I am so excited to partner with Herbal Essences for their Embrace Change campaign where women celebrate how change, big or small, can be healthy and liberating. How something as simple as your hairstyle or haircut can inspire a new chapter in your life. How confidence shines through when you overcome fear. Fearless of embracing imperfections. Fearless in tackling obstacles. Fearless in taking that jump and making an important move in your life. When it comes down to it, when I look my best, I feel my best. When I feel my best, I am unstoppable.
Throughout my life and career, I’ve dealt with so many changes. From being thrown into the modeling world at 15, to moving to NYC on my own without knowing anybody. All I had was a one suitcase, a strong work ethic, focus, and most importantly, a lot of courage. With this early independence, I learned quickly that I had to remain confident and positive…even when the challenges of moving to a new city comes your way. It’s about finding your support system, a good group of friends, and a lot of self motivation. Rather than fitting in, I longed to stand out. New York City was that place for me.
It wasn’t easy being a young model. I was constantly being judged on my looks. Suddenly, you start questioning everything about yourself, from your figure, to your features, to your haircut. The modeling industry wants you to be a “blank slate” every time you walk into a meeting. I never felt like a blank canvas or a blank slate…I felt the exact opposite. There was something inside of me that wanted to burst out behind the serious stare in my polaroids. My bangs are like my accessory. I’ve had them my entire life.
Ever since I was a little girl, I had a thick, straight fringe with long hair. As bangs suddenly became a fashion statement (the 70’s were back!) it worked as both an advantage and disadvantage for me. How could I stand out apart from girls just like me. My hair was my signature look, and I was very persistent in keeping them even when agents and casting directors suggested I make a change in my look. I had this pressure to set myself apart, but I remained firm in keeping my quirky and eccentric haircut. Modeling really made me have thick skin…you’re forced to be something others like in front of the camera.
The way I saw myself and the way others saw me felt like two different things. That’s when I gravitated towards style as my way of bringing myself confidence and joy. I was inspired by the fearless fashion of the runways, so I went out on my own terms…scouring gorgeous colorful blazers and tailored trousers with chunky jewelry at estate sales. I started wearing more conversation pieces. It helped me make new friends in my new city of New York. I stopped wearing so much makeup. I stopped trying to be perfect. I stopped trying to hide my flaws, or hide what made me unique or different. My hair suited me, and I didn’t want to change it. I stopped dying my hair a medium brown, and let my dark hair that showed off my Chinese and Latina heritage show. I suddenly felt free knowing that success came with one thing: confidence and integrity. It made me less afraid of change…and trust me, I’ve seen this industry change a lot…evolving with it is all part of the job. Evolving and change is part of life. Now I’m not afraid if someone asks me to slick my hair back. With confidence, I’m daring and can try just about anything when it comes to my look and my style.If I want a clean, sophisticated night look, I put my hair in a low bun. My bangs, they’re still my accessory. This blank canvas isn’t so blank after all. I don’t need to change for anyone else, but myself. Now, I like myself just the way I am…and I like my hair down, free flowing, and plain natural like it is here. In all honesty, my appearance is my best when I feel my best.
Sponsored by Herbal Essences + Popsugar.
Watch the Herbal Essences video here.