Meissa Mason has a bit on her plate. The 20-year-old Wiradjuri, Gomeroi and Awabakal woman isn't just one of TikTok's rising stars, she's also an activist, beauty influencer and full-time law student. If that wasn't enough, Meissa will be marching at this year's Mardi Gras festival, alongside a bevy of other influential LGBTQIA+ TikTok creators. The whole thing is even culminating in a performance of "Queen" by G Flip. Consider us intimidated!
Ahead of her lap around the SCG, we grabbed a moment of Meissa's time to quiz her on our most pressing questions; from the best advice she's ever received to how she feels about her hair. (Spoiler alert: Her curls are presently both soft and luscious.) Catch her explain the importance of empathy, her ambivalence towards time travel and why there'll never be a better kid's movie than Shrek. True.
What is the meaning of life?
For me, I think it's to have compassion and empathy. We are meant to be community-based, look after each other and look out for each other.
Something COVID taught you?
COVID really taught me to cherish the moments you have with people. I have a high-risk family I haven't seen in 12 months, who have been in isolation since COVID started, so I feel like I definitely took some moments for granted prior to the pandemic.
Last movie you watched?
Best advice you've received?
"Don't be shame, be game". It's a popular saying among mob and it's my favourite. I think feeling shame really hinders our drive and ability to take opportunities or participate in certain things, and it shouldn't!
Someone you really admire?
I admire so many people, but one of my biggest role models is tidda Fallon Gregory (you should follow her on TikTok!). She navigates online spaces and social media to create spaces and representation for mob, is genuine and staunch and uses her platform to raise awareness and educate about Indigenous issues and rights – all while raising two beautiful jarjums (children).
One of my other massive role models is Ruby Wharton – she is also a staunch tidda and very grassroots; putting in the groundwork that other people don't. I learn so much from her!
How do you feel about your hair?
I love my hair. I didn't use to embrace and appreciate my curls like I do now, I didn't know how to control my frizz or style my curls, but I have seen the light. I adore my curls now, they are healthy, lusciously soft, and always a fun, crazy colour!
Describe yourself in three words.
Creative, inquisitive and multifaceted.
One person or thing you think is underrated?
New Zealand film director Taika Waititi deserves so much more hype and recognition. I wouldn't say he's underrated; more underestimated.
Would you rather travel 100 years to the past or the future?
I'm in two minds about this. For an Aboriginal woman from the east coast, living 100 years in the past means I will have more of my culture but I will be treated like an animal. I long to know more of my culture but I don't know if I could endure what my strong, resilient ancestors did. I owe them everything.
Nature or nurture?
It's a bit of both, of course.
What do you doubt most?
That there is ever gonna be a better kids movie than Shrek.
Daily ritual you couldn't live without.
I am notorious for struggling with routines, but the only daily ritual I have is taking my contraception and my prescription asthma puffers that I (literally) need to live.
How are you at 8am?
I am far from a morning person. I would be asleep at 8am and unless I have an event or class, and stay that way until 10:30 or 11am.
Thing you're passionate about?
I am seriously passionate about creating representation and spaces for our mob to excel, and encouraging healing among mob. This is imperative for us.
Tell us about your work in a sentence.
I create videos and content relating to my personality and interests, consisting of makeup, art, my Aboriginality, cooking, music, games and more, oh, and I'm also a full-time student studying a double degree in arts and law!
Meissa's answers have been slightly edited for clarity.
More Pressing Questions: