Selly Wilson is on the cover of our May 2022 issue

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In her first solo cover shoot for Prestige, Selly Wilson shares her fandom, motherhood and does good for the community

It’s the story of a simple admiration that turned into something truly great. When Selly Wilson discovered the fandom of South Korean boy band BTS in 2017, it was just an expression of pure enthusiasm and admiration for the group. As that admiration grew, the mother-of-two channeled her passion into genuine creative expression – an art exhibition, and one that was quite successful.

The positive comments that poured in from fans enjoying the exhibit encouraged her. And Selly wanted to do more. To this end, she contacted the fan base and created a community called Senyum Army. While it was just for fun at first, this group of fans has become a foundation that has helped many people. To learn more about her journey through the BTS fandom and her journey into philanthropy, we sat down with the former actress for a quick chat.

Hello Selly, nice to have you with us again. How are you?

Thank God I’m fine and healthy. Wow, it’s been a long time since 2017! I was a mother of one then and now a mother of two. [Laughs]

In a few words, what has changed since 2017?

Well, since 2017, I became a BTS fan and joined the BTS Army. It changed my life. I feel younger and happier and also have a lot of new friends since joining the BTS army.

More than just a fan, you successfully held your third BTS Exhibition last year at Plaza Indonesia despite the pandemic. What were the most memorable moments of the event?

The third RUMAH exhibition went well. It was a very big challenge to organize an event during a pandemic. At that time, it was unimaginable that things would get worse, as the number of Delta cases was increasing and the exhibition had to be postponed due to the emergency restrictions of public activities, where all shopping centers had to be temporarily closed. So everything had to be rescheduled. But when we were able to run the exhibition for two months, we counted 13,700 visitors. I am very grateful to have been able to go through all this and the exhibition went well even with strict sanitary protocols.

Jacket, top, skirt by MiuMiu

Will there be another exhibition this year?

Yes, that’s right, I’m doing another project for BTS and ARMY’s anniversary in June-July. This charity event will be done in collaboration with UNICEF Indonesia and will take the form of physical art exhibitions as well as digital art exhibitions. The exhibition will be held in Jakarta, Bandung and Yogyakarta, all with different concepts. At the Jakarta event, titled REMEDY, there will be an art installation inspired by songs from BTS albums and a special collaboration with Masari Group to create the Black Swan installation. Masari will provide shoe collections from Korean designer Yuul Jie whose designs were worn by BTS when they performed Black Swan.

For Bandung, there will be a digital art exhibition, in collaboration with design studio Sembilan Matahari. The inspiration for this one comes from my own personal story where I’ve been a fan of BTS for five years but haven’t had a chance to watch their concert – which is also a dream for many in the military. So, I call this one “WHEN WILL WE MEET?” In Yogyakarta, there will be seven art installations inspired by their solo songs.

You are one of the leaders of the Senyum army. Can you tell us a bit about how this community of fans started?

It all started with a personal project to make an art exhibition dedicated to my idols. I did it by myself for three years and then I thought it would be impossible to grow it if I do it alone. I believe teamwork is needed to make this bigger. So, I had this idea of ​​a community that I named Senyum Army. Together, we are committed to raising funds to create an anniversary project.

“I sincerely believe that anything done with love can create a good impact”

Is it true that Senyum Army is now also a foundation?

Yes. Senyum Army is committed to making others smile through our projects. We want to become more serious in working on charitable projects, especially for Indonesian children, the next generation of our nation. Thus, we have now become Yayasan Senyum Ungu Indonesia who is engaged in social and humanitarian activities.

We learned that in collaboration with UNICEF Indonesia, the Senyum Army provided ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to malnourished children in Indonesia. Can you tell us more about this campaign?

I have had a good relationship with UNICEF Indonesia since 2018, when I donate the proceeds from the sale of the paintings I exhibited to them. In 2021, UNICEF Indonesia awarded Senyum Army the first collaborative program between UNICEF Indonesia and the Indonesian Army with a campaign named #BTSarmyUntukAnakIndonesia to provide RUTF to malnourished children in Indonesia.

Dress by Louis Vuitton

In addition to this, Senyum Army also coordinated the distribution of 10,000 doses of COVID vaccines. How did you make this happen?

Yes, we helped the government expedite COVID vaccinations in July 2021. Together with GoTix and the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Regional Police, we organized a free vaccination center for 10,000 people. We made the vibe different with installations inspired by the BTS song Stay Gold. We also played BTS DVDs in the observation room to help those who fear injections to be more relaxed. The project went smoothly and attracted the attention of many local and foreign media. We even received praise from WHO Director General Dr Tedros via his Twitter account.

And your philanthropic journey didn’t end there. This year, again with UNICEF Indonesia, you launched a Back To School program to help 4.3 million Indonesian children without access to education. What is the story behind this collaboration?

This year, with our new “Back To School” program, we want to help Indonesian children who have dropped out of school to be able to return, especially children whose parents have no money or those who have lost their parents. during the pandemic. In addition to direct donations to UNICEF through KitaBisa and the virtual UNICEF account, proceeds from ticket sales for this year’s exhibition will also be donated to UNICEF.

“To me, healing is a personal and sacred process that shouldn’t be labeled as a trend. We have to respect those who are in the process and vice versa”

What do you think it takes for a charity to have a real impact these days?

The community helps a lot. Because the more people give their support, the more the project is known.

How important are influencers, spokespersons or ambassadors for a charitable foundation like Yayasan Senyum Ungu Indonesia?

The Senyum army currently has 90 active members. Our members come from very different backgrounds and professional fields. We have actresses, doctors, notaries, entrepreneurs and many more, aged between 18 and 45. To me, personally, everyone in the military is an influencer in their own way. When we have a project or anything related to BTS, we always use social media to share information. I sincerely believe that anything done with love can create a good impact.

Hermès top and skirt

Between full-time mom and all your philanthropic activities, how do you balance your day-to-day schedule?

I think I’m doing fine. I can do my work or my meetings from home without having to leave my responsibilities as a mother.

Your first child becomes a tween. How do you manage this intermediate step? Are there any lessons you learned from it?

Most of the time, I do my best to be a good friend to her. But there has to be a line between being a parent and a friend. Children need boundaries, rules and guidance. And that’s what my husband and I have to provide as parents. But caring for a tween takes extra effort. Gwen is very close to her father, so it’s a good thing because she really listens to him.

“We want to become more serious in working on charitable projects, especially for Indonesian children, the next generation of our nation”

Is your daughter a big BTS fan too?

Nope! [Laughs] Gwen is not a member of the BTS Army. She loves alternative rock and she also loves bass guitars even though she’s so stylish. Gwen learned to play the bass guitar from tutorial videos on YouTube. She is so different from me. Every time she walks into my BTS collection room, she always says “Oh my God, Mom” ​​because sometimes it seems like I’m more of a kid than her. I collect albums, concert DVDs, merchandise, BT21 dolls and also BTS figures.

Today, everyone talks about the need for “healing”. What do you think of this trend and what is your ideal way to heal from stress and fatigue?

For me healing is a personal and sacred process that should not be labeled as a trend. We should respect those who are in the process and vice versa. Nevertheless, to relax and help me get rid of fatigue, I watch everything related to BTS: their online concerts, their collection of merchandise, etc. Music is for me one of the best ways to release stress. Their lyrics are very therapeutic and it actually helps so many people during their sad days.

As travel becomes easier again and many destinations open their doors, do you see yourself taking long trips soon?

I’m going to Singapore soon for a medical visit, and to a pediatrician and allergist for my son. Next, I plan to go to Korea in June for the BTS anniversary concert. It’s been a while since I’ve done a pilgrimage, so I want to go back to Rome and Italy. I really miss my holidays in Europe.

Hermès top, pants

You once said that you “love fashion because there are no rules” and that “fashion is essential because it projects your personality”. Can you tell us a bit more about how your style and fashion preferences have changed over the years?

I still believe that fashion has no rules and I apply it now even though I have aged. But the way I do my hair doesn’t reflect my age. I do it fresh and young. Now I love bright colors because it creates a fun, youthful statement. As for makeup, I’m currently obsessed with Thai and Korean styles because they’re more natural, so it goes well with my wardrobe.

Last question, what are your hopes for the rest of the year?

First of all, I hope that we can truly come out of this pandemic, with my husband, my children, my friends and my family in good health. Then, I hope all the charity projects I’m working on this year can go smoothly and bring people happiness. I hope I can watch a BTS concert this year. This is my greatest hope because I have been waiting for this moment for five years.

Photographer Eandaru Kusumaatmaja | Styling Safina Harys | Reconcile Apriliza Neosevituri Aulia | Hair Iwan Taufik | digital imaging artist Metodius Arfantyo | Stylist Assistant Bagoes Abyoso

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