Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mia Yim Interview, Part 1 (April 2010)

Up Close and Personal Interview SEGMENT 1: Family & Childhood

Here is the first of three segments of David Falcon's "Up-Close-and-Personal" interview with the gorgeous and talented new Indy phenom, Mia Yim.

DF:  Mia, when you are in the ring you are this beautiful, confident, woman of action – it seems like nothing is impossible for you – and yet, I’m sure it was not always this way.  I know you have had some difficult days in your childhood and with your family.  In this interview I would like to help your fans get to know YOU – the Stephanie that became Mia Yim.  I’m sure your journey with its ups and downs and even some stories of survival will encourage your fans – especially some of the young ones who may be going through something similar now.
Mia just before her VCW match in March 2010
Photo by Wrestling Wally

DF:   You said that you first began watching wrestling when you were eight years old – about third grade.  How was your family life before third grade?  Would you say that your young childhood was pleasant or difficult?  Share a story with us that captures your feelings about your early childhood?

Mia:  I always had an awesome childhood. Mom and dad were still together, everything was picture perfect. I grew up in California so there was a lot to do. And I had a lot of friends. My sister and I would go play street hockey, tag, and all the fun games with our friends. Nothing really was tough before third grade.

DF:  Were you close to your parents and your younger sister?  Who were you closer to, mom or dad?  Why?  Were there other family members (grandparents, aunts, cousins) that played an important role for you as a girl?

MIA:  I was always closer to my dad when I was young. I think it was because I was a tomboy and considered their “son” (ha, ha). We were similar especially with our love of sports and computers. We had that special bond. No other family members really played an important role for me; I was always independent, besides my parents of course.

 Mia's sister Kristen Bell

DF:  When did you first find someone your own age that you could trust and confide in?  Who was that 'best friend" for you in your formative years?

MIA:  I don’t talk to her now, but in high school I had a best friend who helped me through everything:  break ups, drama . . . everything. In high school I hated everyone in my family so having her in my life at that point, really influenced me to be who I wanted to be, not what my parents wanted me to be.

Somewhere between elementary school and high school then, your relationship with your father and your family faced a road block.  You went from having a “special bond” to “hating everyone in my family.”  What event changed your relationship with your father?

MIA:  I think I just wanted to be by myself. I wanted to be independent. After my parents divorced, that’s when I decided it's basically Me, Myself, and I.  I felt that I couldn’t trust no one but myself.  I was an awful teen -- ha, ha.

Mia Yim in elementary school and pre-school

DF:  I haven’t heard you talk much about your mother except to mention that she dragged you to church and you did not like it.  Was your mother supportive of you during childhood?  Was she someone you could trust and be honest with?

MIA:  I couldn’t really trust her with my secrets and what not but we were cool until I turned into a teen. We butted heads a lot as a teen. She is straight out of Korea so her ways are a lot different than American ways. My curfew was 8pm until I was 17 (which I didn’t follow anyways), I couldn’t wear shorts higher than my knees, it was very strict. And I just rebelled against it all. My first piercing was my belly button.  I did it myself because my mom wouldn’t allow me to have anything pierced but my ears.

Mia the club girl

DF:  Did you have any significant emotional or spiritual experiences that had influence on your life before you were 13?

MIA:  Before I was 13? Not really. My mom forced me to go to church which made me dislike it even more so I never really had any spiritual experiences.  And emotional experiences . . . ?  I was too young and silly to even know what emotions were.

DF:  What about during high school?

MIA:  In High School, I was a nerd. In my high school, it was full of white snobby, rich kids -- dumb blondes wanting to screw the next top football star on the team. I was never really in with the trends in school. It was always me, my best friend, and a few other friends hanging out together. I was teased and bullied, but I didn’t care.  Now that they know I am pursuing my dreams, they all of a sudden want to be my friend, and I love the satisfaction of telling them to fuck off J

DF:  I find it very hard to believe that you were ever a nerd!  You were always athletic and cute.  Why did people tease you?

MIA:  I was known as “the weird kid."   I had frizzy hair (This was before I discovered the hair straightener), pimples, not developed (all the girls in my grade had big boobs and whatnot), and I wore the Wallmart and Marshalls brand clothes instead of the Juicy Couture and Baby Phat and shit the other girls wore.

Mia on the beach in San Diego

DF:  Were you ever the victim of abuse – physical or emotional – from friends, family members, ex boyfriends, etc. (feel free to keep identities vague if you don’t want to name names)?  If so, who or what helped you recover?  Do you have any advice for someone who might be in an abusive situation?

MIA:  A few boyfriends were abusive.  Never physical (because if it got to that point, I would have killed them), but it was always emotional:   telling me who I can talk to, where I can go, who I can text, stupid shit like that. I had about two boyfriends and I took it for a while. I then realized that I could find better (which I did).  This made me stronger; I could believe in myself and my capabilities.

 DF:   Did/Do you have any obsessions or phobias that seriously affected your childhood years?

MIA:  Nothing serious, just anxiety attacks. Roller coasters . . . just the thought of them makes me want to cry. I don’t know why, but I just don’t like them.

DF:  It sounds like you had a strong desire to please your father and receive positive attention from him – being a tomboy and liking wrestling.  Did your father tell you he loved you and give you the positive attention you deserved?

MIA: Oh yea my dad always gave me attention. Not so much with wrestling as he opposes women in wrestling (he thinks it objectifies women), but with my past sports. He was ALWAYS at my volleyball games, giving me thumbs up and cheering. He is my #1 fan. And he always, always would give me a hug after every game which was really comforting.

Mia spikes for Marymount University

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