Any influencer could tell you there’s no one way to stand out in a (virtual) crowd, but for Edward Zo, the rise to the top of our feeds wasn’t without a few pit stops. When the actor and musician arrived in Los Angeles just a few years ago to pursue his dreams, he was hit with the harsh reality that Hollywood had a ways to go before they could represent him fairly. After a short stint on the Magcon tour that brought some of YouTube’s heartthrobs to a meet-and-greet near you, he’s been doling out his expertise on men’s fashion and grooming and stealing the hearts of K-pop fans on TikTok.
Written by: Roytel Montero
What’s the earliest viral video you remember having?
“There was a channel called ‘whatever’ that I reached out to and asked him for a collaboration. He suggested we do a video going up to girls and asking for their numbers, and I said, ‘Great,’ because it’ll flip so many stereotypes on their head about Asian guys being nerdy and show that we can be as much of a ladies’ man. That was the first one to go viral, and I think it got like, two million views, and I started my own channel after that. Things started happening from there. I did a hard pivot from there, from pranking to lifestyle and grooming.”
Then what happened?
“Cameron Dallas was a part of the first wave of like, white heartthrobs on social media. Cameron and all these white guys went on tour and had these meet-and-greets and whatever, and then they disbanded. So when they disbanded and made MagCon Next, they cast me as the only Asian guy on part of their tour. Jake Paul was a part of that.”
What inspires all of your wig styles?
“I would say definitely the world of K-pop is an inspiration for me because those guys are very experimental. In American culture, there’s this really fragile masculinity where guys can never do this or wear that. In Asian culture, self-care and grooming are very normalized. Like if you go to Seoul or Tokyo, there are magazines that are bible-thick solely dedicated to men’s hair. Whereas in America you just have GQ. Innately and culturally, I feel like I’ve always been tapped into that side of me taking care of my hair and skin.”
I saw your video on facial exercises and wanted to know: When was the last time you did some facial exercises?
“I do facial exercises like, almost every day or even when I’m just bored. I always find myself doing my tongue-to-roof exercise and things like that. The ones in the video are more for show, but I incorporate it into my daily life. There’s a whole community of guys who are into mewing, and that’s another interesting side of American beauty culture. In Asia, it’s very broad and general, but I knew there was an audience for that, so I made that video.”
What do you think has made you successful online?
“I think what it is is [I] keep pivoting and I keep evolving, so that’s what I think is really important. In pop culture, the people who stay on everyone’s radar are always the ones that keep evolving.”