Erjun embodies the spirit of the Mayu Girl: unafraid to try just about anything, while posed with a passion in life and the confidence to pursue it. Where many would ask, “Why?” Erjun ponders instead, “Why not?”
Earlier last month, PUMA Southeast Asia held the “We Are #MayuGirls” campaign to celebrate the authenticity and diversity of everyday women. The Mayu Girl is the epitome of a fighting spirit who struggles but is determined to get what she wants. She is not afraid to try, and to keep trying even in the face of adversity. She is confident, and she stays true to herself.
“PUMA strongly believes that women have the collective power to move the needle and to propel those around them forward through their own unique achievements,” says Eleanor Wang, PUMA Southeast Asia’s Head of Marketing.
In line with this belief, PUMA Southeast Asia also held a giveaway contest as part of the campaign. The winner of the contest is 24-year-old Ooi Erjun, who joined us on set last week. The 24-year-old KLite pulls up at the studio in her four-wheel drive, and while she rocks a strong, bold pixie cut with a towering height of 174cm, Erjun is surprisingly down-to-earth and funny. She recounts the transition from the fast-moving PR agency life to the perks and perils of running her own business, and dedicating almost a year to the pageant scene in preparation for Miss Universe Malaysia 2020.
We sit down with Erjun to talk about what it means to be a Mayu Girl, how the spirit of the campaign is reflected in her own personal journey, and the challenges that come with pursuing her long-term goals.
I thought it was very interesting that #MayuGirls campaign shows how women can be anything. That even from different backgrounds, they can achieve different things — whether they want to become a dentist, or a boxer, or a racer. It’s so amazing to see women doing all kinds of things, especially active things like extreme sports. Back then people would say that these are ‘boys’ sports’, but even I myself do those, like outdoor rock climbing. It’s nice to see so many girls and women going out there and pursuing their passion, and doing it well. So, to be part of the #MayuGirls community is really amazing, with all these other women who are trying to tell the world that this is who they are, and they can do it.
Yes, absolutely. I’m the kind of person who loves trying out new things. I’ve taken a tattoo course before, so I can actually become a tattoo artist if I choose to pursue the path. I’ve trained in yoga before; I got my certificate and I’ve even worked as a yoga instructor while I was studying in Monash University Malaysia. I want to get my diving license soon, too. Seeing how diverse the Mayu Girls are makes me feel like I can relate to them a lot, because while I’ve done many things, I feel like there are still so many things I want to do. The #MayuGirls campaign is about how we’re capable of juggling everything, not just with our work but also our passions, and to be confident in it.
I also recently got this pixie cut recently, which really made me feel like I can relate to the #MayuGirls message. Initially I had a lot of regret cutting my hair this short, because it looked like an ‘aunty’ hairstyle and I even cried! (laughs) But then I made my own adjustments and learned how to style it, so after a while I learned to be confident with it.
I first started working in a PR agency back in 2019. It was good to see the insides of how everything works, and to meet and get connected with a lot of different people. After that, I decided to try out Miss Universe Malaysia. It was never really part of my plan to join the beauty pageant, but I just wanted to give it a go.
Currently I’m a Wealth Planner with Prudential. I’ve always wanted to give back to the community and help people. Of course, being in NGOs is hard to sustain unless you’re very big. So, I feel like this is another way of helping people. Instead of a big-scale plan of helping society, I get to help everyday people with their personal finances.
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I started the ‘Us for Ocean’ initiative last year with the aim to educate people about the ocean and the beauty of it, as well as the pollution and everything. We — especially those of us who stay in the city — don’t see the connection towards the ocean. The thing is, with every breath that we take, a huge part of it actually comes from the ocean. There’s a connection that people don’t realise. My aim is to spread awareness and educate people about the ocean, so with ‘Us for Ocean’ I organise regular beach clean-ups — from there, people start to realise the ocean is suffering and we have to do something about it. It’s like a wake-up call.
I’ve learned that motivation is very important. Especially now that I’m doing my own business, and running ‘Us for Ocean’, which is also my own thing. I have to get up every single day and have a fresh idea for what I want to do. It gets hard, especially when you get rejected or if something doesn’t work out — it really affects your motivation when you’re doing it alone. If you’re working for someone, you might have a manager who would constantly ask you, “Where’s this or that?” but when you’re doing it on your own it’s very different. There are a lot of ups and downs, so it’s important to take a day off to just reflect and see how far you’ve come. It really grounds you when you give time to yourself.
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I feel like ever since the lockdown period is over, a lot of things are coming into place for me. With modelling, it was more opportunity-based; if it comes, it comes. I wasn’t actively searching for it. I mostly went for runway castings, like KL Fashion Week. I also recently got selected for a mentoring programme with Mercedes Benz. Then, I won the PUMA Mayu Girl contest, which I’m really happy about! I’ve been trying out a lot of different things in my free time like rock climbing and hiking. I love doing sports and being in nature.
I like to do quite healthy stuff, actually. (laughs) On my ‘rest’ days, I like to go to the park in front of my house and do a little yoga, or make myself a good healthy breakfast in the morning. I also like to buy myself flowers, and basically treat myself for the day. During the lockdown period, I also picked up crocheting.
I love the PUMA Suede Mayu shoes! I was really happy about them, especially because they’re so comfy and so cushiony. I’m already quite tall, so I don’t wear a lot of platform shoes. But with these shoes, it makes me feel confident. Plus, I was already thinking of getting my own shoes, so it’s perfect. I love the top and skirt as well, because they’re definitely what I would wear every single day. Honestly, the whole outfit goes together so well.
The campaign launch is introduced alongside PUMA’s latest colourway of the reimagined Suede Mayu shoe design as sported by global singer and icon Dua Lipa earlier this year. The Suede Mayu transforms PUMA’s iconic Suede silhouette with a playful take on fashion while combining over-the-top proportions with a wrap platform midsole.
To learn more about PUMA’s “We Are #MayuGirls” Campaign and the Suede Mayu collection worn by Dua Lipa, visit https://go.puma.com/MY-SuedeMayu