Helen He


Persistent effort overcomes any difficulty.

This phrase has been my motto since elementary school. I always strive to challenge myself harder: physically and mentally. If I could learn English in 3 years and become an American citizen in 5 years, I knew I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Chinese women are stereotypically portrayed as small, docile, and fragile. When I decided to compete in my first bodybuilding bikini competition, I broke all traditional and societal expectations. To prepare myself for the competition, I needed to get more muscular in my overall physique and be on a strict diet for 12 weeks. Surprisingly, the hardest part wasn't my strict diet. The hardest part was being ostracized by my relatives for participating. To them, bodybuilding is no woman's place. Especially not for a young, Chinese woman like me. Despite the harsh words from my relatives, strict diet, mental and physical fatigue, and mood swings; I kept going. Thankfully, with the support from my parents and friends, I earned 2nd place in my first competition and 1st place in all my competitions this year. I have developed a passion for this sport, and there is no end goal but to achieve constant growth. I hope to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone. For marginalized people such as immigrants and women, there are institutions we participate in that were never made for us. Nevertheless, we belong and we will thrive.

I’m currently the Brand Supervisor at Converse. I'm also enrolled in the Sport Management program at UC Irvine and I do want to pursue my MBA degree in the near future. I wanted to work in the sports industry because sport is kind of the universal language that everyone can speak. Being bilingual in Chinese gives me a social advantage and provides me a chance to connect with more people from all walks of life. So what is your story?