Advice and motivational words to the inspiring and budding fashion model girls, who all are your fans and shall like to know from you for their climb to the ladder of success in the field of modeling?
My advice is to think deeply about what you really want, and if you find that modeling/acting is truly it, then commit to putting in the work. And then work even harder. Push yourself every day. The fashion and entertainment industries aren’t rewarding for most people for a long time, and they definitely won’t be rewarding for anyone whose heart isn’t in it.
I also believe in the importance of building up your brand — take the time to grow your social media presence because it can be helpful in the long run. Learn what makes you unique and then use that to market yourself. You don’t want to look like everyone else. Embrace your quirks to stand out.
You have been associated as a celebrity ambassador for the #MeToo movement and was on the cover of AM New York in February 2018 for walking in a New York Fashion Week show in honor of the #MeToo movement. This cause is dear to your heart, tell us how you have been able to achieve and quench your thirst for giving back to society through this endeavor of yours?
I walked in that #MeToo-themed NYFW shows because earlier that year I had gotten stalked and harassed by a stranger who I had to file a police report against. It was a really scary time in my life where I had to have someone escort me from my office into a car home.
Taking part in the show and openly talking about the experience felt like taking back some of my power and control in a very powerless situation. It was important to me to stand up for the movement alongside other inspiring survivors of harassment and abuse.
You have done bold photo-shoots for a number of commercial campaigns and as a model. How you are so body confident and advice to your compatriots?
Confidence comes from belief in yourself. To me, it means accepting and loving who you are and standing by your own beliefs, decisions, and integrity.
You have been deputy editor of BuzzFeed News’s Books vertical from 2014 to 2018 and was listed as one of “The Asian American Women Writers Who Are Going to Change the World” by Electric Literature in 2017. You have also contributed to Reader’s Digest and McSweeney’s, and your tweets have frequently been featured on Huff Post and The Washington Post. Tell us more about your passion for writing and as a journalist?
I’ve been motivated by creative expression from a young age — growing up, I was obsessed with reading and writing poetry, and had private tutors for piano, art, violin, etc. and that helped shape my passions. In childhood, I actually wanted to pursue poetry and screenwriting as a career.
I was the poetry editor for NYU’s literary magazine for a couple of years before I graduated, and I also edited my prep school’s lit mag. And in prep school, I had written a play for (and performed in) a playwriting festival, which later on spurred my decision to pursue acting in New York City, so it has come full circle!
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