Arundhati Roy is Syrian-Bengali, stars in award-winning films and wrote a prize-winning bestseller. She’s known for being involved in social and political movements in India and around the world. But did you know she was also an aerobics instructor and cake saleswoman? Best known for her novel "The God of Small Things," Roy has written numerous nonfiction books and essays. She’s criticized the Indian government’s policies, written on environmental issues, and has been put in jail for her political views. Before all this, Arundhati was a nature-loving kid from an inter-caste and single parent family. She grew up being treated like she was “unconventional” or an “outsider”. She lived in a slum with her first husband, while they were students. And she even sold cake on the beaches of Goa. Arundhati is limitless and uncontainable!
Can we get Michelle Yeoh more flowers please? Not only is she the first Malaysian to win the Golden Globes for Best Actress, she’s also 60-years-old and does her own stunts. Yeoh has set the bar in acting, martial arts, stunts, for women, and Asians. How did she get like this? Michelle grew up in a small town in Ipoh, Malaysia, where she dreamed of becoming a ballerina. When those dreams were cut short because of an injury, Michelle discovered martial arts. Since then, she’s set the bar for what women could do on screen: anything. She has performed in death-defying experiences, from riding a motorbike onto a moving train to being thrown off a car, that have even left co-stars like Jackie Chan in a panic. Her father was a tycoon, and even with the narrative of being a silver-spoon fed child, Michelle has moved through Hollywood with grace and grit. She may be a Crazy Rich Asian in her own right, but she’s also worked harder than ever to get where she is today. And her role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is just the beginning of Michelle’s journey to represent what she’s capable of.
Have you heard of Zhou Yang Jie? It’s Jimmy Choo’s Chinese name, and the name he has gone back to recently. While Jimmy is known for designing couture shoes, today he’s focused on giving back and fostering the next generation of designers. But why did Jimmy step away from shoes? You might think of his shoes as a luxury British or American brand, but Jimmy Choo is a Chinese-Malaysian son of a humble shoemaker. He grew his vision to one of the biggest names in global shoe culture, and it all started when he made his first pair of slippers at 11 years old. Jimmy studied in London, where he was spotted by a Vogue editor. An 8-page feature on the magazine put him on the map, and brought clients like Princess Diana. When editor Tamara Mellon convinced him to create a luxury ready-to-wear brand, Jimmy realized his opportunity for expansion. In 2017, he sold his business and namesake for £896M. Today, Jimmy spends his time creating fashion academies including one in his hometown.
During the T20 World Cup innings, Virat Kohli not only helped India win the match against Pakistan,he even cried on field–something fans haven’t seen before. What did this win mean for him–and India? Virat Kohli is one of Forbes highest paid athletes, the face of over 30 brands, and globally the third most popular sportsman today. With 221M followers, Kohli aka the “King of Cricket” is now the most popular Indian celebrity too. How did he start his career and become who he is today? At the age of 9, Virat’s father sent him to a cricket training academy, where he binged on biryani, pranked teammates, and partied. But years later, when he watched his father die of a stroke, Virat set a clear goal to play for his country at the highest level. Not only has he succeeded in doing so but today, Virat has carved a space in millions of hearts.
HoYeon Jung watched her follower count jump from 400,000 to 15 million in just three weeks. But before she was a globally recognised star, HoYeon had taken herself to audition for Korea’s Next Top Model at age 19, where she placed 2nd. . 6 months later she signed with a New York agency and became one of the most recognizable models South Korea has ever had. But as is the case with many models, the rise and fall was rapid, and soon HoYeon was getting less and less call backs. So, she began acting. It was in January of 2020 that Hwang Dong-hyuk, the 50-year-old South Korean writer-director who was casting for Squid Games, got a video from HoYeon, reading three scenes as Sae-byeok. The rest is history, the kind of history that gets you an #Emmys nomination for ‘Supporting Actress in a Drama Series’ for Squid Games. Watch how HoYeon went from an international model to one of the biggest breakthrough stars of 2021.
7 The BTS A.R.M.Y. are a dedicated fanbase that gets shit done. Powerful enough to smash music industry records, pool money to plant 33,000 trees in Peru, and matched the band's $1 Million donation to Black Lives Matter. It’s a phenomenon that transcends different cultures on a global scale with “self love” at the core of what they believe in. If you want to support the troops, all you have to do is join the A.R.M.Y.