AMERICAN HOSTESS, FASHION EXPERT & TV PERSONALITY
A successful television host, style expert and “wearapist,” Jeannie Mai continues to be a passionate and outspoken motivator. Through the power of fashion, Jeannie encourages and uplifts women to celebrate themselves from the outside, in.
I’m Jeannie Mai and I am so excited to be a part of the BCBGMAXAZRIA Contributor Program to inspire women to be awesome.
Tell us a little bit about what you do. I’m a television personality, style expert, I sometimes do makeup, and I also love motivating women.
What lead you to your career path? I remember watching Oprah. She was talking to this woman who was really down about her life. Her husband was cheating on her, she had gained weight, her children didn’t respect her, she wasn’t getting promoted at work, and she had lost all hope in life. While Oprah was giving her advice, the whole time I’m looking at this woman and I’m thinking, “Oprah, she needs a makeover.” The woman needs to look in the mirror and actually look like a person who cares about herself. I believe that to be true till this day. Every women needs to celebrate who she is on the outside. When you see people who don’t look like they’re “celebrating themselves,” it’s because they’ve lost all care for themselves. That’s where I step in. I’m the person who is always going to motivate others to show their love for themselves from the outside, in.
Tell us about “wearapy” and the story behind it. I call myself a “wearapist,” which comes from the word “wearapy.” “Wearapy” is the therapeutic power of changing the way you feel from the outside, in. If I’m feeling lazy and totally unmotivated and I wear a pair of sweat pants, guess what? I’m going to be stuck in that funk for the rest of the day. I’ll be embarrassed if someone sees me. If I run into my ex-boyfriend in those sweats, my life will be over. I won’t want to go out for drinks with my friends. I won’t be ready if a potential employer walks up to me. I’ll be in that funky mood for as long as I keep those sweats on. However, if I’m feeling unmotivated, and I throw on a simple wrap dress or a printed top and a pair of jeans, I put a little bit more effort into myself. I give myself some hope. People depend on other influences to try and make themselves feel better, but what they don’t realize is that you can do that instantly through fashion.
What words of advice do you have for young people looking to pursue their dream career? If you really want to turn your passion into a career, find what it is you do naturally well. Pursue something you would do even if nobody paid you for it. Find a way to turn that into a service for people. I happen to love celebrating people and making moments out of every situation around me. So that’s why I’m a television host. You also have to be your biggest motivator and your biggest cheerleader until you reach your goal. It doesn’t take place over night. I’ve been in this business for over 15 years. I
- "I'M THE PERSON WHO IS ALWAYS GOING TO MOTIVATE OTHERS TO SHOW THEIR LOVE FOR THEMSELVES FROM THE OUTSIDE, IN."
started as a little girl from San Jose. I didn’t know anybody famous. I only had $217 in my pocket when I drove my little Toyota to L.A. Now, I’m here, doing exactly what I dreamed about 15 years ago. It takes a lot of work and belief in yourself.
When you look back at what you’ve achieved, what stands out the most to you? I don’t really spend that much time looking back to see what I’ve achieved because once you start doing that, you’ve sipped your own Kool-Aid. You have this Kool-Aid jar, which represents all your accomplishments. You can put it on a shelf and look at it. You can unscrew the cap and smell it. You can shake it and see how good it looks. But the second you take a sip from it, you’re doomed, and it’s all downhill from there. So I leave my Kool-Aid jar up on the shelf, and I just admire it. But despite what I’ve achieved, there are so many goals that I want to make happen.
What are you most proud of? The thing I’m proudest of is the fact that I have a platform for my voice. I’m very passionate about young women. I’m very passionate about putting an end to human trafficking. I’m also passionate about education for those in impoverished situations. So I love that when I speak people can actually say, “Oh Jeannie Mai is saying something,” or, “Jeannie Mai has something important in her heart.” I have platforms like my television shows and different magazines that I’m a part of. I’m actually writing a book as well. Having a platform for your voice is everything, but you don’t have to be famous to do that. You can also do it through social media. Everybody uses social media. It just depends on how you use it. But I’m very proud that I’ve come to a place where when I speak, it doesn’t just make noise; it makes an impact.”
What is your favorite quote? I have so many. I always write down my favorite quote on my mirror. I change it every Sunday. This week, my favorite quote happens to be, “You can love to shop, but don’t buy their B.S.” In your life, you’re going to have a lot of haters. There are going to be people who just don’t
want to see you win, people who are negative. And sometimes, the dangerous part is, even your own voice can be negative. Consider all the negativity the B.S. You can shop, you can have fun, but don’t buy into the B.S.
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