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The Fake & Basic Manifesto

I’m Rebranding My Blog. Here’s Why.

Why I'm Rebranding My Blog

Everly dress

When you have a really girly style but enjoy primarily “male” activities, you get used to being looked at like you have two heads.

You get accustomed to having to break an invisible barrier every single time you meet someone new. You’ll have to shatter their preconceived notion that you’re fake, basic, superficial, or incompetent, and that yes, you do enjoy coding, lifting, business strategy and <insert other male dominated thing here>, despite that bright pink dress you’ve got on.


5 Bad Habits I’m Waving Goodbye To Forever

Lilly Pulitzer Antonia Dress in Fiesta Pink // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Dress from Lilly Pulitzer

You know those things you do that have always bothered you in the back of your mind, that you don’t really do anything about?

Things like having a messy room, and continuing to squander around in the filth rather than taking a proper hour to clean everything up. It’s almost as if there’s a little voice in the corner of your mind that’s constantly pestering you — clean up your room! Clean up your room! Clean up your room!

Every single time I ignored that little voice, I felt a tiny bit bad about myself. Sometimes, that feeling would turn into an irritated mood that lasted all day. If I continued to do nothing, the stress would build up, and eventually I’d be extremely aggravated … for seemingly no reason at all.


The 90-Day Passion Project

Black Bralette and Flowered Shorts // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

The first big challenge in my 52 Weeks of Momentum course has arrived! I have 90 days to complete a “passion project” of my choice.

One could argue that Asian Barbie is my passion project, and they would be completely right. I love this site like an entrepreneur loves her startup, and treat it as such. Thus, my 90-day passion project for the course has to do with growing an aspect of this site.

The goal of the project will be to get 2,502 daily blog readers by March 31, 2018, the official deadline for the challenge. One of my larger goals for 52 Weeks of Momentum was to gain 10k engaged readers by December 2018, and this is basically the three-month version of that goal:

10,000 readers in 1 year / 12 months per year = 834 (rounded up) readers in a month

834 readers per month * 3 (3 months for 90 day passion project) = 2,502 readers in 3 months

This means that I should be aiming to attract and retain 27.8 new readers per day. Since 0.7 of a person is … concerning, we’ll round that up to an even 28 new blog readers per day. Twenty-eight people is around the size of a large elementary-school class, or the total amount of employees at a small company. It’s a manageable number that I am confident I can achieve.


How to Schedule Your Time Effectively

H&M Striped Dress with Green Hem

Dress from H&M

If our time is our true currency, what would our expense statements look like?

The sad thing about time and energy is that, even when we recognize it as invaluable, we’re unable to save it for a better situation or pile it up for when we need more. Spend a morning checking social media and suddenly you’re at lunch, wondering how the hell it got to be noon already. Spend a day putting out small fires and suddenly you’re in bed, wondering why you didn’t do a single productive thing in the last twenty-four hours. Spend a life not paying attention to what you’re doing, and suddenly you’re past your prime and having a midlife crisis because you were too busy checking social media and putting out small fires to do what you really wanted.


Every Time You Look at A Meme, You Lose 30 Seconds of Your Life

Blue and White China Pattern Swing Dress // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

One of the scarier things I’ve realized lately is how little time each individual has to make an impact on society.

It’s so easy to think that we’ll be our current young and vibrant selves forever, so we don’t treat our time with respect — we go shopping or play video games just to pass the time. We hang out with people we don’t really care about. We take substances because we’re bored. We spend hours on the Internet tagging our friends in memes and watching those pointless videos that pop up on our Facebook feed.

We do this stuff because it’s easier to be in a state of slight apathy than to make the leap to living fulfilling lives. Figuring out what you want in life, and then having to jump through every hoop to get there, can be both terrifying and exhausting. This is especially true if you have existing obligations — for example, if you work a demanding job for eight hours a day, you may be so tired when you get home that all you’ll want to do is chill out.


52 Weeks of Momentum + My Top 5 (Concrete) Goals for 2018

Molly and Zoey Blue Swing Dress

Dress from Molly and Zoey

My five New Year’s resolutions are to try new shit, to document everything (publicly if possible), to stop settling for less, and to actively practice Stoicism.

If you look carefully, you’ll notice that these are more like general guidelines on how I’m going to live in 2018. This is on purpose — I often begin new projects with vaguely defined standards because I have no idea what I’ll run into or who I’ll become as I start working.

A few months ago, one of my favorite motivational writers announced that he would be creating a year-long program called 52 Weeks of Momentum, which would basically force participants to take daily action using the methods that he outlines in his articles.

I went back and forth on whether I should participate. The program cost a lot of money ($997) and would be a daily commitment. There was a Facebook group where goals would be tracked and new challenges would be introduced often. If you consistently put in effort and focused on helping others, you’d get extra content. If your participation dropped, you would stop getting new content altogether.

I finally made the jump, on the literal last day that people could sign up (yay me!). 52 Weeks of Momentum fits my first four resolutions nicely: I’ve never done a program like this before, it encourages participants to blog about their goals publicly, and I forking over ~$1k of my own money was the opposite of settling. Some may even call it a borderline irresponsible thing to do. But everyone has their investments — some invest in nice cars, others invest in Bitcoin, I invest in my mindset. I only have a limited amount of time to be young and alive, and I want to make sure I do everything in my power to become the best version of myself.


Half-Birthday Reflections: Five Ways I’ve Changed Since Turning 21

Miami Wynwood Walls // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

(and I don’t mean that I go out every weekend!)

Today is my half birthday! I’ve now been twenty-one years old for six months.

I’m totally going to go around correcting people when they say I’m twenty-one and be like, “um, I’m actually twenty-one and a half, thank you very much.” (Just kidding, I’m not an asshole.)

On my twenty-first birthday, I vowed that this age would “be the start of how I learn to live, not the end. I’ll make smart choices and bad decisions, be honest with both myself and others, stop being reserved about what I think, and ask enough “why” questions to make my [late] grandfather proud.”

I’d like to think that the past six months consisted of constantly keeping these promises. Here are some concrete ways that I changed since I turned twenty-one.


All the Little Choices We Make: On Stoicism & the New Year

White lace high neck summer dress // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

One of my New Year’s resolutions was “actively practice Stoicism” — but what does that even mean?

Stoicism is the practice of overcoming adversity and negative emotions by controlling what you can, and coming to terms with what you can’t. It’s helped me immeasurably when it comes to reaching my goals and getting what I want out of life.

I first started practicing Stoicism after several close relationships I had abruptly ended. There was one of my best friends, who, with no explanation whatsoever, told me that they no longer wished to speak to me anymore. There was my partner of two years, who I mutually broke up with after realizing that no amount of good intentions or promises can keep two fundamentally incompatible people together. There was someone who I was more than a little infatuated with, but couldn’t pursue because they were already committed to someone else.


Social Accountability, Blog Advertising, and New Years’ Resolutions: Weekly Progress Report 12/24-12/31

Black Free People Daisy Waist Dress // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

We’ve made it to two weeks, folks! It’s a miracle!

I had high hopes for the past week, but ended up spending half of it bedridden with a surprisingly high fever. It definitely wasn’t fun and I wouldn’t elect to go through it again, but the experience taught me some interesting things about social accountability and the power of the Streak.


Black Mirror Season 4 Review: USS Callister

Black Mirror Season 4 Review: USS Callister // Mimi Chenyao // Asian Barbie

Every time I watch Black Mirror, I’m left with a feeling of extreme bleakness and slight nausea.

As any seasoned watcher will tell you, that’s the exact feeling you’re supposed to have when tuning in. The series is set in a futuristic world where various devices have the ability to record memories down to the finest detail, create lifelike approximations of deceased loved ones from their social media feeds, and store our consciousnesses in the cloud, among other things. Black Mirror doesn’t focus on the positives of such groundbreaking tech, though — it knows we get enough of that from Apple keynotes and startup advertisements. Instead, through a collection of discrete episodes about an hour long, the show explores how fucked up advanced technology can be when circumstances go very, very wrong.

Note: I will be discussing the first episode in the fourth season of Black Mirror below in detail, so this post will contain spoilers on spoilers on spoilers. It’ll basically be like a gigantic double-decker spoiler sundae, with colorful spoiler sprinkles and sweet spoiler cherries on top. You have thus been warned. Also, I am not a paid reviewer, nor am I a professional critic of any sort. I am just another opinionated kid on the Internet, and everything written below consists of my thoughts and my thoughts alone.