when i look in the mirror and try to smooth the lumps rolling across my body, my friends say, “stop that! you have great curves! you fill things out!” and all i can wonder is, “why is it my burden to carry my confidence?”
how can you understand when you see your own face + body everywhere, on tv and in film, in magazines and every catalogue?
everywhere i look i’m told to hate myself and yet i’m chastised when i have a moment of weakness, criticized when i’m too vain.
i can’t perfect this balance of modest confidence and i shouldn’t have to, not when i already have to navigate the world as a woman of color. i’m not even allowed the freedom to express my full range of emotions — i’m supposed to present the right representation for my race. you’ve always been an individual first, a member of your race second.
but how am i supposed to do that when little white girls just like you used to say to me, “you could be a model if you weren’t short. or fat. or ugly.”
the only thing they forgot to admit was white.
i hate having to reconcile being desired sexually because i’m asian and being aesthetically rejected for it all at the same time.
you think i should be flattered when i’m fetishized, but how can you mandate to me what encompasses “flattery” when no one has ever said to you : “wow, i love your swedish eyes” or “damn, i love white women” (though the opposite is constantly thought about women of color).
stopt telling me to feel beautiful, because when people tell me i’m beautiful they simultaneously remove my humanity. an asian beauty, never a beautiful woman.
you could never understand. you get to be beautiful and human, beautiful and whole.