Mia Marion is a sex-positive writer, YouTuber and Instagram personality who you’ve probably seen on your feed this month. Marion, who has used her space on the internet to cultivate collective self-love and community support, embarked on a project titled 31 Days of Halloween.
Marion announced the project at the end of September by saying she was going to be sharing some “levity” to our timelines. And she delivered. For each day in the month of October, Marion posted a new costume/cosplay of her own making: varying in themes, yet all extremely captivating and intricate. Thanks to extensive alone-time in quarantine, Marion spent the summer months working on this project. The creator chatted with NBGA about the behind-the-scenes of the project, life in quarantine, and what’ it’s like being a well-known figure on the internet.
How have you been holding up during quarantine?
I’ve managed quarantine mostly through self-care and leniency; I forgive myself for unproductive spells and try to lean more into things that bring me joy. I’m very fortunate in that I can usually craft my schedule around how I’m feeling, day-to-day.
What inspired you to embark on this project?
I love Halloween! It has always been my favorite holiday. I also, desperately, needed something to focus on– something wholly unique from my other projects; something purely fun, yet still challenging.
What has been the most fun part of this project for you? What has been the most difficult?
It’s been a dream to embody some of my favorite characters; the first month of the project was delightful, since I got to shop around for hundreds of individual costume pieces. The post-production editing was extremely satisfying, but it was also inescapably grueling. Teaching myself After Effects was by far the most difficult part— 0/10 would not recommend.
You’ve expressed that though this project has been fun, it’s also been uncomfortable for you to be perceived every day on social media. Would you say that’s something you generally struggle with when it comes to being a figure on the internet?
Absolutely. You would think that I’d be used to it by now, but my discomfort at being beheld by others is still just as strong as it was when I started out (on Instagram) two years ago. I’ve certainly grown more comfortable with my own image, but having to put it on display day-in and day-out, for friends and strangers alike, is exhausting. Not to mention anxiety-inducing.
What kind of response have you gotten from this project?
I’ve been surrounded and uplifted by positivity since the beginning of this project. I’m thankful and lucky that the community I’ve fostered online is so supportive of my sidelong endeavors.
Would you do this project again?
TBD! This project’s existence relied on the most unfortunate of circumstances (months and months of quarantine). I can only hope that by next Halloween those circumstances do not exist. I also think that a part of what was most exciting about this project was its novelty.
Who are your fashion inspirations?
I would say I’m inspired mostly by friends, people I spend time with. I’m not too interested in day-to-day trends; I like seeing clothes that are lived in— stressed and marked by the body. I’m inspired by the history and experience of a piece of clothing more than anything else.
You said this project was partially inspired by the inability for a typical Halloween celebration. What’s something positive that’s come out of social isolation/quarantine for you?
I’ve definitely learned a lot about my work ethic over the last few months. It’s been wonderful to figure out what I need in order be productive, what stimulates me, on my own terms. I am also absolutely a solitary creature, so the alone time has been restful.
You’ve spoken openly about body acceptance, and your presence on Instagram is so refreshing in that regard. How do you deal with people on Instagram (or any social media platform) who try to police your body?
With difficulty! For me, disrespect never gets easier to swallow. Sometimes I do feel the need to stand up for myself, but it leaves me drained and with resonant anger. Mostly I try to eliminate those interactions on the whole by not engaging with drivel. I practice blocking as self-care.
Though her 31 Days of Halloween project has come to an end, Marion’s presence on Instagram is consistently great. Whether it’s a snap of the book she’s reading, or a sultry selfie with a new #wordoftheday in the caption, Marion is one of the best people to be following, in that she’s just so genuinely herself.