Celebrating International Women's Day

The world has seen great strides in women’s place, appreciation, respect, understanding, and compassion, from increased research and awareness of women’s health, i.e., breast cancer and Alzheimer’s (80% of patients are women) to the protection of women from harassment and assault. The buying power in beauty is recognized and in demand. The increased number of women entrepreneurs has left some people in a culture shock. It’s about time.

The United Nations recognized International Women’s Day for the first time in 1975 after its initiation in 1909.

Thank you for joining us and sharing a few moments of your time. Would you please introduce yourselves to our RxESCUESKIN community?

Nicki: Hi RxESCUESKIN readers! I’m Nicki Sun, a full-time On-Camera Host, Creator, Spokesperson, and Educator whose life’s mission is to disrupt, empower, and amplify marginalized voices in the media industry. Besides founding and curating my Lifestyle & Tech channels, I am also the Owner of Nicki Sun Media and have worked on brand campaigns with Samsung, Disney x PIXAR, Verizon, and NAB Show, just to name a few. 

Jessie: Hi, I’m Jessie, a mixed Korean and Caucasian Military brat who landed in L.A. in 2001. I’m a creative who enjoys singing and acting, but also a producer of events and curator for social media.

Quyenzi: Hello, I’m QuyenZi. I was born in Vietnam, raised in Iowa, and am now thriving in Los Angeles. I came to America as a baby of refugee parents, the 4th in a line of 6 kids. I am the founder and Head Assassinista at QR8 Group, a boutique multicultural marketing and advertising agency. As a Southeast Asian single mother and entrepreneur, it is important for me to be the mentor I never had. I consult non-profit organizations pro bono, support business accelerators, and invest in women and minority-owned start-ups. In my free time, I travel the world in search of culture and cuisine.

How did you become friends?

Quyenzi: My agency, QR8 Group, booked Jessie as talent for an ad campaign, and she was on three billboards in KTown and MidWilshire. We became friends and created Asian Bachelor on the Clubhouse App; and I met Nicki at Jessie’s birthday and just found her to be a breath of fresh, positive air. I just knew she was girl power from day one. Then, I invited Nicki over to celebrate her belated birthday with Jessie…and that was the birth of our podcast on my rooftop.

Jessie: I met the beautiful Quyenzi as she shared in the above, and from all of these great moments, we became loyal friends & wonderful creative collaborators together. Nicki & I became friends through many mutuals. I always admired her work in the hosting & producing field, which inspired us to produce a Hate Is A Virus charity event together, fast-forwarding us to Quyenzi’s rooftop, where MSM was birthed!

Nicki: While we had several mutual friends, it wasn’t until my friend Minji Chang, former Executive Director of Kollaboration, invited me as her guest to a restaurant preview, in which Jessie had been the event curator. I was immediately drawn to Jessie’s beautiful soul, and we kept showing up for and at each other’s events. When another dear friend of mine (whom I learned later to be an ex of her now husband—it’s all good! We talk about this in Episode 6 of Season 2) referred me to be the Director of Events for Character Media’s Unforgettable Gala in 2019, I had wanted to bring Jessie on board to help produce, but she was already event producing for Kollaboration Star, with Minji (I know, so meta!). We finally were able to co-produce the Hate is a Virus virtual charity event, which raised over $15,000 to support creative community organizations affected by COVID. Then, fate had me meet the badass and beautiful QuyenZi in a sea of 300 people at Jessie’s birthday bash at Intercrew. I was thinking, “Damn, Jessie knows EVERYONE!”. But after staying connected on social media and watching QuyenZi’s “Letter to the Lotus Flower,” a beautiful tribute to her mother, I really wanted to learn more about this incredible soul. Q invited Jessie and me to her home to celebrate a belated birthday for me. After several glasses of GOOD champagne (there’s only the good stuff when QuyenZi’s around) and tangent conversations, the idea of starting a podcast was born.

Out of your friendship bloomed Messy Sexy Me. What is the core of Messy Sexy Me?

Quyenzi: A shared space for Women supporting women (and our allies) and sharing an abundance mindset over a scarcity mindset. It’s a celebration of women, whether in the boardroom, bedroom, or bathroom each morning when we’re getting ready for our day…it’s our affirmations of love for ourselves and each other.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, as a society, what recent breakthroughs for women have you seen?

Quyenzi: Women breaking glass ceilings, and on top of that, bamboo ceilings…from women like Sahra Nguyen of Nguyen Coffee Supply who are changing the International Coffee game and crediting her country of origin, my country, Vietnam, to the most recent wins by Michelle Yeoh for her extraordinary acting. 

Jessie: There are so many women creating massive impacts around the world through entrepreneurship, technology, and science, but in the arts, I would like to recognize the girl group Black Pink because, as musicians, they are able to bring massive amounts of cultures together to join in harmony through sound and dance liberating themselves as an artist while truly honoring who they are as women. I also agree with Q, MICHELLE YEOH ROCKS!!!!

Nicki: Being in the tech and film space as a one-woman band, I’ve naturally always been the only, or one of the few women on set, that’s not the talent or makeup artist. I love seeing more female filmmakers, particularly directors and cinematographers, as we currently only make up 4%. There have been exponential breakthroughs here. I want to highlight Ava DuVernay not only as a breakthrough filmmaker but also as a leader in starting ARRAY Crew, a database of women and POC filmmakers, and using her celebrity and network to close the gap on behind-the-camera representation in film. Another woman I absolutely admire and am inspired by is Amanda Nguyen, a sexual assault survivor who made HERstory by drafting and unanimously passing both the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights through the United States Congress and the Survivor’s Resolution through the United Nations General Assembly. Her story and what she’s chosen to do with her life’s mission has inspired and helped countless women regain their power, and that is incredibly empowering.

What is an issue that you’d like to see improved or eradicated?

Jessie: I would like to see more changes happen in policing the shootings and violence in schools. It’s a frightening world to think that when your child or family member goes to school, we still don’t have refined solutions for the bullying & shooting or creating protection for students and teachers who attend these supposed safe havens that now, in many cases, are considered war zones.

Nicki: There are so many issues in the world I want to see eradicated, namely Gun Violence and Homelessness. While issues like these can seem overwhelming at times to overcome, I think it’s important as a society to improve the way we see ourselves as part of the solution in working to be better Up-standers rather than bystanders. It also doesn’t cost anything to be kind. 

Quyenzi: The prevention and end to the trafficking of women and children have always been a cause that I believe in and support in any way possible. It is also important to support survivors - whether it’s donating funds, advocating for policy, or volunteering time to organizations; I believe that we all can make a change by giving what we can.

Rihanna recently rocked the Super Bowl and baby reveal. Why was that so empowering?

Jessie: Seeing a woman who’s a celebrity take control of her baby reveal reminds us that we can creatively control our narratives regardless of what the public or world expects from us, no matter how much they try to take that from us. This one life can be played out the way we choose, and it reminds us of the magic in doing so. 

Nicki: Just to add to what Jessie said, Rihanna’s confidence and self-awareness of knowing that just by “being” there is enough, sent chills down my spine. Women oftentimes feel like we have to DO THE MOST in everything to be valued and validated. Simply “being” sent a strong message, AND she’s a boss for that product placement of her own makeup brand!

Quyenzi: WELL SAID, Jessie and Nicki. I concur. And listen to Messy Sexy Me’s Season 2 Episode 13 for our take on this same topic. Team RiRi!

How important is skin care to you, and why? (Ie, knowledge from mom, through teen and youth years, etc.). How do you incorporate it into your self-care with all the busyness?

Jessie: I didn’t realize how important skin care was until I started to see the changes in my face after 35. Now finding the right products and routine is vital in making sure of my lasting beauty. As a child, I always did the basics of cleansing and moisturizing, but now as an adult making sure that I’m incorporating the right serums & essences has proven the extra steps are quite worth it in maintaining a level of youth.

Nicki: Definitely a lot more important than I used to think or was exposed to. Growing up and playing a lot of outside sports without sunscreen is definitely coming back to bite me. I’m trying to make up for all those years. But I’m very grateful that Health and Wellness are becoming a bigger focus and conversation and that beauty glows from within. Being able to also find ways to eat better, drink lots of water, and knowing that there is no real substitute for sleep is crucial!

Quyenzi: Of course, inner beauty is the most important thing to maintain, but having glowing, healthy skin makes me feel vibrant and confident when I’m in public. In my 40s, it’s in my top 3 priorities – just as important as great mental and physical health. My mother has always been beautiful and youthful, even after having raised six children. I’ve learned from her to cleanse my face daily in the a.m. and at night, hydrate my face with moisturizer, and stay out of the sun. The last step was not practiced in my younger years, and I didn’t wear sunscreen. Nor did I drink water. 

Now, I’m a skincare fanatic and will not leave my house without serum, moisturizer, and at least 50 SPF. I care much more about the ingredients in my skincare products now, as well as beauty companies who are corporately responsible and give back. I also try to minimize computer screen time at work, as the light is not great for your skin, either. I sleep a minimum of 8 hours a day, drink lemon water in the morning, and take my vitamins!

What is a habit that has changed your life?

Quyenzi:  I started using RxESCUESKIN to simplify my skincare routine and maximize results. GAME CHANGER.

Jessie: After using hot water in the shower or to wash my face, I always finish with freezing cold to close my pores and tighten my body and face.

Nicki: Just reminding myself that I am enough and that I cannot control everything. But I can control my feelings.

What are your top 3 healthy daily habits?

Jessie: Meditation / Journaling / Reading

Quyenzi: Lemon water every morning, a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a day, and yoga.

Nicki: Waking up and going to bed with Gratitude, drinking lemon water, and setting my intentions each morning.

Why should we continue to recognize International Women’s Day?

Jessie: It’s always important to be reminded of where we have come from and where we are going. On this day, we stop to recognize all the women who keep flowing like a river but are never apologetic about the impact and differences they make as they continue to flow.

Nicki: Celebrating the progress and contributions women have made to society, advocating for gender equality, recognizing the diversity of women, inspiring future generations, and fostering solidarity. 

Quyenzi: Because WHO RULES THE WORLD?

Thank you for your time again and for sharing your power in this world!