Culture

Hypebae Chats With Elsa Majimbo About Memes and Mental Health

“At the end of the day, no one knows your worth except for you.”

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The youngest person ever to earn a spot on Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 list and Rolling Stone‘s Top 20 creators in the world, Elsa Majimbo is in a league of her own.

The 15-time chess champion (yes, her resume is that long) made us fall in love with ourselves during the height of the pandemic when she blew up TikTok with her unapologetically confident and boastful energy. Her infectious laugh and quick-witted quips encourage us to manifest wealth by spending our money, indulging in our collective delusional optimism. The 21-year-old’s natural-born superstar spirit radiates through the screen, making it clear that Majimbo was famous before she was famous.

While the multi-hyphenate is known for her confidence, it has not always been easy as she has had to prove critics wrong. Many, including her own family, didn’t quite see the vision, but that did not stop her. As Majimbo’s empire expands, with 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 1.5 million on TikTok, the Gen Z creator is now taking over memes with the help of Memix. A new app, Memix, allows users to share their favorite memes with friends and family, but Elsa took it one step further — recording her own clips to create one-of-a-kind memes. The first to ideate and execute this level of customization, Elsa continues to innovate and demonstrate why she’s the queen of the internet.

Continue scrolling to hear more about Elsa’s partnership with Memix and how she copes with fame and mental health.

You are deservedly known as the Gen Z Queen of the Internet, but there was a time when you had a lot of naysayers and critics, some of which were your own family. Can you discuss how vital it is to believe in yourself and being confident in your abilities?

My dad just texted me the other day and admitted that early on, he was very unsupportive. They were really unsure when I dropped out of school. When he first saw my videos, he sat me down and told me to stop. He said, “Please stop this. Focus on your books, the internet is not the real world.” It was a good thing that I didn’t listen. For me, even if you tell me not to do something, I’m going to push even more now, so that actually gave me more motivation to do this. My family is my foundation, but at the end of the day, no one knows your worth except for you. I knew that I had so much to offer, but they couldn’t see it. I had to work to make my vision come true.

“You can’t follow your own path if you’re trying to follow everyone else’s.”

What led you to partner with Memix and what does venturing out into this new technological space mean for you?

It’s been great for me. I remember around the first time when everything started blowing up for me, my first thought was, “I have to take advantage of this opportunity. I am not going back to my old life. I cannot do that.” So, I started strategizing how to leverage my platform and Memix became a part of that. Usually, the app only repurposes clips and images, but I wanted to create my own clips to share and I became the first to create original, new memes.

Could you speak to the importance of representation and what it’s like to be a role model for so many women of color, but especially dark-skinned Black women?

My motto is if a white person can do it, so can I. A lot of Black women, especially dark-skinned women get criticized for just existing on a daily basis, so I just cut out the noise. Even now, I don’t really read my comments. I don’t really listen to other people’s opinions. I do what I think is right and I have those who are closest to me, tell me when I am going in the wrong direction because I know they want the best for me.

At the end of the day, no one knows your worth except for you.

If you take in everyone’s opinions, how will you find yourself in that? You can’t follow your own path if you’re trying to follow everyone else’s. Canceling out the external chatter helped me step into my best self and do so unapologetically as a Black woman. There was a time when Adut Akech was just coming up and people, especially Black men, were trolling her on Twitter and calling her ugly. Now, she’s one of the most recognized faces in the world. I’m thankful I had someone like her to look up to because she always stayed true to herself, regardless of what others said.

How have you managed your mental health since becoming famous and continued to be the person that you are?

Sometimes it’s challenging, but I think for me what really helps me is remembering that the world moves on, as harsh as that may seem. Whether I’m stable or not, the world does move on. It doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, remembering that everything is still moving, that people are still doing their own thing, that always helps me pick myself back up. If I do reach a certain point, I know I can fly home to my family and I also have friends who are like family who take care of me and check in on me all the time. Having that foundation helps me move forward and rather than suppressing something, I’m able to pivot. I know that tomorrow can always be brighter. There’s always a better day waiting for you.

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