I'm going to be perfectly honest: I'm still not fully comfortable with my looks. I used to be, when I was younger and like, in elementary school. But as I got older, people would make fun of my race (sometimes directly and sometimes it was an indirect comment) and it made me extremely self-conscious of the way I looked. I'm slowly re-accepting my appearance and traits that I cannot change. There are still people who tease so instead of listening, I try to ignore it. But recently, there's been a hype for Asians due to Hollywood. Specifically, "Crazy, Rich Asians, To All The Boys I've Loved Before," and the upcoming live-action "Mulan" film. Since these films, I've been seeing a lot of talk, both hype and criticism, about Asians. So let's talk.
I'm half Chinese and half Caucasian. Wasian, if you're hip to it.
So while I'm not fully Chinese, I still have features that indicate that I am part Asian to the rest of the world. Heck, my nickname in high school was Dumpling! So what's the issue, Maddy? You're also half white. Why are you even addressing this topic if it only kind of applies to you? Because I'm still Asian (they called me DUMPLING), my mom is full Chinese and I have a ton of family members and get this, they're all Chinese too!
It's still a part of me. It's literally 50% of my genetic makeup and it hurts 100% of me when I hear degrading comments about not just Chinese people but all Asians.
Here's what sucks:
1. Having to hear my friends, fellow classmates and random strangers make fun of Asian accents and their appearance, simply because they don't sound the same or look the same as them. I've even had people tell me that they didn't find Asians "attractive." Like, we all know that Asians don't have the widest eyes but if that's the only thing you don't like, don't date us? Just mind your business. Pointing it out isn't anything new here. While it's not technically a direct hit to me since I'm only half, O U C H.
2. Seeing non-Asians with tattoos of characters simply because they think it makes them look "exotic" or "artsy." I'll have you know that not only does it look extremely stupid for a non-Asian to have a character that they just Google Translated (they probably don't even know the proper way to say it or whether it's Chinese, Korean, Japanese or something else) inked on their skin, it's also kind of offensive. This isn't your language. You don't speak it and you don't have a history that connects you to it. So basically, get it the word in your own language, mmkay?
3. The stereotypes that go with being Asian that include but are not limited to: playing either the violin or the piano, only watching anime, being extremely smart especially in math and science, being shitty drivers but amazing ping-pong players, doing kung-fu everywhere, liking Hello Kitty and throwing up peace signs at every photo opportunity. I'm here to tell you that you're only partially right we just don't need you to point them out because sometimes you're wrong. I suck at math, I've only gotten one ticket ever and I can't play the violin to save my life. But if you want your stereotypes pointed out, feel free to DM me. Every race has 'em.
4. Not trying to attack anyone but it always seems to be people who are fully caucasian that tends to shoot insults about race. Are y'all jealous or just rude? Because as far as I'm concerned, we don't go out of our way to make fun of you.
5. You hate on us but then rave about our food? A'ight.
Here's what rocks:
1. Asians are be-yoo-tea-full. Do you know how many people thirst after Li Shang? There's a reason he sings the song "Make A Man Out Of You." It's because he's a man and an attractive man at that! While our appearances aren't everyone's cup of tea, I also have been validated that I'm not bad looking. When you look at a lineup of all white models and one from an Asian background, who's gonna stick out? Also, have you seen the cast of "Crazy, Rich Asians"? Yeah. I rest my case. We're beautiful in our own, exotic way. And our language and accents are beautiful in their own, exotic way. Still got an issue? Go to a nail salon and just try to understand the ladies as they talk shit about your cuticles.
2. We have rich histories that go back thousands of centuries and dynasties. Our characters are older than America. Heck, the Chinese invented fireworks (you're welcome, Fourth of July). They're truly awe-inspiring stories.
3. Our stereotypes are your Instagram stories. Bubble tea? Asian. Sushi? Asian. Pandas? Asian. Cosplay? Originated from Japan so ASIAN. Your jobs? Probably getting taken by Asians because if we don't succeed, we'll bring dishonor on our families and cows. You get the idea, right?
4. I don't know about you and this may be a bit biased but I think Asians are some of the funniest people ever. Ali Wong, Jo Koy, Russell Peters, Mindy Kaling, the list can go on for PAGES. We're also extremely hospitable (we'll send you home with enough food to feed an army) and you never really see Asians playing the bad guy. Not to mention that if you mix any race with an Asian, you will get one good lookin' baby. Just sayin' don't hate on what you don't know about.
5. Yeah, our food is the bomb.
Also, yes. We can tell the difference between the different types of Asian. It's like a superpower that only we get. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There's always going to be pros and cons but I think that the pros completely outweigh the cons. Hollywood has had a history of rarely casting Asians but it looks like they're finally heading in the right direction and diversifying the big screen. Hopefully, by ushering in these new stars, negative opinions and stereotypes surrounding Asian culture will cease to exist.
As for me, I'm proud of both being of Caucasian and Asian descent. It doesn't hurt as much as it used to when I hear negative comments. Maybe it comes with getting older but I'm not trying to ignore my heritage anymore but rather, embrace it. It's part of who I am and I think I'm pretty damn fantastic.
So here's to lo mein, chopsticks, dumplings, and panda bears! We rule :-)