The modern Asian Australian female experience is a pendulum that swings between the extremes of invisibility and hyper-exotification.
I have become relatively accustomed to questions like “What are you? You don’t really look Asian… are you actually fully Asian? Why is your hair curly?”
Perhaps the most disheartening aspect of these questions is that they often come from fellow Asian women. The textbook Asian appearance tends to fit this particular description: Fair, with yellow-toned skin, monolids, and straight, jet black hair. This image has been engrained so deeply and intensely in the way that we think, that we are now oblivious to the multi-faceted aspects of our culture. In a society that traditionally underestimates our biological and social variation, it is crucial that we look for courage and validation within ourselves and the sisters of our own community in order to truly accept our diverse Asian Australian identities.