I found an article on CNN that really resonated with me. I'm talking my heart started racing, and tears came to my eyes. It had nothing to do with genocide, endangered animals, or the destruction of natural resources. It wasn't even a military surprise homecoming. So then what was this emotion about?
Plastic surgery. (Find the article here.)
Yes, that's right. I almost started weeping over elective cosmetic reconstruction. More specifically, the article was about Asian people (women and men) undergoing surgery to look more Western. As an adult, I understand that people come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. I know that each one of us is beautiful in our own way. As a child, not so much.
|Me-circa 3yrs old. Long before I knew how uncool,|
then cool, looking Asian was.
I wanted to so badly to fit in with the other kids in school. I hated being different. I was a different color. My hair was different. My eyes. My nose. My face is flat. And I have a horribly dark mustache. No one in our tiny town looked like me. Add in the fact that math was a breeze, and I loved books. I was a magnet for bullies. The boys were not nice. (More about that here.)
I would see people on tv, in movies and magazines, and wish on every first star that I would wake up the next morning looking like them. Alas, it never happened.
When I hit fourth grade, I needed glasses. My nose has no bridge. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find glasses that fit a wide/round head with no bridge? It's ridiculous. Getting my glasses fitted usually takes about an hour. In addition to wanting to look similar, now I wanted a nose job just to make my glasses fit. I asked my mom for as much twice when I was younger. The first time she blew me off, the second time she told me we couldn't afford it. It's pretty hard to pay for rhinoplasty when you're forced to wear welfare glasses.
It was a teen tragedy back in the day, but I'm a lot better with my Asian-ness now. My husband is the biggest reason. My Asian features are some of what he loves most about me. My heart soars every time he boasts how happy he is that the girls have my bridge-less nose. Not gonna lie, my children are gorgeous. I make sure to tell them every chance I get. I don't want them wishing they were different from how they were born. It's a rough way to grow up.
So to the ignorant commenters on CNN's article, although the doctor used some superficial reasons that Asians want to look White, it was a little bit deeper for some of us.
I Love Y'all Just the Way You Are,