My name is Mimi, and I’m a 21-year-old engineer, model, and dress-loving kid on the Internet who finds immense joy in the ironic and the unexpected.

“Fake & Basic” is a paradoxical moniker, because my style is super preppy-white-girl, and this is a place where I denounce all forms of superficiality and surface-level assumptions. I started this site because I could find no place that catered to all of my interests. I loved style and clothing, but the fashion blogs I read were filled with vapid content that made me feel like I was wasting my time. I loved programming and digging deep into what made our everyday devices function, but the computer science blogs I read were inaccessible to everyday audiences and were a drag to read through. I loved productivity and efficiency, but the productivity blogs I read were aesthetically unappealing and almost always geared towards an audience of white guys.

Since I was a little kid, I’ve struggled to come to terms with every aspect of my personal identity. I’m masculine-of-center, but I like pink and dresses and high heels more than any girl I know. I’m an extrovert, but I prefer to spend most of my time alone because that’s how I get the majority my work done. I’m a STEM major, but I increasingly find myself writing more and more as I progress through my college career.

I used to find ways to “explain” myself and make my “differences” more “understandable”, whether that meant smiling uncomfortably and not saying anything when people casually made fun of my obsession with career, productivity, and self-improvement (ugh), or cutting off all of my hair to “prove” that I felt like a guy on the inside (double ugh), or allowing myself to be stereotyped as a “girly programmer” at hackathons and other tech events (triple ugh). It wasn’t until very recently that I realized there was nothing to be ashamed or insecure about — if others were unimpressed, bothered, or threatened by me, then they could leave and try not to let the door hit their ass on the way out. On the flip side, if I was open about who I was and what I believed in, the people who did like me and the same things that I did would be able to find me right away, and we’d be able to foster deeper relationships that were based off of honesty and authenticity.

I’m sick of being fake, and I’m extra-sick of trying to squeeze myself perfectly into a million little different boxes. I’ve been a walking oxymoron all of my life; thus, Fake & Basic is a celebration of everything I am and everything I love.

Pink Lush Party Dress

Gracious Gardens Dress Mint Julep Boutique

Welcome to my personal Internet soapbox! Thanks for stopping by — I hope you enjoy your visit.

Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

URBN - Mimi Chenyao

Black Dress Fishtown Philadelphia

Cool Things I’ve Done

Was Urban Outfitters, Inc.’s first iOS software engineer intern

Led a team of interns at UO to develop a fully-functional app

Attended the Big Nerd Ranch iOS Essentials with Swift coding bootcamp

Won the 2017 NASA Space Apps Challenge hackathon with my team

Cool Things I’m Doing

Working at Motiv, Inc. in San Francisco as an iOS software engineer intern

Modeling for Molly and Zoey Sarasota

Getting my degree in Computer Science and Economics at New College of Florida (graduating in May 2018)

Developing Catch, an iOS marketplace app for secondhand clothing (aka a Tinder for clothes) while playing startup founder/CEO as part of my senior thesis

Pink Lush Party Dress

Papaya Tropical White Eyelet Dress