How To Love Asian Eyes

Photo by Joy Marino on Pexels.com

Don’t let ANYONE ever make you feel ashamed of your beautiful eyes.

Embrace your Asian eyes – as slanted, chinky, slit-like, almond-shaped, exotic, beautiful – as they are. Especially when you smile.

Story of my life. If we had the internet growing up, I probably would have googled ‘How to round slanted eyes’.

Yes, it was because of ugly remarks from the ignorant white kid at school who called me a ‘chink’ and didn’t let me off the monkey bars. The boy in class who thought he ruled.

That’s when I became so conscious about my eyes. And that it may not be appealing to others. The day I didn’t want the world to look at me.

The day I didn’t want to be seen.

I’ve experienced racism at a young age until now. It didn’t stop at that boy. What about the group of teenage boys in University, yelling from across the street, asking if my clothes were clean from the laundromat – to go back where I came from – ‘chink’.

All the different layers of how it impacts my life – as a child, as a student, as a professional, as a mom, as a wife, as a person.

Too many stories to count. Too much anger to rant.

Honestly, I haven’t quite fought against it either because we were taught to use our Canadian birthright and education to fit in – like it’s supposed to save us from ignorance.

Every minority in the world experiences racism. There are even minorities within minorities. The cycle is vicious.

Why Does it Matter Now?

This moment serves as my right, as someone who has experienced being called a ‘chink’, to expose those for the wrong energy they breed.

Inspired by the #StopAsianHate on social media, in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, I’m speaking out now to break the patterns.

I’ve been a target of discrimination because of my eyes. I’m Filipina Canadian with very slanted eyes and very fair skin. I can pass for every Asian because I look Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, or Tibetan, so I’m told.

I’m the nicest person in the world but if you want to call at me with your racist slurs then bring it!

My slanted eyes will cut you so deep you’ll understand the mysteriousness hiding behind them.

It doesn’t matter what background you are, you shouldn’t be discriminated against!

It matters because my children’s views of an innocent world are being tainted with the dark layers of the world with events in the news, in schools, within our city, and abroad.

They never knew what the word ‘racist’ meant until a year ago, even in our bi-racial family.

My son asked me if ‘racist’ was a bad word when he heard a video gamer say it online. I responded that it wasn’t a swear word but as soon as it came out of my mouth, I quickly changed it.

Yes, it is a bad word for a bad person. He had never heard of the word, so I explained to him.

It’s when a person doesn’t like someone because of the colour of their skin and their cultural background. He didn’t understand.

I began to role-play: “I don’t like you because you’re Filipino or Jamaican”.

He gave me this flabbergasted look as he scrunched his face in disbelief.

I just tainted his view of the world.

It matters for them. And how they have to learn to armour themselves with thick skin to deal with bullying, racism, and discrimination – which I thought was not so prevalent for their generation. How NAIVE of me!

I Am Not COVID-19

Last year when the virus was getting out of hand in China, the impact was in the news. I didn’t even consider how it would impact me from across the world.

I was in the local bookstore where I was browsing for a long time. Back and forth with a lot of items in my arms, sweating buckets in a winter jacket, standing by the art section.

The sales lady glanced at me a few times. I didn’t think anything of it.

I usually don’t like when salespeople bombard so it was fine that she didn’t offer any kind of help…but no greeting…no smile?

Until an older man walked up the steps towards us, not even two feet, and the lady immediately smiled, approached the man, and said, “Is there anything I can help you with today?”

Guess what hall pass he had?

My blood boiled until my eyes sank right into the depths of my soul. I took all of my things and headed towards the front cash at the other end of the store. When I passed her, she asked, “Find everything you were looking for?”

F@(King Biyatch…. “Yup”. I forced myself to mutter as I stormed off.

I should have told her SOMETHING. I should have done SOMETHING!

The same baggage followed me a few weeks later when we travelled to Cuba for a wedding. I was targeted at the Cuban airport by the staff and at the resort by some French-Canadian tourists.

My 10 year-old daughter witnessed this behaviour and instinctively knew what was going on. Tainted.

It was all in their eyes and their ignorant behaviour acting like I was Covid – all week long. Meanwhile, my husband who’s usually the target for being black, was fitting right in with the Cubans, oblivious to what was happening to me. Rightfully celebrating not having to worry about the colour of his skin while on vacation.

I am not a virus. Hate is the virus.

It’s the 21st Century

I shouldn’t have to be in this position in this century. I shouldn’t have to taint my children’s vision of an innocent world where I have to explain why I’m targeted at the bookstore, airport, or on vacation because of how I look.

I shouldn’t have to explain that there are some people out there who hate on people’s ethnicity.

I shouldn’t have to keep upping my family’s pride for being Filipino-Jamaican-Canadian just because other people decide to degrade out of hate.

We are proud of who we are with our ethnicity, our families, our children. We have culture. We have stories. Nothing to hate here.

It’s time to eliminate the hate. It’s harmful, it’s toxic, it’s FUCKING ridiculous.

I’M TIRED OF BEING ANGRY, I’M TIRED OF THE FUCKING IGNORANCE.

I TRIED TO WAIT UNTIL I WAS IN A BETTER PLACE TO WRITE WITHOUT THE ANGER ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.

EVERY NIGHT IN MY HOUSEHOLD, WE’RE ANGRY AFTER WATCHING THE NEWS, ANGRY IN HEATED DISCUSSION.

ANGRY WAKING UP TO MORE NEWS. ANGRY THAT WE CAN’T CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE’S IGNORANT ACTIONS.

ANGRY THAT THE WORLD IS ALLOWED TO BE THIS WAY!

What now?

Keep your hate to yourself. Don’t let it spill over to someone who has nothing to do with you. Fix that shit or Karma will come for you.

It’s time to Let Love Rule, like you hear in the songs. Listen to songs, listen to people, read books even if you don’t quite understand them. Let it move you. Shift your focus on worthwhile things (Thought Catalogue).

Learn to understand someone other than yourself. It’s in everyone, even if you have to dig deep to find it. This is where the power is. Change is for the better.

I believe it’s in there. There’s nothing to be afraid of… unless you cross a mother.

Make the wise choice.

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