Mei Pang didn’t got down to make a daring assertion when she began getting tattooed, she simply needed to get a cool tattoo. Nonetheless, the celebrated magnificence influencer with greater than 1.7 million TikTok followers ended up making an infinite impression along with her unconventional inventive selections. “Once I acquired my thigh tattoo, I simply acquired the one and I walked out of the store tremendous psyched about it,” Pang says. “Then I acquired dwelling and I felt just a little bit lopsided. So the following day I truly booked the very same tattoo mirrored on the opposite aspect. And my tattoos have been symmetrical ever since.”
From that time on, Pang started getting tattoos two by two—pairs of butterflies, panthers, centipedes, foo canines and Dobermanns like a tattoo Noah’s Ark. As her tattoo assortment grew, so did her following, and her feedback had been quickly flooded with polarized opinions. “It’s normally an ideal 50/50 break up down the center,” Pang says. “There are people who find themselves completely on board with it and a few individuals who aren’t shading it, however they don’t see what the purpose is. I take into account my tattoo artists to be my private buddies, and once I talked to different artists about doing my symmetrical factor they thought I used to be a bit loopy. They’d be like, ‘Oh, it’s a waste of actual property,’ or, ‘Why trouble getting two issues?’ So I’m glad I caught with artists who belief the method together with me.”
As a self-described web individual, Pang’s fascination with tattoos started whereas she was an adolescent utilizing Myspace and Tumblr. Immersing herself in social media was an escape from the conformity of her small city and tattoos quickly turned a supply of self-expression. “I come from the land of leggings and Roots socks, if that makes any sense,” Pang says. “Seeing how folks expressed themselves by way of tattoos and make-up in the course of the scene period of the early 2000s, I used to be like, ‘That’s for me.’ So on my 18th birthday I ran out and acquired my first tattoo on my sternum due to Rihanna. Now, over 80 tattoos later, right here I’m.”
Strolling to the beat of her personal drum has been advantageous for Pang. Her journey on social media started like everybody else’s—it was a method of sharing images amongst household and buddies. It wasn’t till after shaving her head and showcasing her avant-garde make-up seems to the lots that Pang began to obtain acclaim. Then, when the pandemic hit, her profession as a magnificence influencer went into hyperdrive.
“The core of who I’m as an individual could be very go go go,” Pang says. “When the pandemic hit, I believed to myself, ‘I’ve all this time now and it’s simply me, my make-up and my mirrors.’ So I actually experimented with make-up as a result of I had the time to.”
The time allotted to experimenting with make-up and sharing her creations every day labored out in Pang’s favor. Not solely did it earn her a powerful social media following and quite a few model offers, it led her straight to Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty runway present. Pang was hand-selected by Rihanna to put on her lingerie alongside runway legends Cindy Crawford, Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid. This didn’t occur as a result of Pang match the archetype of a runway mannequin, however as a result of she’d made the selection to defy magnificence expectations in virtually each possible means. “It doesn’t really feel actual, it nonetheless looks like a fever dream,” Pang says. “It was a rollercoaster of feelings. The present filmed in early September and I didn’t get the decision till a pair days earlier than. My supervisor known as me screaming on the telephone and I used to be like, ‘What’s taking place? Is everybody OK?’ She was like, ‘Woman, you’re strolling Savage X Fenty!’
“One of many first issues I mentioned was, ‘They know that I’m five-foot-four and I can’t stroll in heels, proper?’” she continues. “Apparently Rihanna herself—the legend, the icon, the second—discovered me on social media and requested me to be a part of the present. I went to LA on my birthday and that was the very best twenty fifth birthday present a lady may ever ask for. I needed to get runway courses and I didn’t wish to disappoint Rihanna, so hopefully she was pleased with me.”
Being in Rihanna’s runway present, which aired for thousands and thousands on Amazon Prime, took Pang to a different stage. It was not solely a private accomplishment which Pang may by no means have imagined in her wildest desires, however a chance to encourage the following era of tattoo collectors to go towards the grain. “It’s wild. Individuals are messaging me like, ‘I’m going to get symmetrical tattoos, I believe they’re actually fairly,’” Pang says. “It’s so cool seeing the following era’s concepts of tattoos. Now folks on social media are popping out with loopy concepts and seeing folks turning into impressed to get head tattoos or symmetrical tattoos—it’s a validating feeling.”
Whereas we see lovely tattoos all day lengthy, we seldom ponder the impression they’ll have on a person’s life. Mei Pang resides proof of how far a singular tattoo idea can take you—from small city woman to social media stardom. And she or he’s solely getting began.