Power In Acceptance: Embracing Your Race
Are you happy being Caucasian? Asian? African American? How about being German? Ethiopian? Thai?.. or however you prefer to be called. Let me tell you my little story of how I came to embracing my race and physical "flaws" which I prefer to call differences. As a full Filipino girl, I had trouble accepting and acknowledging my roots. Dealing with being treated as person with Chinese descent (as in people who start speaking to me in Mandarin/Cantonese), dealing with having "non-Asian" hair, dealing with big Asian eyes, it was weird and hard accepting my physical characteristics.
Let's start with my hair. My hair is and has been, ever since I was born, curly. Not curly, like mixed curly as you would think, but mildly curly/wavy, I guess. When I was little, my hair was really thin so it was fine having my hair cut what ever way. Once I grew older, my hair became thicker and more frizzy,puffy, and curly. Dancing ballet for 10 years of my life definitely damaged my hair with all of the gel, hairspray, sweat, and grossness I had to deal with practically every day. In elementary, I wore my hair down probably until grade 5, when I had to start wearing it up in a ponytail because it would be really ugly and puffy. I felt so different from everyone else with my curly hair. Around 11-13 years old, I thought my hair was going to stay that way forever. Then I quit ballet and started high school.
Now, I found my situation to be even worse. The first two years of high school, I was really thirsty to make friends (my elementary friends all went to other schools) and fit in so having my hair made me feel insecure. During grade 8 and 9, I absolutely hated my curly hair. I would wake up earlier than I do now, around 6:30 ish (now I get up at around 7:15 or later, lawl 'cause I have to leave at 8) and straighten it. The middle of Grade 9 to just October of this Grade 11 year, I started accepting my hair more, but I didn't know how I could wear it (I didn't know about hair products back then). So even worse than before, I would wake up even EARLIER every morning in order to straighten most of my hair and curl it. I would leave some natural parts, well, to make it look more natural and haha, then I would tell people that was my natural hair. I would think "well, technically it is.." when in reality, only a quarter of my shown hair was natural.
NOW, SINCE NOVEMBER, THANKS TO LUSH (I LOVE YOU), I can FINALLY wear my hair naturally, no heat needed. If you don't believe me then I give you permission to dump a bucket of water on my head to soak it and watch the curls form as it gets dry... but then I'd have to put my product in while it's wet to keep it nice. If you have me in your first block or take the bus with me, my hair is sometimes wet too so you can see.. HAHAHA. After discovering that beautiful product, everything about my hair just got better from there.
It still feels weird to have curly hair when Asians are known for having dead straight hair, but I learned to accept it and love it and embrace it. It was tough going to a Asian hairdresser that hated my hair and always straightened and complained about it when I had to go to her, but I just figured that I'm not getting my hair cut by her again LOL. I also had to deal with rude and hateful comments made by my own family members, titas, etc. My hair has become something that makes me different from others, which I love. I'm not your typical Asian girl, hooo! Thank Jesus for giving my these luscious locks. Oh and please, don't run your fingers through my hair, unless authorized, because it will literally ruin the curls. I don't brush my hair because it gets puffy and frizzy.
Now, my eyes. My eyes are pretty big for an asian. Now, I don't think it's a bad thing at all. I actually find my eyes pretty. But especially when I first got contacts a few months ago, my eyeballs were huge and I couldn't deal. Again, I just learned how to tolerate with them and eventually accept them.
I'm not chinese!!! I'm not hating on Chinese people, nor do I get offended with being considered as a Chinese person; it's just annoying and it makes me feel bad. Annoying because I'm actually Filipino and it makes me feels bad because whenever Chinese people come up to me, I sadly can't help them. It sucks that I look like I could help them, but I can't. Oh, well. This is most likely something I would have to deal with for the rest of my life, so might as well accept it.
Well, there you go. This is vulnerable me; accepting and embracing the Asian in me as well as taking the shameless action to share this story. Oh, I also think there should be more figures for Asian empowerment. Most famous Asians I know don't embrace their culture and instead take black or white culture. The black people are doing it, I don't see any Asian Amandla Stenbergs or Willow Smiths. I'll be an advocate for that.
I'm Lindsey Cruz; a full Filipino girl, born and raised in Canada. I'm pretty white-washed, meaning that I'm into some Filipino things like how they make actors/actresses sing when they can't, how halfies are automatically celebrities, some of our well-liked food (like taho, sorry) but I know and love my roots. I'm a light-skinned Filipina, which is probably why I get considered Chinese. I have black curly and thick hair and bigger than your average Asian eyes. I still have the Filipino nose though, huhu. I'm full Asian with non-Asian characteristics and loving, accepting, embracing, and rocking them all! #LOVEYOURSELF