Here Are The Answers To Your Insta Questions

Here Are The Answers To Your Insta Questions

Thank you to everyone who asked me questions on Instagram and through the site! I really appreciate your interest and engagement, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to address them. Some of these were crazy thought-provoking and sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole, so hopefully my answers are somewhat intelligible…anyway, without further adieu, here they are:

My question is how are you always so cool? 💖

I know this wasn’t meant to be a serious question, but it actually made me think about how un-cool I’ve been my whole life, and how I’ve only recently grown into and embraced my un-coolness. Growing up, I always felt like an outsider. I was teased for being different on the outside (Asian) and on the inside (geek). I never said or did or liked the “right” things. I also endured a lot of emotional abuse from an important person in my life, and that had a profound impact on my personality and overall sociability (or rather, anti-sociability) for many years.

I’m certainly not any cooler now, but I’m much happier with myself and how I fit into the world…and for that, I consider myself very lucky.

How do you edit ur pics? How much time does it take? How do you decide what to wear each day? How long have you been doing yoga for? What’s your favorite pose? Is that too many questions? 🙊🙃 -@yishui

  1. Unless there are special effects involved (like so), I edit the majority of my pics using mobile apps. My favorites are VSCO, Snapseed, and Facetune 2. A lot of people think Facetune is only for selfie editing, but I use it for bringing out outfit details, fixing shadows and lighting, or making my dogs’ eyes pop. While I’ve edited out my sun freckles in selfies, I never edit the shape or size of my body or facial features. I don’t judge other people for doing this — except, of course, if their execution is rim or they’re being body-loving hypocrites. Then I will throw ALL the shade. 😁
  2. It doesn’t take long to edit my photos because my usual process is pretty predictable: filter (never on full power), color/light correction, sharpen, crop.
  3. I actually spend most of my time in sweats, men’s boxer briefs, and raggedy, shlubby clothes! I love getting dressed and made up, but the reality is I’m too lazy/busy to do so every day. When deciding what to wear, I mainly consider the weather (because I get cold/hot easily) and my mood. Some days I want tight and bright, and others I feel like all-black and baggy.
  4. I first tried yoga over 10 years ago when I was a competitive figure skater, but I didn’t get into it until March of last year.
  5. I love so many poses, it’s hard to pick just one! It might be a three-way tie between ananda balasana (so juicy), natarajasana, and trikonasana (that pose is deceptively CRAZY!).
  6. No, it’s not too many questions! 🙂

So I would LOVE to get into yoga but I think I would rather start at home rather than investing in a class to make sure it’s for me. Can you recommend any programmes or YouTube bloggers worth following for at home tutorials?

I totally feel you on this! The first thing I’ll say is that many places that offer yoga let you try your first class (or even first week) for free, so you can try it out before committing. Do a local search for places near you and check websites/call and ask if they have such policies.

That being said, I also love the idea of trying things in the comfort and privacy of your own home first, because new things can be really intimidating. To be honest, I don’t have much experience with yoga YouTubers, but I’ve heard good things about Yoga with Adriene and Sadie Nardini. You can also try a 30-day free trial of Daily Burn (I’ve tried this, it’s fun!), as they have a number of yoga workouts available to stream.

The important thing to know if you’re just starting out is that there are many different types of yoga out there that can serve different needs and purposes, so keep this in mind whether you’re looking online or IRL. For example, there are gentler, restorative forms of practice as well as more rigorous, athletic styles, and everything in between. If you’re able to, I would try a few different kinds to get a sense of how they differ and what suits you best. I’ve personally found that athletic-type practices work best for me, because activating my body helps calm my over-active mind.

Who takes all your pics?? 🙃🙃🙃 -@chokolatestars

My boyfriend, Michael! He’s a fucking superstar because I’m sure he hates being an IG hubby, but takes the role on anyway. He was the one who first motivated me to start my account, and as you’ll read below, was the brains behind my Insta handle. My photos — and my entire life, actually — are very much a collaboration with him.

I was wondering whether your hair is real? If so what products do you use to look after it? 😊 -@lise_xoxo

Extensions or wig and what colour do you use for the mint 💚 -@sheisamyyy

No, my hair isn’t real! I think it would be much more apparent if I took pics with the other colors and styles I have (pink, gray, etc.), but I’m so taken with the mint I haven’t photographed the others yet.

If you’re wondering about maintaining synthetic hair, be sure to use products specifically formulated for synthetic wigs and NOT regular shampoo/conditioner/leave-in conditioner. Also use an actual wig brush or wide tooth comb to prevent the fibers from splitting and adding too much friction, which is absolutely killer for synthetic hair. Another neat trick I learned to combat friction is to mix equal parts liquid fabric softener and water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your wig when it’s damp.

One of my fave things about you is your involvement in social justice – have you always been an advocate/what inspires you to make a difference & would you say you identify as a (intersectional) feminist? 💖 -@pudgypinkprincess

While I’ve always been an ardent believer in equality and equal rights, I haven’t always called myself a feminist. When I was younger, I was arrogant enough to believe (and had the luxury of believing) that equality should “go without saying.” It’s a principle that any decent human being should espouse, right? I didn’t need to label myself a feminist, I just had to be one, and let my conduct speak for itself in helping to cultivate a community of love and respect. Obviously, this kind of mindset doesn’t work in today’s world, and I feel I have since evolved my identity.

There’s a buttload of terminology we use now to label, identify, and self-identify, and I honestly try not to get too distracted by what’s most precise or PC but…the answer to your question is yes, I would say I identify as an (intersectional) feminist. I do believe that the different dimensions that make up a woman’s identity influence how she experiences discrimination. This is not to say we should get caught up comparing levels of oppression between us, but that we should strive to be aware of these contextual differences.

I know you have a STEM career but what exactly do you do?

I was also wondering about your career and also if you could live in any fictional universe which one and why? Ooh and if you could time travel when and why haha? -@e.squidy

  1. I’m a digital consultant for emerging tech companies and growing brands, primarily focused on marketing, PR, and front-end web development. If it’s AI, robotics, space, 3D printing, biotech, IoT, VR / AR / MR, etc.— whether on the consumer side or for the enterprise sector — I want in! Nobody’s going to give a fig about your cutting-edge innovation if you can’t communicate why it’s a game-changer…and I love making that my personal challenge. I believe that helping people understand why and how science and technology can positively impact them/the world is an essential part of enriching their lives and actively including them in the experience.
  2. If I could live in any fictional universe it would absolutely be the world of Harry Potter, because magic would layer on an entire extra world of creativity, fun, and adventure.
  3. With regards to time travel: since traveling to the future is far more viable, I’d love to see the age of interplanetary humanity — preferably when we’re living and thriving in worlds outside our current solar system. I’m an adventurer and explorer at heart, and I’m dying to see what life would look like on other planets!

I was wondering how you get to spend so much time at the theme parks?? Or are the pictures mostly collected from just a few trips? I love your pictures!

Having lived in Los Angeles for almost 5 years now, I finally understand the Disneyland and Universal Studios culture and am a proud passholder for each. I once assumed that theme parks were crowded, germy, exhausting tourist traps with long lines and overpriced cotton candy…and well, they aren’t not those things, but they ARE infinitely better to visit as a local. Since you’ve already done and tried everything, there’s no pressure to squeeze a million different activities into one day or feel obligated to wait in soul-crushing lines. Plus, there are all kinds of local tricks you learn to maximize the experience and make the most of your time.

So — to answer your question — I get to spend so much time at Disneyland and HP World because a) they’re a reasonable car ride away (45 min & 25 min respectively with no traffic); and b) I have passes for both that allow me entry virtually any time (apart from select blackout/blockout dates).

How many pieces of BMC do you own? And how do you put your outfits together? I’m specifically thinking back to your Slytherin house skater dress and the white sheet shirt your layered with it. The way you combine and layer clothes is magic. 🔮 -@meowbrina

I gave up counting my BMC pieces ages ago, but if I had to guess, it must be nearly 200 by now! It’s the only thing I’ve ever seriously collected. I once had this crazy idea to try and acquire every. single. piece. they’ve ever made over my lifetime. But…that’s next-level insane, right?

I wish I could tell you exactly how I put my outfits together, but it’s more of an instinctive process than anything. A practical tip I can offer is to strive for balance: if one piece is formfitting, maybe pair it with something more flowing; if the top is super edgy, maybe the bottom is more demure. Note that I definitely DON’T always follow my own advice, but sometimes I can’t help myself — I like to have fun! I think if you focus on having fun and experimenting with new and different combinations you’ll find what works for you, and suits both your body and your personality.

How did you get so many dad gum followahs girl? 😱💀 Killin it! Teach me the social media wayssss 🙌 -@theladyego

The fact that I have more than a handful of followers on Instagram still baffles me because it was entirely unintended. The practical answer is to say that I started posting photos of my outfits, a couple of brands reposted those photos, and it slowly grew from there. But as I reflect on what and why I post, I think there’s something to be said for creative expression and sharing a part of yourself with the world, and perhaps what I’m doing is trying to connect with other people like me.

I went into this last year in a post about selfies, but the gist is that, like many people, I have struggled with self-acceptance. Posting pictures on Instagram is my way of trying to take negative feelings about myself and put a positive “spin” on them through my love of fashion and digital community. I also hope to encourage others who might be in the same boat to do the same, and to know they aren’t alone in the world, and to let their freak flags fly proudly. These are the reasons why I post.

So as far as getting followers, I’m afraid I don’t have any special tricks to share. I think the most important thing is make content that’s authentic to you, and remember that social media is just that — social! It’s not just about broadcasting and self-promoting; it’s also about listening and engaging. Engage with other people whose accounts you love, make meaningful connections with them, and show them that you appreciate and care about what they’re doing, too.

Do you consider yourself a confident person? If so where do you think that confidence comes from? -@ohmostdefiantly

What is your inspiration and where does it stem from? I understand that you are quite an outgoing girl, and being such an artistic and out there girl myself, I find it hard to accept who I am in society with the fear of judgement. How do you find the confidence to let that inspiration shine through from your personality and into your appearance and fashion? (: -@sincerelybelle_

I think I’ve always been good at conveying confidence to the world around me. I’m a big “fake it ’til you make it” proponent, as it’s been a very useful survival tool. There are certainly moments in which I genuinely feel confident. But like a lot of people, I struggle with a full array of insecurities, ranging from the sound of my voice to my control-freak tendencies to my weird, gross, cracked skaters feet. And like a lot of people, I feel many of my insecurities arose from a fundamentally unsafe home environment. For a long time, I lacked courage in my convictions, would chronically question myself, and felt so susceptible to judgment and criticism. These insecurities used to cripple me, but now they don’t as much.

How did this happen? Where did it come from? It hasn’t been an easy process, but it started with cultivating awareness. Becoming more aware of myself and why I am the way I am has helped me tremendously, because I’ve been able to use this information to make important and necessary changes in my life. I took a hard look and identified what was making me feel unhappy, and sought to change those things as best as I could. For me, change was absolutely necessary, because I wasn’t finding happiness by relying on my usual habits and patterns.

The biggest change I made was to actively surround myself with people who love and accept me for who I am, and to let go of those who want me to be someone else. This isn’t an easy thing to do, because oftentimes it means you have to let go of people who feel inextricably tied to you, by blood or otherwise. I’m not necessarily saying you should cut people out of your life completely, but sometimes physical distance helps you strengthen your letting-go muscle, until hopefully one day you can safely be around judgmental or critical people and not allow them to tear you down.

By not accepting the terms of relationships that were harmful to me, I was able to focus more on exploring new, different, and positive relationships — including with myself — that gave me room to be myself. I think the more opportunities you have to be yourself, the more you can get to know yourself, and grow comfortable with being yourself, and slowly but surely pave the way towards self-acceptance. As I’ve gained better self-awareness, I find I’m able to express myself more honestly, and this has ultimately translated into greater freedom of expression in my appearance and personal style. I also try to focus my energy on my passions and interests, because doing things that bring you joy and creative fulfillment has a way of engendering confidence, too.  ❤️

How did you come up with your alias? What does it mean? It caught my eye because I saw part “Nova” in it which was my clan in video game. Love the style of your photos and all the other posts you made about apps and tools you like to use! ✌️ -@reniesta

If you’ve ever watched the Disney Channel Original Movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, there is a most excellent song featured in it called “Supernova Girl” by Proto Zoa. I was obsessed with Zenon as a kid, especially because it represented the intersection of space, music, and style (and also, Gregory Smith LOL). I particularly adored the depictions of “futuristic” fashion which included a lot of bright, shiny spandex, holographics, and iconic hairstyles. I wore half-up pigtails and buns for an entire summer at sleepaway camp.

Years later, I was having some serious retrofuturistic nostalgia and remembering fondly how much I wanted to BE Zenon. My boyfriend pointed out that by adding an ‘n’ to “Supernova Girl” it would effectively become supernoVANgirl, and that’s how my handle was born. Sometimes people miss the ‘n’ and just call me “Supernova Girl,” but I don’t mind.


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  1. yishui

    eeeee thank you for answering my (and everyone else’s) questions! such good Qs & As <3
    (PS i always suspected that's where your username came from!! zenon was goals, which you've reached)

    • van

      Thank YOU for asking! My photo editing post is also in the works so stay tuned for more on that and yaaaas, Zenon is a personal hero of mine. I just loved the space, the tech, the FASHION…

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