Mei Yan, also known as @princessmei is a fashion and lifestyle content creator that is kind, sweet, and probably on your Pinterest board. We had the pleasure of chatting with Mei on her career in social media, hair evolution, and the one thing most people don't know about her.
How did you get your start on YouTube?
I’ve always been open about my struggle with mental health on my platform in hopes that it brings a positive conversation around this heavily stigmatized topic. I graduated high school at a young age and entered college when I was 15. During that time I was so focused on studying and attending college courses that I lost myself in high expectations and anxiety. While deep in depression I was desperate for some form of self expression, and I turned to YouTube as a way to explore myself through my creativity and passions in videography and fashion.
What inspires your content?
Anything! I have a million ideas that pop up in my head every day. Everything about life inspires me. I want to share about things that make me happy in hopes that it will make someone else happy too.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a content creator?
Not at all! It was something that kind of just happened. I was young and YouTube was something that I could pour my heart and soul into as a way of escapism from college. It was the only thing I knew I wanted to do with a passion when everything else in my life was uncertain and scary. Once I started, I couldn’t stop and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
What is something a lot of people would be surprised to know about you?
Oh this is a fun one! I have an entire secret media cabinet filled to the brim with manga. Literally stacks and stacks of it. But it’s all only BL manga, I don’t have a single book that isn’t BL. Every two months I make a giant order from Japan to buy BL artbooks, manga and Blu-Ray sets. In my most recent haul I got the Banana Fish limited edition Blu-Ray set. I still have 3 more sets to buy and it’s my goal to collect them all by the end of this year.
You've gone through a lot of hair transformations. What started your hair evolution?
Whenever I felt anxious and depressed, I would turn to fashion as an outlet; having bold hair colors has always been my biggest form of self expression. I roped my sibling into bleaching my hair for the first time when we were 14. I remember sitting in the bathroom while he haphazardly applied bleach, and waiting for 3 hours for it to finish processing. Everything about those days were chaotic but I treasure those memories so much! It was thanks to those clumsy moments of self discovery that set me on the road that I’m on today.
What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?
I took part in a short indie film in Tokyo for Elle magazine a few years ago with Lauren Tsai, directed and shot by my good friend Julien Levy. It was my first time acting with a whole crew of friends, and although it was nerve wracking I had so much fun! It was that job that led me to Tokyo for the first time, and I went back many times since then. I had so many eye opening experiences; I built my second life there, and I can’t wait to be back for more adventures soon!
What is the biggest blessing and the biggest challenge of having a career in social media?
Having your own work schedule is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great to be able to set your own hours and work days, but with the fluidity of my schedule I feel like it’s difficult to differentiate my work life from my private life. I think a lot of people might be able to understand how this feels since we’ve been in quarantine and working from home for so long. When your office is also your bedroom, sometimes it’s hard to keep the two separate. I put a lot of effort into keeping a healthy mind and balanced life, and it all comes down to discipline.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your content and style?
I grew up with my older cousins who were artists. I was raised around all different types of art in media and I take a piece of inspiration from everything I’ve ever enjoyed. I’m extremely fond of 90’s and early 2000’s media, and I draw a lot of inspiration from my favorite films, animation, and anime series!
What has been your favorite color that you’ve dyed your hair?
It’s actually my current split pink and mint hairstyle! I’ve never done a split hairstyle before and it was definitely outside my comfort zone. It’s something so new to me that I can’t get enough of it! Every time I walk by the mirror it’s like a breath of fresh air; my hair color makes me so happy!