Transgender fighter Nong Toom, the Beautiful Boxer herself, stars in a music video for the new single by U.K. singer Dido. It's on YouTube and I've embedded it above.
The song is "It Comes and It Goes" off Dido's latest album, Safe Trip Home. Actually, rather than mere music videos, Dido has commissioned short films and then "soundtracked" them with her songs. Nong Toom's film is called Black Eyelashes and it's directed by Tinge Krishnan, a London-based half-Thai, half-Malaysian filmmaker.
It's very poetic, showing Nong Toom on what I guess is a typical day for her -- romping at the beach with her friends, teaching boxing to underprivileged kids, jogging, applying make-up and spending time with her family.
Dido, who vaulted into the international spotlight when her song "Thank You" was sampled by rapper Eminem for his hit "Stan" way back in 2000, has an interview with Tinge on her website. Here's an excerpt:
The film doesn't make it explicitly clear that its subject used to be a man. Was that deliberate?
Well, I knew it was going to be on the Internet and the Internet is a place where people chat and comment so I thought it would be more fun if half the people who watched it would actually think that she was a woman first. In the end we put in a few clues at the start of the film, like when we're panning across the trophies at the start, there are a few hints to a more masculine identity there. But, ultimately, I thought it would be more fun to tailor it to the kind of interesting creature that the Internet is -- I hoped the film would be a bit ambiguous so that Nong Toom's identity would emerge organically, through people's comments. I could just imagine people saying things like, "Wow, that's an amazing woman," "That's not a woman, it's a ladyboy!', 'Oh really?'.
Someone commenting on the Safe Trip Home site said the the film made him feel, "Sexy, because let's face it the girl is gorgeous."
Yeah, and I think that's great. That's the power of if. It can turn things upside down. As a piece it's doing more than just being a piece of work. It's challenging but in a really subtle way, by just showing her and people responding to her as she is.
And, of course, she is beautiful.
She's amazing. I learned a lot from her about eyebrows and hair! All us girls felt really masculine around her. She is very beautiful. I think over time she's just got more and more feminine as she settles into her new body. It's become the body of a woman.
Read the whole thing. It's a pretty informative update on Nong Toom -- she's now a mother, with an adopted daughter -- and it sounds like she's having a very happy life.
(Via Dido's MySpace blog)