I was desperate for some relief, but upset at the prospect of getting Botox. And it wasn’t because I was scared of having 20 needles stuck into my head, face, and neck, although I wasn’t thrilled about that either. My real issue was the stigma I had attached to Botox.
I ask you why you never became a U.S. citizen. “I wouldn’t mind going back home sometime,” you say, vaguely. Within that statement lingers regret, longing, and conviction that the United States isn’t truly your home. It hurts me to understand that.
My experience with cosmetic surgery has taught me two big lessons: repairing your body image requires more than changing your appearance, but making the choice to change your body should absolutely not be stigmatized.
In the end, I think it boils down to this: I just am who I am. I am here to tell the world I am non binary, no matter what my self doubt says sometimes, and no matter what the world says sometimes.
The holidays are all about spreading love and joy but sometimes we forget that we need to try and give those feelings ourselves too, not just our loved ones.
I don’t remember when I first started to hate my name. When I started to hate the syllables, the sounds, and the look of it on paper. I don’t remember when my name became my enemy and when I permitted it to become so. When I allowed the first inherent part of my identity to slowly become something that I despised about myself.
However, I have come to realize that my disdain for the current dualist nature of vulnerability—one that positions vulnerability in opposition to invulnerability—has allowed me to create a dangerous dichotomy between vulnerability and strength. It is by my very own contempt for arbitrary gender associations that I fell into the trap of a “together woman” and demonized vulnerability in the process.
I wish that even if people had noticed and judged me, I could have had the strength to choose my health over their fatphobia.
Is it time to revamp the way we care for our reproductive health? Here is why I am saying yes.
The sari is not just an item of clothing, it is an institution. Indian women wear the sari as a form of expression, but the sari itself tells a story of the woman who wears it.
I saw and imagined these powerful women breaking through the status quo and standing up for what they believed in, just as much a hero as any of their male counterparts. Their stories buried deep within me and filled me with dreams so grand that I blame the weight of them for my short stature.
The coronavirus is a physical threat, with many psychological side effects: fear, anxiety and guilt. At this time, the only real certainty is uncertainty and it’s hard to find silver linings when the world feels as if it’s been thrown into chaos, but despite whatever has happened and whatever will happen, humanity has the capability to look out for each other and to love.
Try your best
To take a moment to remind yourself
That you aren’t less valuable
Because you didn’t put on jeans today.
When I write about my pain, it is not to celebrate the beauty of it, but to celebrate the beauty of overcoming it. I am not a tortured artist. Those words contradict one another, cancel each other out. The artistic spirit withers in such conditions. I am undefined by my depression, undefined by my anxiety, tempered by the resilience, strength, and bravery it takes to move forward in the creative field.
The issue of sexism is not isolated to single events. It is a systemic mindset that permeates every aspect of everyday life, asserting that women are not as smart, or as strong, and that they are weak and must quietly protect themselves from being taken advantage of. Men and women buy into this system; they accept this as the norm.
I don’t remember how I had recalled this particular moment—or if I had been able to correctly remember it at all—but upon hearing my dad relay a remnant of it, true or not, I couldn’t help feeling guilty, struck by unwarranted emotion as I heard him say to my aunt one day in Korean: “My daughter says that she doesn’t really know who her mom is.”
What exactly defines a woman?
There’s just one problem.
She doesn’t want to.
And nobody asks what she wants.
But it is her duty… right?
We hide the nature of our bodies behind the shadow of euphemisms.
I had told her that it was best to run away and hide, instead of teaching her that she was strong enough to reclaim her wholeness. I did not want to propagate the idea that it was okay for women to be shunned and othered – neither in a movie theatre nor on the stage of life.
This poem is about the “Me Too” movement. It is a simply means of expression and is in no way intended to offend anyone.