I think part of the journey to being happy is feeling good about yourself, which hasn’t always been easy for me.
I’ve always been taller-than-average compared to most girls, especially in Asia, and I was really overweight at one point in my life, so I always felt like a giant when I lived in Hong Kong (I still do!). Hong Kong is also fairly unforgiving in that there is a constant ideal for girls to look a certain way, mainly stick thin. I vividly remember one time when a lady—a complete stranger—came up to me and called me a “pork chop”. Even some old-fashioned relatives and acquaintances haven’t hesitated to tell me that they thought I looked fat.
I’m not saying that people should lie, but those types of actions weren’t very constructive, and they stung every time. I also think they contributed to self-esteem issues that I still deal with to this day. Things have gotten better over the years, though. I still have my “I feel fat and ugly” moments, but I don’t hate my body or how I look. I’m not quite at that point where I don’t have any insecurities or where I’ve fully learned to love myself, but I think that I need to, especially if I wanna make sure this happy jar stays full. 🙂
A Story About My Freckles…
When it’s especially hard to feel good about myself, I sometimes think back to this one time, many years ago when I was still in Hong Kong.
To give you some background, a lot of Chinese women are obsessed with having flawless white skin. One day, I was walking in a drugstore, when a cosmetics salesperson approached me and promoted a cream that could get rid of all my “unsightly freckles” (to be honest, I don’t even have that many, and they’re mostly sprinkled across my nose). I was pretty ticked off because A) she immediately assumed that I hated my freckles and wanted them gone and B) she pretty much insulted me in the process.
What she didn’t know was that she couldn’t have been more wrong. I actually happen to like my freckles. If you know me and have seen my parents, there isn’t a clear consensus as to who I resemble more. I think it’s because I’m genuinely a hybrid of them both in terms of appearance. One thing all 3 of us share in common, though, is our freckles, which is probably why I love mine so much.
So while I really wanted to tell that lady to shove that cream where the sun don’t shine, I simply told her “No, thank you—I like my freckles.”
The point is, I gave zero f*cks about what she thought that day. So every time I think of that particular incident, I remember that how I choose to look like is up to me, not someone else. Other people are entitled to have their opinions, but in the end, who makes the decisions about me? Matt sometimes jokes that I’m all honey badger, but in all seriousness, that mentality is probably useful for blocking out the people who only know how to cast judgement and for ignoring all that negativity. Those people can go f*ck themselves.
I feel a little insecure even just sharing this post (I’m laying it all out there!), but maybe someone out there will read this and know that they aren’t alone if they’ve ever felt fat or unpretty. I’m far from shedding all my insecurities, so I can’t really be a voice of reason, but if you’re reading this and if you’ve ever felt like I have and are trying to get past it, I’m sending you all my encouragement… I’m going through that same journey!