“My relationship with my cultural identity has not been linear. When I was in elementary school I never questioned why the way things were. I would do whatever my parents told me to do, like eat Buddha’s Delight on Chinese New Year or never stick my chopsticks straight into my bowl of rice. With that also came a lot of superstitions I had to follow as well.
Unfortunately, growing up in Fort McMurray, I faced a lot of internalized racism. One prominent feature of my face is that I have monolids. I hated them so much and like some had considered going to Korea to get eyelid surgery. I would get the occasional classmate who would make the “chinky eyes” gesture. What helped me gain confidence about my monolids is that I watched a lot of Asian Youtubers like Michelle Phan, Bubzbeauty, and Wong Fu Productions. They were Asians who were themselves and made me feel part of a community on Youtube. They didn’t have to play into stereotypes and if anything, went against them.
When I was in high school, I developed self-hate for my Chinese identity. I hated being the token Asian friend and dealing with microaggressions in my daily life. It wasn’t until I moved to Edmonton for university that I used my creative practice to explore the Asian diaspora, embrace my Chinese upbringing and love myself.”
我在Fort McMurray 长大，曾经对自己作为华裔的种族非常反感。我讨厌成为象征式的亚裔朋友，并在日常生活中面对无意的冒犯。直到我搬到埃德蒙顿上大学，我才开始运用自己的创造力探索亚裔侨民，拥抱自己作为华裔的成长经历，自强自爱。”
Cover photography by Alyssa Lau
All photos provided by Rebecca.