Annabelle Schmitt is a Taiwanese-American blogger and content creator whose main goal is to empower womxn through radical self-love and social justice. Whether it is sharing daily affirmations, relationship advice, or her experiences as a woman of color, Annabelle is an all-around inspiring badass. She is currently working on a workshop titled “Embody Your WORTHshop” which will help other micro-influencers learn how to get paid by brands. Be sure to follow Annabelle @a_nnabae on Instagram and at www.mixed-hues.com for empowerment and education on all relevant topics in today’s world.
What does feminism mean to you?
To me, being a feminist means empowering womxn of all kinds. My favorite definition is bell hooks’ definition: “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.”
Tell us a little bit about what message you aim to spread on Mixed Hues and on Instagram.
Through my blog and Instagram, I want to inspire and empower womxn to step into their own power. I want them to love themselves wholeheartedly and radically. At the same time, I want them to question their own beliefs and own up to the ways in which they are problematic. I try as much as possible to acknowledge my own privilege and admit that I am not perfect, and I hope that in doing so, others will feel empowered to step into that vulnerability and do the same. It’s about doing your best and showing up.
How does being half-Taiwanese affect your perspective on what it means to be an American?
I grew up in a predominantly white area and constantly felt “different” as a result. I stood out at my Catholic elementary school as one of 5 POC (two of which were my younger sisters) at a school of 150 students. Eventually, I came to claim my racial and cultural identity in college, but identifying as “an American” has always felt strange to me. Under the current administration, when I think of what it means to be American, I think about all of the microaggressions I’ve faced at the hands of white people. I call myself a mixed race Taiwanese American because I was born and grew up in America and not Taiwan, but if I were to simply call myself “American” I admittedly would feel uncomfortable. I’d love to say that I want to reclaim what it means to be American and make it something positive, but it’s hard to feel that I can do that when so many “proud Americans” are the same people calling people in the AAPI community chinks, wanting to build a wall, and claiming that a struggling migrant caravan is coming to attack Americans.
Who are women you look up to?
Cassey Ho is my biggest role model. If you haven’t heard of her, google Blogilates and Popflex and prepare to be blown away by this powerhouse of a woman. As someone who endeavoring to become an entrepreneur, following her journey and witnessing her growth since I was in high school has encouraged me to keep chasing my dreams. I love that she’s not afraid to be vulnerable and talk about her own issues with body image and even struggling to love her Asian features. I used to follow her videos obsessively and restrict my diet too much, but her own journey of struggling with her body image encouraged me to begin my own journey. She’s the kind of imperfect woman that every girl needs to know in her life.
What areas do you believe feminism still needs to improve in?
Intersectionality. Acknowledging privilege. Black women need to given more space to take up in these conversations, as well as Latino, Native, and AAPI women. I’m so happy to see the progress we’re making and I’m privileged to have taken a women’s studies course that introduced me to the intersectionality and privilege, but the movement I’m seeing still has room to improve. White women need to start unpacking their own privilege and using their privilege to uplift the voices of women of color. My hope as someone who is part white and privileged to come from a solid socioeconomic background is to continue unpacking my own privilege while uplifting other WOC, as well as tell my own story as a mixed race WOC.
What do you do on a daily basis to make change?
My platform is dedicated to inspiring and empowering womxn. On the daily, I work to help womxn love themselves while tackling different social justice issues. Outside of social media, though, I engage with my friends on social justice topics, taking the time to both learn from and educate others. On the smallest level, I take care of myself. Because when I take care of myself, I’m at my best and I can effect even bigger change.
Last question, If you could pick one person to become president in 2020 who would it be?
[Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], hands down. If I’m being honest, I don’t think she should run because she’s still so new to government politics and quite young and it would probably be a lot for her but if she wanted to… I’d have her back.
Follow Annabelle on Instagram (@a_nnabae)