Renouveau Media got the wonderful chance to catch up with Milan Mathew, a genuine role model for younger women as she highlights the importance of learning how to accept and appreciate yourself. Making a point of including her Indian heritage across social media, Milan has inspired others to create videos about their culture’s traditional wardrobes .

Iuliana: Hey Milan! How are you? Thank you for your time today. Let’s start off by telling our fellow readers about yourself. How would you describe your personality in three words?
Hi! I’m doing as great as one can be during a pandemic! Hmmm. Three words I say that describe my personality are joyful, weirdo and determined.

Iuliana: I’ve noticed you’ve made a point of including your Indian heritage across social media. How did you come across that notion?
I’ve been incorporating my Indian heritage into my social media for some time now and I’d say it started with me modeling. I thought including a little bit of my culture, whether it be with a bindi or some jimiki earrings, would add a little bit more depth into the outfits of the shoots. I’ve also been following some Indian creators at the time but I rarely saw South Indian representation and me, being Malayali, I wanted to show more of my culture and show how proud I was to be it too!

Iuliana: You are active in connecting with your community. Can you elaborate on your strategy there?
For me, the most important part of connecting with my audience and community is authenticity. My page is unique because it’s about me, my life, my culture, my struggles and no one else can replicate that. I’m not trying to put on a show and what you see in what you get. A lot of people like to deceive online and portray something they are not, and for me I just want to be myself and share my life and people respond well to that! I try to always contribute any milestone I have to everyone who supports me because I honestly couldn’t have done it without the support of my real life and internet homies!

Iuliana: Shifting gears, how has TikTok helped you during this time of social distancing?
I love being alone and I keep to myself a lot so social distancing has not been a problem for me at all! TikTok has definitely taken up a lot of my time but in a good way! It has kept me entertained and for sure has sparked so much creativity and I’m thankful for that.

Iuliana: I imagine you were surprised after seeing your popular TikTok video amass more than nine million views and two million likes. How did that feel?
Definitely felt unreal. I had NO IDEA it was going to go viral in any sense! I didn’t even open my app till 24-hours later because I thought I’d ruin the mojo. It’s still so crazy to me how much impact one video has made to my life but I’m really thankful for that and everyone’s who’s stuck through so far.

Iuliana: Your idea has inspired other TikTok users to create videos about their heritage’s traditional wardrobes, including the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Mexico, and the list goes on. Why do you think your video appealed to so many people?
I always wonder the exact reason too but I think it was a combination of what I was wearing and how proud I was wearing my outfit too. People were used to seeing the transition be in streetwear clothes and I don’t think anyone expected me to be wearing a whole lehenga with the headpiece, earrings, necklace and a big nose ring too! It’s also a great way to show your culture in a matter of seconds and I think people wanted to share theirs too!

Iuliana: The production value of your videos is unmatched. Which one has been your favorite to create?
Aww wow thank you so much! That really means a lot! It’s hard to choose one favorite video because they’re all my babies but this one is definitely up there for me. It’s a montage style video and I just loved my makeup and hair in combination with the song and the whole vibe of it!

Iuliana: What would you like to achieve for yourself with TikTok?
I’ve already surpassed way more than what I thought I’d reach on there so now I just want to continue to create dope fashion videos, both western and desi styles, and just hope people enjoy it as much as I enjoy creating them!

Follow Milan on Instagram here & on TikTok here.

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