Warning: Illegal string offset 'ID' in /home/customer/www/michelleelman.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/asphodel/templates/header.php on line 44

Warning: Illegal string offset 'post_title' in /home/customer/www/michelleelman.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/asphodel/templates/header.php on line 45


Being a WOC and White

January 10, 2018

“When you don’t see representation, this is more riding on the back to represent” Hari Kondabolu

Every time I speak out about being Asian, I am thoroughly exhausted. It’s exhausting to have to justify why something is racist before even getting to your point. Let’s call it what it is. There isn’t enough awareness about the racism Asians face. Asian jokes are still widely accepted and highly offensive characters like Apu in the Simpson’s still exist ( PS he is voiced by a white guy)

Anytime I talk about Asian issues I feel alone. There aren’t enough of us so let me share my experiences being online in November alone:
– I spoke out about Gigi Hadid slanting her eyes and mimicking Buddha. Got told she was mocking a doll and making something out of nothing
– She got banned from the VS show for it. Vanity fair’s title was “Chinese government giving VS headaches”. Got told I was being pedantic about words
– I spoke up in my book club about how a popular body positive icon had a history of racist comments and I didn’t feel comfortable making it the book of the month as a woman of colour. I got told that I was pulling the race card and everyone else in the book club was cowardly for allowing me to bully them
– I’ve repeatedly told on @bodypositivememes when I upload thumbnails of my YouTube video that they thought I was white and didn’t want to follow me anymore (that was put a lot more politely than they wrote it)
– I got told a number of times by fellow influencers that I’m a white thin activist who needs to listen to WOC. White is not an insult but in that context it implies that I am not a WOC myself. They are not mutually exclusive + erases half my identity + ignores that I am a size 20.
– I spoke about how Asians were WOC too and was told on Twitter that I should stop making shit up and yellow wasn’t a colour
– Yesterday got told on Bumble that aren’t Asians meant to be submissive

I am done. I am tired. I am a woman of colour and I am white. Being mixed race makes me inherently feel not enough of one and not enough of another. Stop erasing half of my identity. I am fully aware that my page for some of you will be your only representation that you’ve ever seen of a fat Asian woman and I do the best I can with that responsibility. That’s all.