A Reader of Mixed Races Shares Their Struggle

Coming from a Taiwanese father and Spanish mother has never been simple at all. Mixed languages, mixed families, and of course, mixed principles, cultures, and values. While one side says something, the other contradicts it. Respect to both sides was instilled in me since the moment I could utter a word, so of course it was difficult to know who exactly to listen to. In come my parents: my father was more easy going than my mother, though both had their moments like every parent, or person, does. Food was always either Chinese or Spanish, or sometimes both, and always one of the main dishes was rice, be it white or a combination of vegetables and rice. Whenever family, of either side, came over, it was always the same wording, just different language: My god you need to lose weight. I found it rather cynical that that’s one of the only common sayings my two sides of the family had. As a kid, I never gave much attention to what they said about me and my sister, because I was more worried about my scooter or watching the new episode of Cat Dog, but now that I’m older, I’m extremely conscious of my weight and anxious of how the world perceives me, especially since it’s not easy for many to digest my mixed ethnic background. I eat, but do I enjoy the food? Not as a person blessed enough to have a meal should, which adds to my anxiety.

During my teens, where bullies and ignorance ran amok in school, I hated both sides of my ethnicity. I would wish my parents would’ve never met, which would then lead to my nonexistence, therefore I wouldn’t be dealing with what I did then. I would be compared to the other Asian girls at school for not being their size and skin tone, and the Hispanic kids would taunt me for my little eyes and strange last name. The teasing was endless, until I got to high school and found two amazing friends, that while they didn’t have mixed blood, they saw me as a human being and accepted me for who I was, which then made it easier to deal with the questions and leering. I’d talk to my parents about it,though they had enough on their plates as it was, but while one told me to ignore them, the other would say, “You come from two amazing backgrounds, hardworking families, and knowing four languages as you do, you have the upper hand and access to places that they may never have.” What did my knowledge of languages do to stop the body issues I was having? Nothing at all. Where did they find the correlation between the two is beyond me. I always wonder, besides me and my older sister, are there any mixed Asians that face the same problem, be it with weight, bullying, or family dynamics, or are we as strange as others make it seem?

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Lisa Leesubmission, community