Melanin Monday with Maia Wise
Interviewed By: Jasmine Amabile
Q: How have things changed in your life or workplace with the pandemic?
A: I am a full-time social worker for women’s services. Everything is so reactive, you can tell that nobody really knows what to do. We are in the face of this crazy epidemic. Everything in Maryland is shut down, and we need to travel with letters that state that we are essential workers. I live in a home with roommates I did Peace Corp with, and one of my roommates actually moved in with her boyfriends during this time. With content, I‘m still creating, and some of it’s quarantine related. I have been trying to make light of my situation in my videos since I still have to go to work haha. You know, people say laugh to keep from crying.
Q: How long have you been a social worker?
A: I’ve been a social worker for five years -- this is a medical social worker position, which is very different from a regular social worker position. I have been working in the mental health field, working with psych patients who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and or dissociative identity disorder. Doing group therapy for patients who have suffered from severe childhood trauma as well as working with adolescents with behavioral support services. Mental health is my passion -- so now with women services I work with moms who are victims of domestic violence, or are homeless and connect them with resources for a safe space for them and their babies. Every day is -- I don't know what I’m getting myself into every day when I walk into work.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your content creating.
A: I started creating makeup videos last year around September or October on Instagram. I've always been told that I’m pretty good at makeup -- I’m not a makeup artist. I just really love doing it - all the years watching YouTube. People tell me I’m funny and give good advice, so I just make videos of me doing my makeup and talking. It feels easy because I’m just being myself.
Q: How has content creating been going for you?
A: I’ve been getting really good feedback and people really like it. Actually, a lot of guys tell me they watch my makeup videos and think I’m funny and none of them are interested in makeup themselves. I do tag brands in my videos and they like it! When I started I had 700 followers and now I’m at 1,400 followers. It's getting momentum and I find that people can relate to my content with the things I talk about. We are all going through the same things and so I try to normalize it. I don’t do complicated makeup videos. I can’t do a cut crease haha., I am not good at it. I do more simple makeup looks. I hope to create a YouTube channel soon so that I can create videos that are longer than a minute because people’s attention spans on Instagram are shorter and don’t always want to click on the IGTV link.
Q: Did makeup spark your interest as a child or did you ever see makeup in your future?
A: When I was a child, I wanted to be an actress, specifically for the Disney channel. I’ve always had a lot of character, growing up watching “That’s So Raven” and “Martin”. “Martin” had so many different characters, and I wanted to be funny. I started watching YouTube videos in college and didn't start wearing foundation until I was about 23 or 24 years old, so almost five years ago.
Q: You mentioned you were in the Peace Corps, seems like you’ve had a lot of interesting changes. Can you tell me about that?
A: In the Peace Corps, I was in Malawi, Africa. I didn’t have electricity or running water and it was then that I really wanted to be in the public health field. I then noticed that there were social workers in the public health field and decided to get a degree in social work. So I did undergrad, Peace Corp, and then grad school. I got my undergrad in a concentration in physical therapy because I was an athlete at the time.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I hope to be content creating full time, and focusing on makeup. Maybe even starting a women’s support group, where women can meet up and create community. I want women to value each other more and build each other up.
You can find Maia on Instagram as @lifeof_maia