than done, but once you learn to be positive and appreciate the things you do have, you’ll be happier as a person. And that, is more attractive than someone who spews negativity all day long.

Feeling daunted? Fret not, because we’re right here with you. Just take things a day at a time, and you’ll soon be able to look back on 2018 with pride.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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If you’re in the influencing industry (or wish to break into it), then you know just how important it is to not only have good content, but pleasing aesthetic as well. It’s no secret that as humans, we can’t help but love to look at anything pretty. Honestly speaking, who doesn’t?

With that being said, the same logic should apply to readers as well.

Knowing this, you are already a step ahead of aspiring influencers. And we (Nuffnang), as a lias between brands and influencers, wish to help you reach your desired #beautygoals. This is done via workshops, and one of the first of this series is the art of applying makeup.

That’s right. Aesthetic isn’t only achieved through photography skill; factors such as makeup and style matter as well.

Here’s a taste of what to expect from our workshops*. For this particular piece, we’ll take our super fun Makeup with Elcah workshop from last month as an example. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, Elcah is one of our ChurpChurp talents, whose fashion sense and makeup are always impeccable.

Tutorials

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For those who were only able to watch her tutorials on Youtube prior to the event, attending this workshop was a super huge treat! Elcah was bright and welcoming to all who were there, and held as many demonstrations as required to get the message across. All makeup used during her demonstrations were sponsored by MAC Cosmetics Malaysia– which certainly says something about her skills as an artist.

As for the attendees, makeup was readily provided for them so they wouldn’t feel left out! Can’t learn how to put on makeup without the proper tools, after all.

Meet and greet session

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As a popular Youtuber with an especially strong following from the Malay community, Elcah’s exclusive meet and greet session was well-received by her fans. There were lots of smiles to be had, and the casual atmosphere only made it all the more relaxing as guests got to know this friendly Youtuber.

We’re pretty sure if she wasn’t already their absolute favourite before the session, she was right afterwards.

Photo-taking session

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Elcah and our Talent and Community Executive, Emily, with adorable balloons from Scarlet Balloon!

Who wouldn’t want to have their photo taken with their favourite online personality? Fortunately for everyone who attended, Elcah was open to the idea of having her photograph taken with her fans. Bless her big heart.

And to pump up the #aesthetic factor, there were plenty of fun, quirky balloons from Scarlet Balloon to take pictures with. The amount of cheer during this portion of the day was infectious.

Networking opportunity

The power of networking cannot be underestimated; there is no telling what rewards this precious skill can bring. Be it teaching each other something new, extending new opportunities or making new friends, networking is never a waste of time.

During this workshop, talents were not only able to interact with fellow talents (Aida Sue, Kathyjem, Ceeranoh, among others!) and their followers, they gained exposure as well.

Delicious food

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Happ Café did not stop at opening their doors to the workshop, they also went above and beyond to ensure the event went as smoothly and comfortably as possible. The café was used exclusively as a venue for the closed event, and when the time came to eat, guests were served delicious food that went in accordance with the workshop’s cute pink and yellow theme colours.

All of which had been generously proffered by Happ Café. Talk about awesome!

Gifts and prizes

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Apparently the master of creating great first impressions, Happ Café greeted attendees with pretty door gifts in the form of beribboned flowers. Which was super sweet of them, needless to say. That aside, small games and challenges were held for the attendees to put their newly learned knowledge to use. Those who won received makeup as prizes from Elcah. 

Free makeup? Yes, please.

All in all, it was a truly enriching experience. If you missed this fantastic opportunity to learn and have fun with our influencers and community, fret not. There’ll be plenty more from us to come, so be sure to keep an eye on this space and our newsletters!

Cheers!

You can find Elcah on: Youtube || Instagram || Twitter

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Our token of appreciation to Elcah. Thank you again, Elcah!!

*Workshop structures may differ slightly from workshop to workshop.

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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  • Genre: Drama/Musical
  • Language: English
  • Starring: Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya

Patience was never my strong suit when I was younger, so the thought of watching a musical always made me grumble with impatience.

“Too much singing, not enough story,” I’d say, and I’d inwardly whinge for the rest of the movie.

I’m older now, and while I’ve gained more patience over the years, this aversion to musical still remains. Yet disgruntled distaste was not the reaction I gave when I first watched the “The Greatest Showman” trailer. Fact of the matter is, I was somewhat intrigued.

But did this ring true as well when I actually sat down to watch the movie?

What is it about?

Without spoiling the movie, one of the central themes of “The Greatest Showman” is its “rags to riches” storyline. Its main character is Phineas Taylor Barnum (Hugh Jackman), a man who rose from nothing. Born dirt poor, Phineas is not unfamiliar to the feeling of being so hungry that he’d have to steal for his own survival, or being so severely looked down upon due to its pitiful rank (the lowest) in society.

Yet through his own hard work, he managed to pull himself out of poverty and earned at least enough money to marry the woman of his dreams.

But then life decides to deal him a bad hand- one that essentially leads him to losing his job and only source of income.

The thing with being dealt a bad hand since young is that those who managed to get through it all, know how to survive. Which is exactly what Phineas does. Resourceful, enthusiastic and driven by his love for his family, he does what he can to ensure that his wife and daughters don’t get put out on the street. Even if it means recruiting the wrongly perceived rejects of society to work for him.

Through trial and error, the Barnum & Bailey Circus is eventually born.

Is it worth a watch?

Yes. I would have to say “yes”. Despite my initial misgivings until learning the genre, I was pleasantly surprised that “The Greatest Showman” strikes a fine balance of storytelling and song, without one ever undermining the other.

Not once did I feel the singing obstruct the story in anyway. If anything, the musical performances complemented it, enhanced it even. A welcome experience, needless to say. It is rare for me to get away from a musical without feeling as though the musical performances had been shoved down my throat.

But here we are.

To further add on to the appeal of “The Greatest Showman” is its portrayal of the stark reality of a time when prejudice against those different from us was especially rife. Especially, because it still does exist. The film does not shy away from this theme, and rightfully so.

These qualities aside, however, the shining stars of “The Greatest Showman” go beyond the fine balance, musical performances and dark themes; the stars are the cast themselves and the story. The chemistry between actors and actresses is palpable, and their acting thrilling. There really is something to be said about actors that are able to skillfully deliver weighted messages through mere looks with the same impact a scene with actual dialogue does.

As for the story… “The Greatest Showman” enjoys a well-structured plot that artfully layers and builds it up without once feeling rushed or cobbled together. Altogether a wonderful film to watch with the family.

“The Greatest Showman” is now in cinemas

Melissa Kartini
Nuffnang Community Team

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