Ever since StarCentral Magazine’s Fashionista of the Month for September 2014, Kerina, can remember, she’s loved to dress-up and play with her mom’s makeup. She even remembers wishing she could grow up faster so she can fit into her mother’s high heels! From that time onwards, her inner fashionista calling has never stopped. She finds it all fun and interesting to be able to pull off different looks – which is perfect for her spontaneous personality.
Being a full-time cancer researcher, fashion is something Kerina is doing on the side during her free time. She thinks so many young girls nowadays can be misled by the media’s portrayal of “beautiful” and “perfection,” leading to tragically harmful behavior as an effort to match up to society’s standards. She wants to be a role model for young girls and teenagers, to convey the message that to be truly beautiful, one has to start from the inside – by loving themselves – to let their inner beauty shine through.
Her moonlighting as a fashionista (she also has a Masters in Public Health) started when she was a pageant finalist during her university years. After seeing how younger girls admired and looked up to her, she realized that it was an opportunity to reach out to them and let them know that society’s standards are molded from cookie cutters and are truly overrated – being yourself is way more liberating and fun.
To the 25-year old, fashion is about re-discovering and re-creating yourself. She advises her audience to not let one style define them. The fashionable life is one with a definition of endless styles and possibilities. And in achieving that sense of style, one can rock a $5 dress and make it look like it’s worth $500!
Kerina’s husband is definitely her inspiration and pillar of strength throughout her journey as a fashion blogger and YouTuber (online she is known as ‘MangoRabbitRabbit’). He is also her creative director, executive manager, agent, photographer, videographer, producer, website creator, programmer, film editor, marketing expert, and online media director. She laughingly admits that there is so much more to what we see on the frontline – 80% of the work is in the backend and it’s all been done by her husband!
One of the most rewarding things about Kerina’s life in the fashion industry is reading comments from girls telling her she’s inspired them, and that through her, they changed the way they view themselves. Knowing that she’s made a difference, even if it’s just to one person definitely validates her passion for the craft. Having the opportunity to work with a wide variety of industry brands and creating a positive relationship with them has also been some of her favourite moments!
The Singapore-born, multi-talented fashionista (she also sings and gives piano and flute lessons) credits her success to every one of her subscribers, followers, and social media family. She believes that each one of them is truly unique and special. She feels blessed to have met them all because every one of them brings something positive to her life and motivates her to continue down this path.
Some enter the YouTube world with the expectation of striking it rich only to end up bitterly disappointed when in doesn’t eventuate. While Toronto-based Kerina recognized the danger of this happening to her, she entered the online world with the mindset of starting a fashion blog stemming from an inner desire and passion for doing something she loves – if she happened to make it big, that would be icing on the cake. If not, at least she knows she’s spending every moment happy and content in being able to make her dreams about fashion come true. She advises everyone to keep a positive mindset and take things one step at a time. It will definitely help.
Her family always has and always will be supportive of her career. Within fashion, she fervently wants to convey this to girls: that being healthy, classy, and positive are the most important elements to loving themselves and feeling beautiful. She aims to make a difference, however small. Within the cancer research arena, she plans on obtaining either a PhD in Public Health or a Project Management License to help shape the cancer system and reduce cancer burdens across the world.
‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
Eyebrow pencils! Your eyebrows can make or break your face!
2. What is the most dramatic thing you’ve ever done to change your looks?
Chopping my hair off! My hairdresser was terrified to actually chop off my locks when I told her I wanted 6 inches off. I just laughed and said hair will always grow back! It turned out amazing!
3. What is in your makeup bag when you travel?
I try to keep it light when travelling so I just bring the basics, nothing fancy. The things I do pack mountains of are skincare products! Ladies, remember skincare is more important than makeup!
4. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?
Letting my inner little girl personality shine through from time to time! It keeps me worry-free, content, and forgiving.
5. Your best guilty pleasure…
Sleeping in the entire day…. or balloons! I freaking love helium balloons!!
Official blog: http://mangorabbitrabbit.blogspot.com/
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MangoRabbitRabbit2/feed