By Victoria S.
Cassey Ho is a social-media fitness entrepreneur who created POP Pilates and oGorgeous. This August, she launched her own activewear clothing line, BodyPop, in which she mixes high fashion and practicality. Cassey has a Youtube channel, with over 1.2 million subscribers, and a blog, where she posts upbeat pilates videos to the rhythm of pop songs. Her videos and blogs have a down-to-earth aura and she maintains a friendly and personal demeanor with her fans. She is more than just a fitness instructor. Cassey always reminds her viewers that fitness is not about losing weight or fitting in, but serves to empower “POPsters,” nickname for her fans, to be the best version of themselves.
YWLP chose to acknowledge her because she, like many of us, had been told by her parents that there were very few roads to success for an Asian American girl in America. Coming from a traditional Asian household, her parents wanted her to pursue a science degree and continue on to medical school despite her making clear to them that she had dreams of becoming a designer. She graduated with an honors degree in Biology, but decided to not apply to medical school behind her parents’ backs. Instead, she risked everything to take steps toward pursuing her dreams. She stopped communicating with her parents and left the clear path of becoming a medical professional to break into an industry that she, at the time, was not qualified to join. She tells her story and empowering advice in her Don’t Give Up On Yourself: Story of BodyPop video on her channel.
Many of us may want to defy our family or society’s expectations of us, and Cassey’s story teaches us many lessons on how to responsibly defy and achieve success. While many may go through a period of rebellion, this period frequently becomes termed a “phase” that passes, because building a career outside of the box is not easy. Many try it out, admit defeat and return to their old paths. There are many reasons behind our parents’ perceptions that certain careers, like medicine, are the way to go. They are not completely incorrect in thinking that these paths are more likely to provide financial security and even recognition. If we choose to take that plunge and pursue passions that lie in alternative careers, we need to be ready to work hard and get back up in light of failure.
While working towards a Biology degree, Cassey never truly gave up on the possibility of something outside of medicine. She started teaching pilates at a small studio while in college and worked to land design internships. She continued to push herself to work on something that took time and effort, but also helped her hone in on making her childhood, hazy, dream-like interest a possibility. When she realized that the fashion buying job she took was still not what she wanted, she went with her gut feeling and left.
She is now able to make a living doing something she loves and bring confidence to more and more women everyday. Her willingness to remain freely accessible to anyone who wants to learn how to take her own fitness into her own hands is an admirable business model. She provides those who seek self-improvement unconditional guidance and tools to make it. In more ways than one, Cassey has demonstrated that success and respect amidst defiance is earned, not a given.
I want to leave you with the music video to her BodyPop activewear line (click the photo to be redirected to the youtube video). It features Lauren Froderman, winner of So You Think You Can Dance, Sydney Olson, professional stunt woman, and Briohny Smyth, celebrity yoga instructor. These gals are all amazingly beautiful and so admirable in their elements.
**Featured image obtained from blogilates.com
**Image of Cassey obtained from www.chicfactorgazette.com