Rei Germar is one of those pretty, thin, young and rich girls we see a lot on Instagram. But we sat down with the 23-year-old, who has over 1 million subscribers on YouTube and over 700,000 on Instagram, and came out with a different impression.
As Rei tells it, she created a YouTube channel because she likes talking to people about her day.
“I’m very passionate about sharing things when I come home from school, I’m so excited to tell my mom how my day went. I’ve been watching YouTube since I was in high school and I loved Isha Borromeo, Kris Lumagui and Anna Cano. I thought I could have my own channel and share with people my love for shopping, my love for makeup and, eventually, lifestyle and travel.”
Rei’s journey from aspirant to YouTube superstar hasn’t been difficult, she acknowledges. This gratefulness is one thing I noticed about this girl. I’m so used to seeing jaded 20-year-olds that it is refreshing to see someone talk about what she does with passion.
“I was actually overwhelmed that I already had—if my memory serves me right—100,000 followers after a year. I didn’t expect it.”
She sees YouTube as a platform for her to share things about herself and inspire people. Of course, with the fame came the haters and bashers. Once again, Rei’s attitude about this impressed me.
“I realized that no matter what you do, they will have something to say about you. At first I would reply, but I don’t anymore. I realized that as long as I don’t step on other people, wala na, dedma na [I don’t mind it]. Mental health is very important. I don’t think I could keep on doing this if I wasn’t in the right mindset. I need to protect my mental health.”
Rei doesn’t mind attacks on her physical appearance, or on her being privileged (example: “All you do is shop”). What she objects to is when people assume things about her and put words into her mouth. One of the things Rei loves about being a content creator and online personality is being able to connect with people.
“It’s being actually able to inspire people. In the beginning, messages like ‘You inspire me’ didn’t really affect me. It was when I started knowing their stories and getting messages that they wanted to give up but watching my videos made them feel like they could go on. This was what made me realize that I had a purpose. That’s when I started being vocal about my advocacies. I want them to fall in love with themselves. I know that it is not easy but I am hoping that in my own way, I can help.”
We talked to Rei during a shoot for Pandora’s latest campaign, for which she is one of the muses. There is a pink wall emblazoned with the question “What Do You Love?”
The centerpiece of the campaign is the Pandora O pendant, which takes on charms just like the bracelet did, but can be worn in a variety of different ways. Pandora is banking on muses like Rei to introduce the brand to new kinds of customers.
Rei wears her O pendant with three charms that include a leaf, which to her represents a family tree.
“I’m very close to my family. When I am with them, I try not to be on social media because they’re really not into it,” said Rei, who is the third of four siblings.
The other muses of the campaign are Bettina Jose, Janina Manipol, Christiana Collings, Kaila Estrada, Jess Connelly, Valerie Chua, DJ Kat, Issa Pressman, Janeena Chan, Aryanna Epperson and Gabs Gibbs.