Friday, March 14, 2014

"What Are You?"

I seriously hate this question.

Also, if you are a follower/regular reader of my blog, this entry will be way off the spectrum of what I usually write about. The following is a rant, because frankly, I'm fed up!

So after some lurking on tumblr, I came about an article on Huffington Post, where a young woman explains how she feels about being asked "What are you?" Rest assured, she doesn't like it, and has similar sentiments as myself.

Here is the article if you'd like to read it yourself, and watch the video interview she had:

The following are my sentiments on how I feel about it:
Firstly, I want to start off by saying how wonderfully written this article was. It honestly brought tears to my eyes to read, because how Andromeda (the author) explained her struggle with her identity growing up, being an outcast, dealing with it as a young modern woman in today's society, was exactly how I felt. 
Moving on. I'm sorry, but I highly doubt a lot of people would ask someone non-mixed (noticeably, since pretty much no one is "pure" so to speak) "what are you?" So why do people feel like it's okay to ask someone who is mixed this question?
I find too often that people are curious to know because they don't know how to act around me without being able to tap into the "knowledge" they have about certain races. And almost always assuming some sort of odd circumstance had to occur for my parents to create me. My dad apparently has to be soldier who was over in Asia, until I tell them its my dad who is ASIAN, not the other way around. To which, they continue to be more perplexed as to how a Caucasian woman & Asian man could find themselves in a relationship together to the point of having children.
It bothers me when people "sympathize" with one part of my identity. No, I do not find it flattering when you say "oh, but she's Chinese too". Was there something wrong with me before you knew I was part Chinese? Or vice versa?
The reason lately this has been bothering more than ever (because I've been dealing with this my whole life, at school, work, mall, the park, random places, different cities, provinces, countries, etc.) if you've noticed my recent spam in my protest for some respect, it's because I was attacked (verbally) by someone for correcting them in what my identity was. It went something like this:
Random stranger: what are you?Me: excuse me?
Random stranger: what country did you come from? are you mixed?*At this point, because he was badgering me I decided to give in & just give him the 411 on my heritage.
Me: I'm Chinese--*Don't even get to finish talking
Random Stranger: Oh, so you're Asian.*He got this smug look on his face, and turned away from me. Because apparently now that he knew what he wanted to know, he didn't have any use for me.
Me: Actually, I'm Canadian. I was born here. My parents were born here.*He got so irritated so fast, and I'm not all sure what he said at this point because I was so overwhelmed by his reaction, but he basically went on a rant of how I was denying my heritage, a failure to my race, blah blah blah.
Excuse me? I'm a failure to my race? I'm PROUD to be a Canadian. But being a Canadian isn't all that's apart of my identity. I'm so many more things, and if you don't want to take the time to get to know who I am, don't you dare ask me "what are you."
Seriously at the point, this is where I'm going to start slapping people & flip out.


On a side note, I've gotten a huge oppurtunity to be working with someone to improve my Gyaru style (complete topic change haha), so fun & exciting thigns in the future!!

xoxo NANA <3

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