Although childhood is a unique experience for every individual, some memories are universal: the crunch of buttered popcorn from the movie theater; the cold, wet splash of a water balloon on a hot summer day; Play-Doh and its musky vanilla scent as it clings to your fingertips. As a kid, I was well-acquainted with this last sensation. I often spent my younger days sculpting Play-Doh, shaping the colored substance into any design I wanted. The possibilities were endless. Although each yellow plastic container was a point of contention for my mother—who would inevitably spend the next hour furiously scrubbing the hardened remnants off of our carpet—I welcomed Play-Doh into my life with open arms. I was the potter, and the clay was at my disposal.
Redefining the commonly misrepresented perceptions of Asians by pushing our raw, authentic Asian narratives.
I’ve always had a rocky relationship with my hair. Sure, I love the way it is now, but have I always been this way? Definitely not. A few hours ago, I was tying my hair up in a braided crown, my fifth hairstyle of the week, and I asked myself why I could never stick to one style, why I have to change it several times a day. While I do love art and I consider hair styling as a form of art, maybe the reason I style my hair constantly is to make up for the number of hairstyles I could have done but never got the opportunity to do so.
While waiting for my summer photo to be taken on the school field and fiddling with the rainbow sequin headband crowned on my head, I’d faintly sing ‘Part Of Your World’ from “The Little Mermaid” to alleviate the boredom. Even though camera-shyness swirled in my stomach, I hoped that I could be one with the mermaid spirit and feel beautiful — embellished with sparkles and voluminous, swishy hair. That spirit has not aged well.
What defines something as American? Is it the people? Is it the language? Is it the food? Or culture? The word “America” can conjure up different ideas for different people.
The Model Minority notion has been prevalent for decades and describes Asians and our ‘achievements’ as immigrants compared to other minority groups. This idea is used as a stamp of achievement or validation for one’s work to assimilate to American society and ideology.