When Jenny Ong first started her blog in 2012, it was all about fashion and photography. Since then, her creative pursuits have evolved beyond just sharing photos of her stylish outfits. Over the years, the Los Angeles-based content creator became more passionate about the environment and sustainability, shifting her focus from #OOTDs to helping educate people about how to live slowly and more consciously. That's why Jenny Ong is included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Briefly describe yourself, including how you identify and what you do.
What do you hope people take away from following you/your work in the industry and on social media?
I hope above all else, that they believe mundane information (or tired/repetitive sentiments) about sustainability and being eco-friendly can be framed in an aesthetically pleasing and vibrant way.
When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
Like many others, when I first started blogging it was mostly about my personal style. I started this, I think, because I’d seen a few other Asian Americans (Olivia Lopez, Rachel Nguyen, Nicole Warne, Aimee Song, Rumi Neely, etc) blogging as well. I think it sparked a deep interest knowing that I could participate and help with Asian American representation in media, and more specifically in fashion.
As the years went by, my interests in the environment and sustainability really took root and I felt more confident about shedding the layers of my former interests. I would comb through accounts centered on zero waste and sustainability on Instagram, and I realized there was a lack of Asian Americans posting about eco-friendly living, and I thought, maybe if I actually started voicing these concerns of mine and how I’m trying to live more consciously, that I could inspire other Asian Americans to do the same.
I believe that how I approach sustainability and slowing down has a lot to do with the way I was brought up in an immigrant Asian household (of which, I was unfortunately ashamed of growing up), and I believe that if I could make these mundane lifestyle habits “cool” or beautiful, then I will have done my job well.
Who's another Asian American or Pacific Islander person you would recommend to follow on social media?
I love @matchboxkitchen and how she shares her creative ways to live a low waste lifestyle, all while carrying her adorable baby! She also has an online shop that sells eco-friendly goods, and that’s been a dream of mine for sometime. I also enjoy @jingtheory, who I met at a dinner. She’s this badass woman from Shanghai and she makes the most delicious Szechuan sauces. I love how she’s also elevating and proudly touting the made-in-China label, and really injecting quality into it. Plus her sauces are BOMB.
Follow Jenny Ong on Instagram, @JennyOng
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.