yuOr LOcq4l j3j3 gHuÖrl, Mimiyuuuh, lets her freak flag fly
You probably know her as the girl that went viral for her Dalagang Pilipina video; you know the one, with that quirky come hither stare and pa-demure push of hair behind the ear. Millions of us have viewed that video and a handful of us have even made parodies of the same.
If you don’t know about the video we’re talking about, then maybe you know Mimiyuuuh as the personality who’s become the face of some of the biggest brands this side of the world. She’s worked with names in the fields of fashion, recreation, lifestyle, beverage and—as a model to our own editorial—even publishing.
Then again, maybe you don’t know her. Maybe you haven’t seen her posts, heard her musical runs or wondered about the words that she’s invented.
Wherever you’re coming from, she deserves your attention. Call her a personality, an influencer, a self-proclaimed j3j3 gHuÖrl, but for this month that we say Let Your Freak Flag Fly, she’s simply our muse.
“If you use your flaws as your strengths, no one can use [them] against you.”
It’s hard to imagine now, but once upon a time, Mimiyuuuh was a child trying to hide her sexuality. Masking what might have been seen as a flaw, she put everything into her education and says she was an achiever in school. “Since beks ka (you’re gay), you have to prove yourselve to be accepted,” she explains, and it’s a personality trait that she hasn’t since quite shaken. When we asked her to describe herself in her current state, she simply says she’s responsible. “I always put my family first,” she tells us.
At first, the journey to Mimiyuuuh doesn’t seem to fit. There is no bridge from that overachiever trying to fit in to the woman we had on set one afternoon: friendly, all over the place (in the best way) and unapologetically herself. She didn’t shy away from being loud, singing her heart out and inviting us to join in her fun.
But it had to start somewhere, right?
Up until her second year of college, Mimi sported a typical boy cut. Then somewhere along the way to her junior year, the scissors were kept away and she grew it out. It was a change in image, sure, but it was more than that, too. It was an announcement, a statement to be said without actually saying it.
“Yung nagpa-bob cut ako (When I got my bob cut), that was my rebirth…that’s the Mimiyuuuh rebirth.”
As she goes on, with the tone of her voice reaching a proud pitch, she claims that moment as when she first started to become adventurous. As for us, we like to think of it as the instance when she fell down the rabbit hole; the day the world started to morph into a place that was more liveable, more accepting and infinitely filled with more possibilities.
Videography and Editing Favour Ajah
It took years for that rebirth to come through, and you’d think that the journey that led to coming to terms with herself might have been a difficult one, but as our conversation with Mimi goes on, she describes it as anything but. “Acceptance is a learning process,” Mimi tells us. “You just have to be you and do you.”
She illustrates her point by going back to a time when she had issues with her looks. Her teeth, she admits, were always a point of insecurity. But the moment she decided it was an edge to be taken advantage of, the smiles were on full display.
“If you use your flaws as your strengths, no one can use [them] against you,” Mimi explains. And before she releases her signature laugh, she adds: “You just have to embrace your imperfections.”
This is where the coming out story of Mimiyuuuh would have fit. This is supposed to be the time when you learn about the dramatic moment—probably before she grew out her hair—that she finally told her parents.
“Nakakaloka, wala akong coming out story (It’s crazy, I don’t have a coming out story),” she says, sheepishly. “Hindi na nila kailangan tanungin pa (My parents didn’t have to ask anymore).”
Refreshing, isn’t it? The thought that there’s room for that kind of freedom, that there is no need to ask for acceptance or forgiveness for simply being you or letting your own freak flag fly.
“Freedom is being free from something that’s holding you back.”
That said, even Mimi has her limitations and moments of privacy. This face of freedom that we’re talking about doesn’t mean a free-for-all. As she explains, “Freedom is being free from something that’s holding you back”—it’s not an excuse to be harmful and neither is it an invitation to overstep anyone else’s boundaries.
You do you, but you give others the room and freedom to be them.
“Freaky,” after all, doesn’t have to be a negative. But by definition, it means “odd,” “strange” and “eccentric,” which honestly aren’t anyone’s favorite words. So for this month and the next ones, we’re going by Mimi’s dictionary instead:
“unusual, unique and [uncommon].”
We love ourselves a little alliteration.
The challenge—if you can call it that—is to Let Your Freak Flag Fly in the best possible light. Because in a world where social media is currency and #goals are a little too tiring to keep up with, the only way to thrive might just be, as Mimi says, to own your flaws and turn them into your strengths. Who cares if your teeth are a little asymmetric?
For the rest of the world, Mimiyuuuh might be a slice of entertainment, a LOcq4l j3j3 gHuÖrl that’s equal parts inspirational and attainable. But for us, she’s a girl that grew into herself and owned it, made something of it and opened our eyes to the possibilities of what doing so could bring—all in an afternoon where we played a little dress-up in Wonderland.