I Used To Think Life Would Be Perfect If I Were White

I used to think life would be perfect…

If my skin were white like the rice I ate growing up,

If my eyes were just a little bigger,

If I were told “you’re pretty” instead of “you’re pretty for an Asian”

I used to think life would be perfect…

If I looked pure and white like the rice served at Chinese restaurants.

If I had two parents instead of a single white mother.

Maybe if I were “smart” like my sister who’s going to law school

Instead, here I am a non-stereotypical Asian who studies English and Communication.

If I were white like the other kids in my neighborhood so I wouldn’t have to feel not quite Chinese enough, but too Chinese to be a fully white American.

I used to think life would be perfect…

If I looked like the white rice in sushi because it blends together to make a beautiful roll (or is it because it looks prettier than brown?)

I used to think life would be perfect…

If I lived in a big four-person house with two parents, an older brother, and a golden retriever named Max.

If I didn’t see double-eyelid tape in the beauty section of asian stores.

If I had that ideal hourglass figure many women strive to achieve.

I used to think life would be perfect if I were white.

But now, the older I get, the more I notice that it’s pretty cool to be who I am. I like being exotic. Sometimes I even think to myself, “It’s like you’re adding a little flavor into the population.” After all, food with no flavor is bland.

I used to think going to Chinese dance class was embarrassing because it was “exotic”.

But now I get to say I used to be famous for performing in downtown Chicago every summer. And to think, I used to be embarrassed to be “exotic”.

I used to think life would be perfect…

If my skin were pale and white like the rice I ate growing up,

But I recently learned that white rice is really just bleached brown rice that’s lost its main source of nutrients.