Face of Foothills Finalist: Valerie Loo

Name: Valerie Loo

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Age: 23

Title: Face of Foothills Finalist. Social-media influencer, blogger, and freelance model. Breast-cancer researcher at the ASU Biodesign Institute, pursuing a Master’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Molecular Sciences in ASU.

Married/Single: Single

Kids: 0

City you live in: Tempe, AZ

A typical day in my life includes…

waking up early to attend grad school – I am either going to class or going to teach a class as a Teaching Assistant. After classes I’ll head to work in my lab at the Biodesign Institute, and depending on my workload for the day, I’ll either stay in my lab after hours to run more experiments and study, or I’ll head home to change and get for media events that I attend as a blogger, or attend photoshoots if I have any scheduled (the shoots I do are usually either early morning ones or evening ones so as to not clash with my school schedule)!

I was born…

a really curious and active child! My parents often found it hard to control my activeness that led to them enrolling me in dance classes that really helped me focus all my excess energy as a little kid.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

the beautiful desert landscape, I never knew that hiking would be such an enjoyable activity until I moved here. And can we just talk about how amazing Arizona sunsets are?! Arizona has the most perfect ‘cotton-candy sunsets’ and I feel blessed to be able to watch these beautiful sunsets on the daily.

I’m listening to…

The Greatest Showman soundtrack! I recently caught the movie in theatres and while (don’t kill me) I don’t think the movie itself was the greatest, I absolutely LOVE the songs. I’ve been jamming to them ever since I watched the movie. I grew up loving musicals as there’s just something about songs sung by huge cast ensembles that is able to invoke strong emotions- so this soundtrack gives me all the feels!

My family…

is my biggest support system. I live halfway across the world from them but I am still super close to them. They are always 100% supportive of whatever I choose to do.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

OPRAH WINFREY! Or Ellen DeGeneres! Both of these women are people in the entertainment industry that I strive to hopefully be someday- they are smart, funny, charismatic, and most importantly, extremely kind and charitable. They’ve made such a difference in so many people’s lives and they are constantly advocating for what they believe in.

One thing I cannot live without…

is Google. It literally gives you access to everything you need to know these days. I think a lot of us forget how fortunate we are to basically have so much knowledge at our fingertips. Back in the day, everyone had to rely on print material to learn new things, whereas now all we have to do is type in a couple of words into Google (or any equivalent search engine) and have a ton of information at our disposal. As both an academic science researcher and a fashion and lifestyle blogger, I have to be constantly reading new material to stay informed and up to date with the newest research articles and discoveries (in terms of science) and the latest trends (in terms of fashion and lifestyle). Therefore, I rely so much on Google and I cannot live without it!

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

Britney Spears. Well, I basically wanted to be a famous pop star or a famous actress. And it’s honestly still a goal of mine! Even though I am going to school for something completely different, its still a dream of mine to be really famous in the entertainment industry someday, and use my earnings to fund cancer research.

I’m inspired by…

my father. He works so hard everyday, without a trace of complaint, to ensure my family is healthy and well. I want to be able to do the same for him and my mom, and for my children in the future.

The one person who motivates me is…

my mother. She reminds me everyday about why I’m on the path I’m on now (balancing the sciences that I do in school and at work, with the arts that I dabble in outside of what I do academically) whenever I feel like quitting. She’s a perfect combination of inspiring, encouraging, and strict/stern at times!

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

to eradicate stereotypes! As an Asian woman living in the United States, there are so many stereotypes that I find myself having to work against- people either think I’m that nerd in class who doesn’t have to work hard to get good grades, or the overly exoticised meek little girl who isn’t able to stand up for herself. And while I’ve been fortunate enough to not be in positions where these stereotypes could have direct detrimental effects on my life, I know that there are a ton of people out there who face huge challenges and outright marginalization daily because of certain stereotypes imposed on them. So stereotypes definitely need to go!

The perfect day would be…

a day in which I can do everything I love- sleep in, spend time with my loved ones, dress up and get food at a cute brunch joint (and take cute photos for the gram!).

My first job was…

dancing on a nationally televised show in Singapore, where I grew up. It was honestly the most amazing feeling ever to be able to do something I really enjoyed doing, on TV, and to get a paycheck out of it!

My favorite escape…

we don’t have some here in Arizona, but the beach would be my fave escape. I could spend forever just listening to the waves, soaking up the sun and have my hair tossed about in the sea breeze!

My life…

is a mess sometimes but hey, we’re all trying to figure it out and I know its not going to be a smooth journey, but I’m still trying my best to enjoy each and every second of it.

I’m currently working on…

my Masters thesis! And a ton of personal projects including some original music, new content for my blog and other modeling endeavors!

Always…

work hard, stay humble, and remember that there is always room for improvement and new things to be learned.

Never…

lose sight of your dreams. There are always going to be days where it might all seem weird and fuzzy but dreams are what keep us sane and striving for more!

Favorite Quote…

honestly don’t have one!

Biggest Dream…

as mentioned earlier, I would love to be able to do something in the entertainment industry either as a musician or actress/model, and be successful enough at it to be able to have some of my earnings go towards cancer research!

My Pet Peeve(s)…

people who don’t spare a thought for others. We should always be kind!

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