Mina Gerges Remakes Your Fav Celebs’ Best Looks
We’ve all copied trends from celebrities, but only few have gone as far as to completely duplicate celebs’ Instagram images.
From outfits to hair and makeup, Mina Gerges has recreated the looks of our fav celebs (and has even been noticed by Chrissy Teigen, Nicki Minaj, Snooki, Kim Kardashian, and Katy Perry).
We spoke to the self-proclaimed “Egyptian Queen of Self Love and Acceptance” about growing up in Egypt, his go-to outfit, fav cocktail, his future plans and more.
What was it like growing up in Egypt? How has that upbringing impacted you?
I lived in Egypt until I was 11 years old. Growing up in that culture and seeing all the ways that people who are different were judged has had a huge impact on what I do today. I’m now lucky enough to live in a country like Canada where I can express myself freely. Everything I do online today is to spread that message of self-love and acceptance.
What bores you?
To be honest, I’m rarely ever bored because I’m always daydreaming about something. If I’m listening to music, I’m performing that song at the Grammys or I’m in a really fierce music video. If I’m walking down the street, I’m Naomi Campbell at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show with massive angel wings and a million dollar bra. I always keep myself entertained.
READ ALSO: How Feminist Artists Actually Make Money
Where did the idea come from to mock popular celebrity images?
Three years ago, I was going through a breakup and wanted a funny way to show how sad I was about it, so I took this photo [inspired by the music video for] “Why Don’t You Love Me” by Beyoncé. I had so much fun doing it I just kept creating new content and never stopped! People were really mean and judgmental when I first started posting the recreations — mostly because I’m a boy wearing makeup and wigs — so I knew then that I needed to keep doing this until people accepted it and stopped being judgmental about it.
What’s your go-to outfit on a day when you’re not recreating looks?
My go-to outfit is an acid wash denim jacket paired with either Nike or Adidas head-to-toe (shirt, short shorts, and shoes — they all have to be from the same brand).
Have celebs noticed your work?
The first celeb to ever notice my work was Katy Perry, she reposted one of my pictures of her. After that, Amber Rose reposted and followed me. This year, Nicki Minaj liked and repost one of my photos, 2 days after that Rihanna liked my Paper magazine recreation. Kim K also liked a meme about my recreation 2 weeks ago, and that was really awesome. I did a series of recreations for the Met Gala and Chrissy Teigen commented on my photo of her and Snooki followed me! I also love when the actual designers of the dresses like or repost my pictures, because I’m making their thousand dollar dresses out of fruit loops and a $5 shower curtain. To see that they appreciate the DIY aspect of it is so cool.
What does your prop collection look like?
I have an entire closet in my apartment dedicated to all my stuff. It’s full of paint, makeup, wigs, balloons, tin foil, and lots of glitter. I also always carry a small bag filled with makeup and two wigs (a blonde and a black one). I’m always prepared for a fashion emergency.
Take us through your creative process.
I used to be extremely selective about picking a picture to recreate but because I’ve been doing this for almost four years, I’ve branched out a lot. Sometimes people will DM pictures they want me to recreate and I love when they do that! My thought process now is: “Will I feel fierce if I recreate this dress?” and if the answer is yes, I do it.
Creating the actual dress is also a process that evolved so much. I used to want it to look exactly like the real version, I spent hours recreating the dress and making sure it was PERFECT. I recreated Kim K’s Met Gala dress two years ago and it took me eight hours working non-stop to paint the exact design onto a curtain. I also created Beyonce’s Met Gala dress that year and I placed literally hundreds of little rhinestones onto a garbage bag because I wanted it to look exactly like hers. Now I try to come up with funny ways to get the same look.
Dresses now take me a maximum of 45 minutes to recreate and I use food, phone chargers, toilet paper… anything that you wouldn’t expect to see! Last week, I used sliced cheese to make Rita Ora’s hair at the Met Gala. I definitely don’t aim for perfection anymore.
What do your friends and family think of your images?
When I first started doing this people weren’t very accepting, including some of my friends.
When I went viral in 2015, there was a period where I got death threats and the bullying continued for most of that year. I couldn’t understand why some people were so judgmental about something so harmless. People would bully me about my weight, my body hair, or my sexuality, and it lead me to delete my Instagram for eight months because I couldn’t handle logging onto Instagram and seeing something mean written in the comments every time.
When I decided to come back to Instagram, I told myself I would never let an anonymous troll stop me from doing what I love ever again. Everything I do now since coming back to Instagram has been about embracing my body and everything that I was bullied about before. My parents grew up in an extremely homophobic country and they learned to love and accept what I do (not right away, but they came around to it), so I think everyone can learn from that.
If we were at a bar right now, what drink would you order?
If we were at a bar right now I’d be drinking my go-to drink: a double vodka cran!
What would your dream day look like?
My glam team preps me for a primetime special with Oprah. She came out of retirement just to interview me. At the end of the interview, she brings out Lady Gaga to surprise me. That’s my ultimate dream day.
If you could only recreate the looks of one celebrity for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
Definitely Kylie Jenner. Between the different wigs she wears and all of her fun photoshoots there’s always something new for me to recreate.
What do you plan to do next?
My next plan is to do more with makeup. I feel empowered when I wear makeup and a lot of people comment on how fierce my makeup is in my pictures so I definitely want to do more with that. I also want to use my platform to talk more about the online bullying I experienced, especially when it comes to being bullied for my weight, and how I overcame that and became stronger in spite of it. I’ve used my platform to inspire people to embrace what makes them different and I want to continue to do that by sharing how I’ve gained my confidence despite the mean things trolls would comment on my pictures.