Nothing for us Asian women is easy.
Let’s start with beauty. Instead of embracing darker skin tones, a great majority of the Asian women population have an unhealthy obsession with getting their skin whitened, hoping to match up with the European beauty standards. Can we really help the fact that some of us are naturally darker from genetics or from the exposure under the sun that increases the amount of melanin in us? Why am I pressured by my native community that keeps telling me that European features are the epitome of beauty? From double eyelids to higher nose bridges, is it necessary for me to undergo plastic surgery to finally be happy with my appearance?
And that is just the start. There is an obsession with flat stomachs for Asian women. The celebration of thicker Asian women is much more rare in the eye of the Western media. This causes body dysmorphia for a lot of my Asian vinas even when I tell them how damn fine they look. Their mental health goes down the drain and they develop eating disorders, trying to look like their favorite models who secretly might have an eating disorder as well. Why is there a stigma against thicker Asian women? And when she wears a revealing or body hugging outfit to accentuate her curves, why do people call her brave? What if she’s already confident in her own skin? No one tells a thin woman that she’s brave for wearing a bodycon dress, that’s for sure.
Oh oh oh, how about me getting told that I speak English well for an Asian? What the hell does that even mean? It seems that even with the fact that I’m able to speak English people treat me differently. For instance, if an Asian woman was not able to converse in English fluently, she’s immediately a ghost in an English speaking community with difficult means to improve on her speaking skills. No one would approach or even look at her and that’s the reality of it. The reality of “go back to China” is very real and it’s even worse when you’re not even from there. This doesn’t even include the joking stereotype that Asian women who work at beauty salons aren’t able to speak English. Or the irrationality of that one viral video where an Asian woman was yelled at for speaking Mandarin in a Chinese restaurant selling Chinese food. The occasional regular comments like “you’re pretty” followed by “for an Asian” is frustrating. For an Asian? Really? This leads to us Asian women working hard to be on the same page as anyone else.
From getting the grades, making the cash to going for a workout, people would tell us “you work too hard,” “you’re too determined”, “slow down”, “you sure you can handle that?” Hell yeah, we can handle that. To be given the same opportunities—that’s the kind of hustle we have to put in and we don’t hesitate to fight to the top.
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