From a mere humble Insurance agent, to a social influencer who gets countless event invitations each day as thick as November rain, May Ho has come a long way.
With multiple major contracts on the horizon, on top of the pile of corporate big fishes she is already engaged with, and a take-no-prisoners approach to the world at large, May Ho is one of summer’s brightest-burning Malaysian stars.
Hailing from Penang– a state in Malaysia widely known for being the birthplace of many well-known unexampled dazzling models and actresses, May has established quite a name for herself in the modeling industry as the ultimate go-to for lifestyle, fashion and tech related product evangelizing.
May, who incredibly resembles Korean Melodrama star Kim Ah Joong, has permanently lodged herself in the collective Asian male libido, merely by bathing in her true-to-self actuality – the much desiderated ‘Cute Geek’ fantasy, in permanent soft-focus.
It comes as a surprise, then– a relief, even– to meet May in March at a café in Damansara for an interview, and discover that she’s exactly the ball of sunshine she portrays herself to her fans through the lens of her camera.
She was smaller and more compact than I had imagined, and had the athletic mien of someone who played sports in high school, along with the graceful gait and natural poise of a woman who’s used to moving through the world on the balls of her feet like a dancer- a very bubbly and high-spirited dancer that is.
The fact that May’s entire public image is concocted after her genuine personality, really is nothing short of a revivifying find considering the rarity these days of coming across an individual under the spotlight who portrays their true-self instead of putting on a fancy façade to ‘safeguard’ their feelings from public scrutiny.
With big deals with industry giants from Disney to Hermès and Samsung, on top of her recognition in the industry as the gold standard of brand evangelizing, it’s hard to believe that the Penangnite was once just a humble insurance agent.
May had always been a luminous hurricane; from the time of her birth until she left home, she was the eye of her own storm. Mostly she was happy, but her constant need to engage everyone in jokes, in banter or in games made everyone frazzled.
During her beginnings as an insurance agent, she was a natural at sales, her customers bathed in her sunshine, agreeing to whatever she said. Then she’d spy the next purchaser and be off to greet them more warmly than a long lost friend.
During her time as an insurance agent, she crossed paths with cancer-stricken Allen (her now-soul mate), where they slowly found love in each other amidst that hellacious trial in life, and fought side by side with him for 2 years until he was completely smite-free of the malignant curse.
It was a somber and tenebrous time for Allen– but he had his then best friend, May to battle the odds of overcoming cancer. The doctor’s initial diagnosis lit the proverbial fire under her feet and she became his cornerstone in the midst of the gruelling battle to come.
Shortly after their victorious joust, May decided that she didn’t see herself moving forward with her current job, and with the support of the love of her life (Allen), decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown and resigned, in hopes of finding her ‘true calling’.
For a brief interlude, May was jobless- but that all took a change for the better after Allen brought her along to a cosmetic event as a plus one, where he spontaneously took photos of her. After seeing how well the photos turned out, Allen who then had already developed a touch for spotting talent, decided that because of her ability to portray emotions through a camera lens was unreal, May making it big in the modeling industry was within the realm of possibility.
However, things started looking good only a few months into her newfound path when her base of followers suddenly skyrocketed after she was featured on several publications for having the ‘Most beautiful face in Penang’.
The rest as they say, is history.
The young Starlet now
With over 200,000 followers at the time of writing, May’s ear-to-ear beam is a familiar yet refreshing sight on Instagram’s ‘Explore Tab’.
One could admire her beaming smile forever, and simply be entranced by the effortlessly vigorous curve of her lips to reveal a row of perfectly carved out dazzling teeth encased by her braces that only seem to accentuate her already candy-coated smile- which tantalizes even the moon to eve’ more peep through the velvety layers of clouds.
As mentioned by many, and confirmed by May, self-confidence and the ability to shut out toxic comments are critical and far-reaching traits necessitated to survive in the industry where ambition and self-worth can be sent crumbling to the cold hard floor like a house of cards, at the very whisper of a rumour.
However, May wasn’t born with the traits aforementioned- it was carved later in her life, into her very being through her own efforts.
Growing up around constant bullying for having ‘thick lips’ and for not conforming to beauty standards, her years at SMK Segar Rawang was the furthest thing imaginable from a ‘High School Musical’.
Be that as it was, May then dusted herself off, and taught herself to be confident in the face of barbarous judgment. And with her newfound tenacity, crafted out a sentient shutter from her own heartstrings.
May, with her ‘take it or leave it’ attitude, has taught herself to be oblivious to the toxic thoughts and criticism from others, and faces the world with her chin up, through her shutter of oblivion to confidence corroding opinion, a method that requires so much self-righteousness it’s almost poetic.
When jokingly asked about how she’s able to sleep at night knowing she beat most of her competition by a milestone, May responded with
“I don’t drink coffee after 4pm”.
All jokes aside, May stresses the importance of talents and models helping one another grow in the thick and unforgiving industry where there are an abundance of possible pitfalls, dishonest promoters, sneaky managers, underhanded lawyers and deceitful fashion executives willing to hoodwink eager young blood trying to hit it big in the industry- the industry that has now become one of the shadiest industries around.
May’s career is a perfect example of how determination and all-out grind can take you from nothing to the top of the heap.
That being said, the small-shelled yet outspoken 27-year-old has bigger-than-life ambitions– dreaming to significantly contribute to the betterment of the world and to use her sizeable influence to make a real difference, all while managing a small café as a ‘side hustle’.
It goes without saying that we, among many other Malaysians who have heard of her, believe that May is an absolute powerhouse of a person- and that her cocktail of her bewitching smile and infectious animated high-spirited personality will propel her and her career to dizzying heights reserved only for Gods amongst men.
May Ho’s Facebook page : May Ho
May Ho’s Instagram page : @mayho10