Issue One: Implications

When I was in year 7, I had my first crush. We’d met via MSN Messenger through mutual friends. As soon as I got home from school each day we’d talk on MSN for hours. As this routine continued I started to wonder if he liked me too. In a burst of romanticism, one afternoon I asked him, “Do you think we’ve ever met before? Just passed each other on the streets and not realised?” He replied, “Probably not, and even if we did I’d never know ‘cause all Asians look the same.” He followed it with a ‘tongue-out’ emoticon but my 12 year-old self didn’t take it lightly. Despite my outgoing personality I suddenly felt invisible, just one indistinguishable from the next person who shares my race. What was an ‘innocent joke’ became the beginnings of a belief within me that as an Asian person I could never be beautiful as someone who is white. It’s a belief I still am confused with today and struggle to come to terms with. I even question whether my own husband could truly think I’m more beautiful than the other white women around him. When I see my old year 7 crush around I still give him a hug and ask him how he’s been, I’m sure he doesn’t even remember the comment. I receive comments like that all the time, it’s just part of life as an Asian-Australian. But while I’ve learned to shrug it off and not make it awkward, they continually shape me and how I see myself and my culture today.