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Hey y’all! My name is Connie Xu (@connieashleyxu), I am 18 years old, and I have lived in suburban Texas my entire life. This fall, I’ll be a freshman at the University of Southern California where I’ll be taking on the big city of LA for my first time.
Today, I am a proud Chinese-American. But, like many other Asian-Americans, I wasn’t always confident about my heritage.
“She is indeed most wondrous fair. Gold of sunshine in her hair. Lips that shame the red, red rose…” In this scene of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent fawns over Princess Aurora’s “perfect” complexion. I was only 9 years old when I realized that I didn’t fit into this “perfect” westernized appearance whatsoever.
Drowning in the toxicity of the ruthless beauty standards, I fell into this cycle of self-hatred. By the time I was an 8th grader in middle school, I learned to hate every inch of my body and blamed it on my culture.
I, amongst millions of other girls, have fallen victim to beauty standards.
“Falling” is a colored pencil art piece that depicts my journey with body image and beauty.
Growing up, I was ashamed to be Asian because I didn’t look like the Caucasian women that were plastered all over the media. However, the rise of Asian influencers both on social media and on mainstream media helped me fall back into love with myself and my Chinese background.
The importance of displaying women of all colors, shapes, and sizes in the media is often overlooked. But, when considering that 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies by age 17, the need for diverse and body-positive influencers needs to be growing much faster than it is today.