yuOr LOcq4l j3j3 gHuÖrl, Mimiyuuuh, lets his freak flag fly
You probably know him as the one that went viral for that 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. He’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 him. Maybe you haven’t seen his posts, heard his musical runs or wondered about the words that he’s invented.
Wherever you’re coming from, he deserves your attention. Call him a personality, an influencer, a self-proclaimed j3j3 gHuÖrl, but for this month that we say Let Your Freak Flag Fly, he’s simply our muse.
“If you use your flaws as your strengths, no one can use [them] against you.”
Ruffled crop top, CANDICE ARBOLEDA, white knit pullover, FOREVER 21, jumpsuit and corset, CARMINA ISABEL, earrings, AC+632, logo print sneakers, CHRISTIAN DIOR
It’s hard to imagine now, but once upon a time, Mimiyuuuh was a child trying to hide his sexuality. Masking what might have been seen as a flaw, he put everything into his education and says he was an achiever in school. “Since beks ka (you’re gay), you have to prove yourself to be accepted,” he explains, and it’s a personality trait that he hasn’t since quite shaken. When we asked him to describe himself in his current state, she simply says he’s responsible. “I always put my family first,” he 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 person we had on set one afternoon: friendly, all over the place (in the best way) and unapologetically himself. He didn’t shy away from being loud, singing his heart out and inviting us to join in his fun.
But it had to start somewhere, right?
Sheer polka dot top, ZARA, neckpiece, top and skirt, JOREM, broken heart vest, ENA CUI, patent leather boots, FOREVER 21
Up until his second year of college, Mimi sported a typical boy cut. Then somewhere along the way to his junior year, the scissors were kept away and he 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 he goes on, with the tone of her voice reaching a proud pitch, he claims that moment as when he first started to become adventurous. As for us, we like to think of it as the instance when he 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.
It took years for that rebirth to come through, and you’d think that the journey that led to coming to terms with himself might have been a difficult one, but as our conversation with Mimi goes on, he describes it as anything but. “Acceptance is a learning process,” Mimi tells us. “You just have to be you and do you.”
He illustrates his point by going back to a time when he had issues with his looks. HIs teeth, he admits, were always a point of insecurity. But the moment he 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 he releases his signature laugh, he adds: “You just have to embrace your imperfections.”
“Freedom is being free from something that’s holding you back.”
That said, even Mimi has his limitations and moments of privacy. This face of freedom that we’re talking about doesn’t mean a free-for-all. As he 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.
Hawaiian silk shirt, MARTINE ROSE, ruched cropped top, ZARA, checkered skirt, CLARISSE GOTICO, necklaces, AC+632, color-blocked ankle boots, CHARLES & KEITH, striped scarf necklace (as an embellishment on hat), FOREVER 21, headband and brooch (as an embellishment on hat), AC+632
“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, he’s a person that grew into himself 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.
Wonder exists to spark conversations about anything and everything men, women and everyone in between care about, from fashion to grooming, career to sex and relationships, pop culture to self-love—including things we’re sometimes too shy or find hard to talk about.
As a brand, we value authenticity, human experience and truth-telling as we document stories of people, cultures, places and things that inspire. All that is developed into a platform that encourages openness and a little bit of humor, change and creativity, one that incites Wonder.
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Photography Wilmark Jolindon
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Interview and Cover Story Adie Pieraz
Fashion Direction and Styling Nicole Blanco Ramos
Beauty Direction Cessi Treñas
Makeup Janell Capuchino
Hair Mycke Arcano
BTS Photography Elisa Aquino
Location Chroma Studio