Hello ACP, my name is Andrea Kae and I am 19-years-old. I grew up in Japan and have practically lived my whole life as a navy brat. I am currently a student at the University of Washington.
My parents are both Filipino who grew up in the Philippines. And I would say I look pretty much like a mix of both of them. I have tan skin and a not so slim body. I’ve grown up with the idea that being slim and having porcelain white skin was what made someone so beautiful, at least for Asian beauty standards. As a kid, I believed that. I thought that slim and pale-skinned people were beautiful. I was born with tan skin and so I never thought that I was pretty enough because I never met beauty standards. I was surrounded by people who wanted to have light skin, people who didn’t want to tan because being dark was not ideal. And as a naive little girl, I went along with it. I agreed. But as I got older, I began to believe that this idea was ridiculous. Why is the color of my skin going to define how beautiful I am? Or how thin I was? Although, I’ve thought about how ridiculous this idea is, I always seem to go back to the concept that I’m not beautiful. But why? Why I have let these crazy beauty standards affect the way I see myself? It’s hard. I say I don’t mind being tan, but inside I sometimes wish I was lighter. I can’t do anything to change the color of my skin because I was born this way. When I was younger, I remember using whitening lotions and soups in hope of lighter skin. But why? Why was I not content in my skin color?
I watched a lot of Korean dramas and listen to Kpop. And as a Filipino with tan skin and an average body size, it really affected the way I saw myself. I have times when I’d look in the mirror and feel confident with myself and days where I wish to look like the girls I see in Korean dramas.
However, I’m learning to appreciate the way I am, on the inside and outside. I’m learning to ignore all these beauty standards that society has created to only hurt how people see themselves. I’m not going to lie, but I still struggle to accept how I look but at the end of the day I realize that I was born to look this way. I look like my parents, the people who mean so much to me. Why hate the way I look when I look just like the people who brought me to this world? It’s almost like hating my parents, maybe not exactly, but it kind of feels that way. It’s these beauty standards that hurt and affect people. It’s what makes us feel ugly when we aren’t. Once we look past these stupid beauty standards, it is then that we’ll learn to see our true beauty. And I’m going to get there.
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