PHOTOGRAPHY ARIELLE BOBB-WILLIS @ariellebobbwillis @maworldgroup
INTERVIEW KASHA LASSIEN @kashalassien
STYLING TESS HERBERT @tessherbert @jonesmgmt
HAIR CHANEL @1.800.chanel @dnsvision
MAKEUP ZENIA JAEGER using Submission Beauty @makeupbyzeniajaeger @streetersagency
MAKEUP ASSISTANT VIOLET RUBY @violetrubyy
SPECIAL THANKS TO @comebackasaflower
How do you define beauty?
Beauty is everything and nothing at all. Is it a mindset? A state of being you can receive and give to the world or hold from within all to yourself? It’s so weird because we can’t touch it, but we all feel it.
It could catch your attention for a sweet moment of your day, or it could change your whole life. Like most things aren’t ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ things aren’t beautiful or not either. A lot of times, they just are. It’s the way our brains perceive, register, and share, so I push any chance I have to stretch brains and hearts. I’ll push until I die.
There is no end to the desire for beauty.
How did you start modeling and entering into the world of beauty/fashion? What was your introduction to that world?
My earliest memory would be posing for my mother before I could even walk. She had these cameras she’d bring with us everywhere we would see each other, and I remember having so much fun curating the images; it was just so cool.
The concept of capturing a moment that can feel so natural yet staged but lets you physically hold it and have it with you forever, it’s like having a memory or fantasy realized and remembered.
I guess that bled into my adult life. Fast forward from my early years to 2015/2016, when I was first thrust into this world I didn’t even know existed, and I haven’t looked back since.
I love the way you use makeup, fashion, and beauty as tools for your self-expression, as well as how free you are in that expression. Do you feel any pressure now to continue to live up to this ever-evolving and shape-shifting identity you’ve created for yourself?
Wow, thank you! This means a lot coming from you because Submission is doing what you’re saying I’m doing – being sustainable, reducing plastic, and adding more beauty to the world. I try not to think about it too much but yes – the Pressure.
If it’s not outside pressure, it’s from myself and that which lives deep within my soul rent-free. I just keep repeating to myself- don’t overthink it – don’t think about it – just don’t think at all.
What do you find has been consistent in beauty for you throughout your many changes of personas?
My sense of humor
It seems like you use each of them to move through the world when you need that persona in a particular stage of your life, and then you shed it. What parts of each of them do you feel have stayed with you, and what have you learned from them?
This is such a great observation. I feel so understood. I really do use my different characters as phases of my life, but it’s completely subconscious. Whatever hell I’m walking thru at the time usually reflects the way well … I do everything.
I always carry my core with me, which consists of: a whole lot of cynicism, a lot of good and (bad) ideas, weird taste in stuff, a deep sense of not belonging anywhere or to anyone, lots of din tai fung black sesame dumplings, and a yearning to own all of their merch one day, a newfound appreciation for open-toed shoes, my obsession with nails, eating cake for no reason, feeling like the only one in on an inside joke, lingering spots of sadness, and I could go on but I won’t!
Although fashion/beauty has been making minor progress in inclusivity and diversity, there is still a long way to go. What challenges have you faced as an Asian American woman in these spaces, and how have you overcome them?
Ooo, this one needs its own article- TBD.
What was your transition like from being a college student and working a 9-5 to being a muse, walking runways, DJ-ing events, creating your own brand, & being a mega influencer, etc.?
I feel like the ‘you work 9-5, I work 24/7’ meme. I think the main things I learned the hard way from that transition were to remember to slow down, enjoy every win, stay single but fall in love, understand that ‘No’ is my best friend, realize that power given is power you can always have back, and slow down. PS. this list is giving me anxiety
How are you balancing all these, between being a brand owner and a model, DJ, influencer, etc., and still making time for good, healthy self-care?
The past few months have probably been some of the toughest yet so incredibly exciting so far. I think I’m back to a place where I have the energy to take care of myself. Here’s an ongoing list of reminders on my phone.
Talk to us about Spitsnot. When did you come up with the idea to start a brand?
Spit and Snot are two evil twins that are going to take over the world!!! Conceived seven years ago, born Halloween 2020. More coming soon…
What’s next for Princess Gollum?
Maybe try going through life with fewer lists?