#JustLikeYou: Sakura Chan on sexual wellness and education in China

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Just Like You Sakura Chan Shanghai The Oh Collective interview

Just Like You Sakura Chan Shanghai The Oh Collective interview 

Sakura Chan: Fashion Designer / Event Planner / GirlsUp Founder

Raised in Guangdong, Studied in UK, now based in Shanghai 

Some starter questions first to get to know you. Give us a little peek of where you grew up and what brought you to Shanghai?

I'm Sakura. I grew up in Guangdong China and came to live and work in Shanghai after studying in London.

#justlikeyou the oh collective & sakura chan shanghai event planner

We see that you are a fashion designer, an event planner, and started a girls community called GirlsUp, how do you manage all of that and maintain a healthy body & mind?

Design is my main job, most my event planning is for my main job and arranging meet ups for my community GirlsUp. Fortunately, I have a lot of help from all my friends to run GirlsUp.

#justlikeyou the oh collective & sakura chan shanghai girlsup

Can you tell us more about GirlsUp? Where do you see it going? What is your vision? 

The idea of GirlsUp came from my personal experience and daily conversation with all the girls around me. At some point, I found that even though all the girls I met are from different countries, different backgrounds, and working in different industries; they share similar troubles and confusion in life. Therefore, I decided to build a platform to bring together these girls to talk about it and support one another. Since the first event took place in 2019, we gained a lot of support from our friends and other communities.

Beside talks and conversations, we also organised a donation for female foundations that worked at the frontlines of Covid-19 during the Wuhan Shutdown period. After the events we hosted and the donations for Covid-19, we took a break in 2020.

I am happy to see a communities starting up to support women and girlpower. It builds up a very supportive vibe for female-empowered activities. In the future, we hope to gain more help and support from everyone and at the same time share our beliefs with more boys and girls in creative and interesting formats.

What gets you inspired and waking up every single day to do what you do? 

The motivation is enjoying what I’m doing, the desire to express and communicate

#justlikeyou the oh collective & sakura chan shanghai

What do you do to cater to your (sexual) and (mental) wellness? 

Normally I will try to live a healthier lifestyle but I don't force myself to be “HEALTHY”. To me, mental health is tricky because part of my work requires me to be more sensitive. However, too much emotion will affect my physical health straight away so I have been working on finding the right balance. Lately, I found mindfulness meditation to be very helpful for me.

Similarly, sexual wellness is based on knowing yourself and respecting yourself for what you really want. I never feel ashamed about what I want for sex. And neither do I force myself to do anything I do not want.

What do you think of the topic of sexual wellness in China?

It’s a topic avoided for too many years and it has never been properly brought up to educate people and kids.

#justlikeyou the oh collective & sakura chan shanghai sexual education china

We see that you live in both UK and China, what do you think is the main difference in the perception of sexual wellness? What do you think the West can learn from the East and vice versa?

The main difference to me depends on the person I have a sexual relationship with disregarding East or West. Is he or she generous in bed? Are they raised with a diverse cultural background? Is he or she respectful? These are all going to show up in bed!

What would you tell your 16-year-old self? 

#justlikeyou the oh collective & sakura chan shanghai

It’s okay to chase what you want. You will become that person you admired when you grow up.

If you can change 1 thing in the Chinese sexual wellness landscape, what will it be?

Education. Proper sexual education to teenagers and kids. Also teach them on how to be respectful of one another.

Lastly, Can you tell us what gets you in the mood? What turns you on? And what are the suggestions for your sisters out there?

Chemistry will happen when I feel respected, protected, and safe. My suggestion for my sisters out there is to be confident and chill ~

#justlikeyou the oh collective & sakura chan shanghai

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