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.

Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Binding Targeted Leave In Treatment Crème

Hi Everyone, today I will be reviewing the Nexxus Pro-Mend Split End Binding Treatment Crème. I bought this at my neighborhood Walgreens for $15 including tax

Description from www.nexxus.com

ProMend Leave-In Treatment Crème provides daily repair for split end problem areas. Use after each shower to bind split ends back together before styling, so ends look beautifully healthy and strong.

20130725_193537 20130725_193503

My Review

I bought this for about $13 before tax at my neighborhood Walgreens. I like to use it after my hair has dried a bit, because if your hair is too wet when you apply it, it drips. I have a lot of split ends, even though I don’t blow dry or curl my hair, so I was using this to repair my splits. It actually repairs my split ends (sorry don’t have any pictures  because my camera’s megapixels aren’t big enough to capture the image of my splits.) When I have crazy bedhead hair, and don’t have time to tame it. besides just brushing my hair, I apply a bit of this Pro-Mend Treatment Crème to my ends and scrunch up my hair a bit, so then my hair looks slightly wavy, instead of a messy bedhead. I like how it makes my hair shinier, but doesn’t make my hair look greasy.  I would rate this a 4.5/5  because it’s $15 after tax for a 4.8oz bottle

Before (sorry for the weird smile lol)

553013_478032428921282_722343623_n

After

aviary_1376204269353Nexxus

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by this company, all reviews are entirely my own. I am honest in all muy reviews

Clinique Super City Block Review

Hi Everyone!

Today I am reviewing the Clinique Super City Block Oil Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40. Even though, I am only 15 years old and never get sunburns, I still use sunscreen so my skin won’t age. It costs $21 for  a 1.4 oz tube. It is hypoallergenic and fragrance free, though it smells like pickles (to me anyway). I have been using this product on and off since I was about 9 and I was in China. In China, the weather is really hot and without this product, I would have been sunburned to a crisp.

DSCF1180DSCF1181

What the Clinique Super City Block Oil Free Daily Face Protector claims to do:High-protection daily sunscreen in a sheer, lightweight formula. For all skins, even the most sensitive. Offers SPF 40 protection from sun’s UVA/UVB rays. Antioxidants help protect against environmental irritants. Wear alone or as an invisible under-makeup primer.

  • Benefit – Sun Protection

Pros:

  • Sun protection
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Also could be used as primer
  • May Prevent aging
  • Non Oily
  • Long lasting

Cons

  • Pricey at $21 for a 1.4 oz tube.

It definitely protected my skin from the sun and it feels non oily. I would rate this a  4.5/5 for the price of $21 for a 1.4 oz tube.

Disclaimer: i am not sponsored by this company, all opinions are entirely my own. I am honest with all of my reviews.

L’Oreal Paris Advanced Hair Care Total Repair 5 Review

Hi! Today I am going to review L’Oreal Paris’s Advanced Hair Care Total Repair 5. They were giving out free samples on their Facebook page and I wanted to try it to see if it was any good. I got 3 packets in the mail about 3 months later. The 3 packets contain the shampoo, conditioner and the Damage- Erasing Balm. I chose the one that contains ceramide that is supposed to repair damaged hair. The L’Oreal company is very generous the .34 oz. packets are enough for 2 washes if you have medium length hair.

What is Ceramide?

Ceramide is a natural fatty material found in hair or skin. Ceramide is basically a hair glue that holds our cuticles together.

The Total Repair 5 hair products claims to remove 1 year of damage with 1 use, but doesn’t do that even with 2 uses, but I felt like the Damage Erasing Balm added some moisture into my hair.

This product claims to do 5 things:

1. REBUILT FIBERS (not really)
2. STRENGTH (yes)
3. VITALITY  (yes)
4. SILKINESS (yes)
5. SHINE (no)

I felt like this product is really good for a $4.99 bottle of shampoo or conditioner. I feel like this product is as good compared to Nexxus Hair Care, though it is a lot cheaper and more affordable. I think that if I don’t have the time to run to Costco and get the bottles of shampoo and conditioner, I will just run to Walgreens and get this really cheap product. I would rate this L’Oreal product a 4/5 because it is affordable, but doesn’t exactly live up to the claims.

 

Beauty Tip: Alternative to Nail polish remover

Don’t you hate that moment when your nail polish is coming off and0 ran out of the remover and you’re to lazy to run to the store? I have another way to remove it! Just use some of the perfume you never use and put some on a cotton pad, then swipe it over your nails. It might take some scrubbing, and it will come off.

SkinFood Orange Nail Polish Remover Jelly Review

Hi Everybody!!! Today I’m going to give you a review on Skin Food’s Orange Nail Remover Jelly. This product is great because it is different from regular nail remover. One it is made like jelly, second it removes color without dying effects, and makes nail soft and smooth. You do not have to use a lot, just put a little bit on a cotton pad and then gently rub against your nail. When you are done, your nail looks normal again.
I would rate this 3.5/5 because it runs out too fast and it costs around $14.5 for a bottle with 100 ml.

I’m not sponsored by this company, this is my own opinion.

Thanks 🙂

Maybelline New York Baby Lips Review

Hi everyone! Today I am reviewing the Maybelline New York Baby Lips!

I got it in Pink Punch number 25. I bought it for $4.99 at Walgreens and I love it! I think this is a must have for girls who have really dry lips. I bought this product 3 weeks ago and in less than 3 days after I started using it, my lips started to be softer. Pink Punch is a hot pink color but when you glide it on your lips it looks natural. I like to apply it every hour just to maintain the amount of moisture on lips. I use it so much that I am running out of the Pink Punch and bought 2 more tubes in Peppermint No 10 and Quenched No 05 that are clear and has sunscreen.

I would rate this a 4.5/5 due to the fact that it runs out quite quickly, but it is worth the price of $5 per tube!

Disclaimer: i am not sponsored by this company, all opinions are entirely my own. I am honest with all of my reviews.

Bath and Body Works-Strawberry Sparkler Body Wash

Hi everyone! Today I will be reviewing the Strawberry Sparkler by Bath and Body Works I bought it for $3.25 at clearance and the original price was $11.00.

From the back of the bottle:

  • Strawberry Sparkler is a flirty cocktail of wild strawberries, sparkling mandarin and pink jasmine
  • My review: It smells fruity but not too fruity. I used Neutrogena Rainbath shower gel, before getting this and it worked, but it was too expensive like 10 bucks for 8.5 oz of it so I decided to try it because it felt like a bargain and it smelled luscious at the store. After being all sweaty at gym, I could still smell the yummy scent.

I would rate the Strawberry Sparkler a 5/5 stars