Growing up, two icons I looked up to were sailor moon and hello kitty. I loved that sailor moon was thin, had long legs, long hair, and pretty. I loved that hello kitty was cute, could dress up as anything, and didn’t have anything to say. But little did I know that my favorite icons as a kid would influence me as a I got older. Without realizing it, I was always wanting to look thin and thought that I would only be successful in life if I were skinny. Sailor moon was replaced by Asian female celebrities I would see in dramas, also skinny and very pretty. The notion of keeping quiet was perpetuated by my my peers and parents to not say anything when I was being made fun of or abused. Being outspoken for what you believe in was definitely something I never saw among Asian women when growing up. And when someone did, she would be thought as loud and crazy. Undesirable.
During college, I developed an eating disorder which led to depression. I started stress eating, and as a result gained weight. When I did, I thought that my life was gonna be over because I didn’t look how I wanted to look. As dumb as it sounds, I thought my life was over because I wouldn’t get anywhere in life based on looks. I was also afraid to talk about these things because Asians don’t talk about their feelings right? I got used to keeping things in and hoping things will just get better.
I’m 28 now and I’m very grateful that I no longer starve myself or voluntarily throw up; thanks to my supportive family, friends, counselors, and faith. However, the thoughts still linger on and I have a fear of what people think of me. But I am taking steps to change my view of beauty day by day, and even attempting to speak out in a loving way to people who say offensive things. But my heart does feel for the young girls who are growing up in this world. Hello kitty is still popular and sailor moon is still being aired. Those things probably will never change, but I think encouraging young girls and speaking truth to them can be just as effective. Lets not create more eating disorders for them.