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Melanie Sutrathada, Actress and Content Creator

Posted on 02 February 2021

Meet Melanie Sutrathada! A New York-based actress who through her platform is making people's days brighter and showing young Asian American women that anything is possible. 

Introduce yourself 

Hi! My name is Melanie Sutrathada and I’m a New York-based actress, host, and content creator with a love for hamming it up and laughing far too loudly. I like to think of myself as someone between Elle Woods after Warner tells her she’s not smart enough for law school and Kimmy Schmidt (minus the whole trapped in a bunker bit).

What characteristics (cultural, personality etc) make you unique?

I think what makes me unique is that I try to move joy and color into people’s feeds whenever my posts pop up. The same rings true whether I’m on-air hosting a segment or as an actress in front of the camera. A lot of my inspiration for sparking joy everyday hails from Marie Kondo’s book--a read I highly recommend to anyone.

Where is the first place you’ll travel once it’s safe again?

The first place I want to travel to is back home to my family in San Diego, CA. I was born and raised there and California will always have a huge part of my heart. After that, I want to go to as many places as possible! Iceland, Switzerland, South Africa, and Thailand - the list goes on and on, I’ve been dreaming up places to go and have so many ideas!

What is the most rewarding aspect about what you do on-screen?

As a first-generation Asian American woman, I grew up watching tv or movies and wondered why I never saw anyone who looked like me. When I did see Asian American characters, they embodied offensive archetypes (um, hello Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s). Now, I make a living being in front of the camera and have the opportunity to be a role model. It is truly a blessing and something I do not take for granted.

How do you interpret “invest in yourself?” and what are the types of things you do to invest in/ empower yourself?
If 2020 taught me anything (besides for how to make banana bread), it’s that none of us can pour from an empty cup. We need to invest in ourselves without feeling like it’s selfish to do so. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath, going on a long run, meditating, or even joining a female mastermind group (I can’t recommend FYLI enough), it’s important and necessary to figure out what works best for you and to do more of it. 
I encourage you to find what lights you up. Keep trying new things and don’t be afraid to fail or not be perfect at something. Good things take time.
Melanie takes New York by storm in the Stephanie Bow Dress

 

Why is it important to you to empower women?

My successes aren’t just mine. They are successes for the co-stars, directors, crew, writers, producers, my agents and management team, etc. and everyone I work with. Behind every successful woman is a team of even more women who have helped her get where she is. This isn’t a lone pursuit or one where only one person can find success. If a friend of mine has a big win, it feels like it’s my win too. And you can bet that I’ll be cheering her on in the front row, each and every time.It’s all about community over competition, and when we start truly believing that, that’s really when we all win.

What draws you to the Mestiza brand?

Mestiza is one of my favorite brands because every piece feels like a celebration of who you are. I love the story of how Mestiza was created and how much love Alessandra and Louisa put into every single dress. "Mestiza" means a woman of mixed ancestry and it’s so evident to me whenever I see the hand-woven silk or ornate lace because these small details feel much larger to me than they at first appear. They represent the beauty of the strong, beautiful, hard-working women who came before me. Mestiza is for the dreamers, the doers, and the women who want to break boundaries and chase magic. 

How did you like your Mestiza piece?! Any details on how it fit or made you feel?

I love every single Mestiza piece I’ve ever tried on. They make me smile from ear-to-ear, and always leave me feeling like I can do anything. The Georgiana dress, especially, will forever have a special place in my heart. It is one of my favorites!

Please share an inspirational tip to someone looking to follow your footsteps.
One of my guiding principles is, “Trust in the magic of new beginnings.” So often, we get stuck in one place. We feel like we’re treading water with no refuge or destination in sight. We get in a rut and feel like there is no way out, and we keep waking up and doing the same things with the same results. So, trust in the magic of new beginnings. I encourage you to go out of your comfort zone, to be afraid and do it anyways, and to start before you’re ready. If there’s something that you’ve been wanting to do for years, just go out and do it. Take a leap of faith and trust that you’ll figure it out. You are braver, smarter, and more than enough. Don’t let fear of starting again keep you from living the life of your dreams.
Photography by Joe Loper. @joehloper on Instagram, www.joeloper.com

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