On Growing Up As an Unskinny Asian

I feel that everyone can relate to this blog, even if you aren’t asian. We (no matter what body type you have or even if you’re a boy or girl) are all faced with high expectations and beauty standards that can trigger our insecurities. This author’s perspective, Olivia, is one that I can easily relate to. Because I believed that many other people wouldn’t understand my feelings, I always kept these thoughts to myself. In reality, not speaking out about how I saw myself as a person really brought my self-esteem down. The sad thing is that my family is the one that criticized me the most, and I just let their words sink deep into my self-doubt about my own body. To quote my favorite teacher, Mr. Feeny, “Unfortunately we live in a society where they tell us we have to look a certain way, so we’re all under pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations.” The first step in learning to love your body is to take that criticism and turn it into something positive. Don’t let what other people’s perception of you and what they say dictate your behavior.

Juliana Chang

Originally published on XoJane.com

Growing up as an Asian American, I knew I would never have the long legs or double lidded blue eyes of the models that graced the TV screens and magazines I saw. Hell, I might not even have the tan skin if my melanin continued to refuse to cooperate. I recognized it would be biologically impossible for me to achieve the majority of Western beauty standards, and I was okay with that.

Instead, I contented myself with believing I could do fairly well by Asian standards. My nose was upright, my hair was sleek and straight. Surrounded by petite Asian adults, I also assumed that I would grow up to be the same way. Effortlessly, easily, thin.

Then puberty arrived.

No, “arrived” is too passive of a word. Puberty blistered across my body, ravaging my hormones, skin, bones, and self esteem all in one shot. I…

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