Midnight rambling

I know that I’ve been saying that I’ll try to update every month but updating is hard when school and drama gets in the way. I might post random pieces of creative writing and stories that I’ve worked on. To the people who still read my blog even if it’s been dead compared to 2013, I love you.

I’ve been getting into social justice, intersectional feminism, and exploring how my Chinese-ness meshes with being an American. I’m planning on minoring in East Asian Studies because I really don’t know much about Chinese culture despite being raised into it and speaking the language.

Because being part of the Chinese diaspora means being “othered.” In America, people notice my physical features and automatically assumed I’m an outsider, but at the same time, Mainland Chinese don’t really consider me to be “authentically Chinese.” I feel so disconnected because of this. Being called “Gwei Mei” because my speaking skills aren’t perfect while being hit with microaggressions because my “English is good for an Asian.”

Computer Science has been a thing I’ve been debating. I’ve been hit with so much sexism and racial comments that I’m doubting myself right now. Is this  worth all the pain to graduate with a CS degree and have to deal with these kinds of attitudes in the future? I am dealing with a heavy case of impostor syndrome and I don’t know if I can make it. I love writing code and I really enjoy it, but sometimes I want to give up.

 

Unlearning Colorism

This is a spoken word piece that I wrote very quickly and I didn’t have  time to edit.
My Chinese name, Ming Zhu, means Precious Pearl. I was named that by my grandfather in the hopes that I would be as pale, luminous, and flawless like an expensive pearl is.
I was three when I first heard the words uttered by my great aunt to my grandmother, “Your granddaughter would be so much prettier if she was lighter.” It’s a traditional thing since back during the dynasties, if you were rich, you stayed inside and didn’t need to work hard under the harsh sun. Then being pale became the thing to be since it meant that you were rich.
I was told to stay outdoors and try to slather layers upon layers of sunscreen to prevent me from tanning. I was told to use “brightening” creams which were supposed to lighten my skin to be a more “acceptable” tone. If I did go outside, I was made to wear a wide brimmed hat to make sure that I didn’t get darker. I was told to aspire to have Fan Bing Bing’s skin tone, her pale as snow white skin, because she is considered the modern Chinese beauty.
When I was eight years old, and I had a couple of photoshoots of me in cultural dress, the photographer insisted on editing my pictures. He lightened my skin so light to the point that you would think that it wasn’t me. This happened on numerous occasions, not that one time. Even when having professionally done senior prom pictures, they retouched and Photoshopped my skin at least four shades lighter.
When I got into makeup at 15, there were 25 shades of mayo, eggshell, and bone white but not one shade that matched my golden tan skin. Even now at 19, it’s extremely difficult to find a shade that matches me even when I go to higher end shops like Sephora or MAC. The salesperson tries to sell me a shade that doesn’t work, the shade is either always Donald Trump orange or takes the warmth away from my skin to the point that I look like a zombie. Although I have more options than other women of color, it’s still ridiculous that many of us have to buy 2 expensive bottles of foundation and mix it just to have an okay match.
I was 17 when I learned about the systems of oppression. I learned that colorism is the prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. I am privileged enough that my skin was light enough not to be considered “the help” when I was in China, but my skin is considered too dark to be considered beautiful. Other ethnicities regard me as fair skinned but my own race bullies me because I am too dark.
Learning this in my social change class awoke the realization that I am inherently privileged, I can afford to buy makeup that somewhat matches my shade. That I indirectly benefit from anti-blackness because as Asian Americans, we usually distance ourselves from African Americans and their struggles. We demand that they support our causes, yet we abandon them when the topic of Black Lives Matter arises.
I am still unlearning my internalized colorism, the 15 plus years of hating my skin. It’s difficult when the few representations of East Asian women are traditionally pale and light skinned. Whenever you think of a prominent Asian American woman in modern media, you often think of Jaime Chung or Lucy Liu. Because why can’t a darker skinned Chinese woman play Mulan? She fought in a war for 12 years under harsh conditions so wouldn’t she be tan? Because why is Scarlett Johansson, a white woman, the better choice to play a Japanese character over an actual Japanese actress who deserves the role? She is taking a role from Asian Americans who already have limited starring roles.
I embrace being tan, loving the way that when the sunshine hits my skin, it turns an incredibly beautiful golden tone. I am slowly learning to love myself for who I am instead of being a young woman with insecurities and internalized colorism. I think about how beautiful my skin tone is every day and how if I ever have a child, I would not subject them to all of the anguish of hating themselves over skin color. I would teach them to love themselves and that they are beautiful the way they are. My grandpa was right, I am as flawless as a priceless gem.

My Funko POP! Collection

I have recently started collecting Funko Pops! I started collecting them in August because I found some that were so adorable. I have around 15  right now. I don’t have a picture my phone is slightly damaged.  My pride and joy are the Marvel ones.

Tired of Teacher’s BS part 2

So I talked to him last Fri 12/18 about all the missing assignments (that he graded and gave me zeros for) and he filled it in so I got a C  for semester grade after final. He went like “You’re so smart, why are you getting such a bad grade in my class?”

I didn’t say anything about how my depression had gotten worse because I don’t want a teacher that knows me pretty well to see me as unstable.  I just told him that my relatives from China were here for a month so I couldn’t study.

Today, I got my report card and it said I got a D. What the heck? He told me that I would get a C as my semester grade.  He just burst a ton of my dreams, to go to a top ranked school for computer science. That grade will probably withdraw my applications to the 14 schools I applied to.  That there is about $700 worth of app fees + ACT fees.

Tired of Teacher’s BS

So today, I went to my Physics teacher’s classroom to turn in some work that I didn’t turn in on time.

One of my best friends was there to talk to him and try to explain the reason why she couldn’t do all the work. He just shut her down before she could explain her condition. He said something along the lines of “If you had such a condition, why didn’t you talk to me earlier instead of guilting me into giving you a better grade at the end of semester?”

It pisses me off because:

  1. Because he told her that she wasn’t communicating well with her lab group. When they were isolating her and overall just ignoring her when she’s so brilliant.
  2. Giving her a bad citizenship grade because she has to sleep in class due to her condition. After 3-4 hrs, she can barely stay awake + she stays up late to do so many assignments. But no he assumes she’s being lazy and staying up to watch shows/ play games.

I have depression and some days I can barely drag myself out of bed. I persevere and try to make it to my classes. Some days I have insomnia and sleep for 2-3 hrs a night, some days I sleep for 16-18 hours a day and  still be tired.  Some times I sleep in class because of my lack of energy. I feel like my emotions are a dark hole of sadness and I can’t get out of it. If it looks like I’m disinterested, not concentrating it’s my depression rearing its ugly head.

I have contemplated self harming and how the world would be better without me. But then I think about my loved ones, how would they feel if their friend/daughter/niece left them so young.

I put on this front that everything is okay. I’m smiley and cheerful and try to make it  seem like I’m okay, but on the inside it’s like a tornado ripping through my emotions. I’m tired of hiding my depression because I’ve been hiding this since I was 11. I’m tired of depression being stigmatized and having to act ashamed of being like this.

Reflecting back on what my friend experienced, if I told him what was going on in my life, he would probably tell me to go to a shrink or take some anti-depressants or do something. Seriously?

Psychologists are expensive, they cost hundreds of dollars for one session. Who would pay for it? MY parents? We are barely scraping through since I’m about to go off to college. My insurance? Knowing my insurance, they would refer me to the  worst shrinks.

Anti-depressants are mad expensive. Also all the terrible side effects that come with it aren’t even worth it.  Most of them cause low energy and that’s what I’m dealing with on a daily basis.

As a first generation Asian-American woman, I have to pretend that my depression doesn’t exist. I have to achieve the American dream success story that everyone wants. From birth, it was drilled into my head that I must be perfect,to get 4.0s, to be a leader, to be the perfect little drone hat would eventually become a doctor or an accountant, to go to a good college  and get a good job. Then  get married to a  boy, to pop out two or three  adorable little kids and be a stay at home mom. It makes it so hard for me to accept my flaws, that I won’t be this person with the size 2 body and 4. something GPAs. Well guess what?

I’m  none of those things. I have a bright future ahead of me and I will defy  every single one of those expectations.I’m embracing myself for who I am and not the expectations put on me. I’m embracing what society deems “flaws” and loving myself for who I am. I am going to pursue what I love.

 

~Thanks Cara for giving me this insight and giving me the courage to come out and say what I’ve been wanting to say for so long.

Life Update

I haven’t been updating as much as I want to.  School has been swamping my life. Finals start tomorrow. I’m writing a 3 page essay and I’m exhausted as hell.

I had a lot of pictures on my old dead laptop so I’m so sad that I can’t post them. I got a new laptop and it’s so gorgeous! I really can’t believe that I have 6 months to go before i’m officially a high school graduate.

Sorry if this is just me rambling on, but I’m exhausted and stressed out and my plate is so full right now that I can’t think properly.

Peace out,

Rita

Summer 2015

I know I haven’t been posting much this past 6 months. I plan to because SUMMER is coming up and I’m super excited! I have city college classes.

AP tests are done after I took mine (AP Calc AB and APUSH) they were just horrible. More exams to go and I’m done with Jr. Year.

Just saw the set pics from Captain America: Civil War and I’m massively fangirling. Excited for Bucky to be back. I’m happy that the Russo brothers are directing this movie. I honestly can’t wait for it to come out. Also the Deadpool movie looks so amazing! I’m planning on watching it once they come out with my little cousins BenBen and Joshie.

I got really bored with blogging because I literally had no inspiration to write. I have tons pictures that I will post soon.

girls who codegirls who code club at the local library with our teacher, Daniel.

Edit I know this is so late, but here’s a post.