As Told By Me

Society often projects assumptions and stories on women without knowing them, so we’re taking the narrative back. For this shoot, we started conversations about how the society’s perception impacts how we view ourselves and whether or not society’s assumed story line ups with our own. Spoilerthey don’t.

Kelly Liang

Growing up, I felt a bit isolated since I was always the only Asian person in my classes. Because I knew how terrible it felt to be lonely and isolated, I always did my best to treat others kindly to those that were excluded in group settings. I felt good knowing my interaction with someone had made them feel comfortable when they felt too shy to reach out to other people. However, there were always people perceiving my good intentions negatively. I started hearing people call me “fake” or a “people pleaser”.

This really impacted my self-esteem and forced me second guess my actions of being forward towards others. Although I knew what people were saying behind my back, I knew I had pure intentions and was doing it out of the goodness of my heart. This helped me regain my confidence in myself and continue my efforts to be a person that others could count on. Despite all of the things people may say about me, I know the way that I viewed myself was more important than anybody else’s could ever be.

I am a first generation Chinese-American. I was born and raised in the mid-west after my parents had immigrated from China. I had a difficult time growing up in a dominantly white neighborhood since there was very little diversity in my schools and the media. It made me resent my culture because I was so different from everyone else and made me almost resent being born Chinese. I remember praying that I would one day wake up as an “American”: blond-haired, blue-eyed, girl-next-door.

However, I started gaining more appreciation and love for my culture once I had traveled back to China and saw the beauty of being Chinese. My family’s constant support has also made me into a strong, caring person after seeing all they had left behind and sacrificed to come give me a better life in America. This fueled my drive to work hard and be compassionate and caring towards others as a Registered Nurse. Because of their sacrifice, I am able to live my dream and take care of others.

Luisa Macer

I realized the disconnect early on in high school and throughout college. People would assume I was “American” simply because I did not fit their perceived stereotype of a Mexican woman. I wasn’t dark skinned, I had no accent, and I carried myself in a mature way. Well what is a Mexican woman supposed to look like or behave? You combine these elements and it created a trigger for me to become an advocate for my community. 

The media can help the community understand diversity is more than just different races, its different perspectives.  “Thought” diversity is often overlooked, but it serves a purpose when you are the only woman in an all male-roundtable. Minorities, immigrants, and under-served communities have stories to tell and the media has the platforms to allow those stories to flourish. 

At a very young age, I had an interest in trying on mom’s clothes and would eagerly anticipate a weekend mall trip. Growing up with three older sisters, it was hard not to be a girly-girl. But don’t get me wrong, you can easily also find me in sweatpants and in a bun about 90% of the time. My Instagram highlights my everyday life: the good, the bad, and the funny. I like to live in the moment and hardly say no to an adventure. I am also a total foodie. Most of my adventures have revolved around trying a new restaurant or supporting a local business wherever I go.

Traveling allows me to experience new places and cultures, and teaches me each time about how much there is to learn about the world. My life revolves around my husband and family. They are my support system and without them, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. I believe in karma: what goes around, comes around, so I strive to put out good energy and be a fearless leader in the community.

I have a story to tell and being the only child out of my siblings to pursue a college degree, I know that I have a responsibility to my family in not being another “statistic”. College taught me how to use my voice to stand up for those who can’t. It pushed my boundaries for what I was capable of and I learned to never let a “NO” stand in my way. Persistence has been key in my professional journey and to always keep breaking the glass ceiling. 

Arria Woolcock

I am unapologetically an independent, Black woman with a heart of gold. I have so much fire, some people can not handle it. Sometimes, I can be misunderstood until you get to know me. I have a hell of [a lot of] flaws, but I turn those flaws into flawless lessons. Through social media, I have realized people really believe I’m a stuck up bitch on social media.

I am a Leo woman that takes no bullshit from people. My energy is not for everyone. I love to create and inspire others; it helps with my anxiety. I guess I give [a type of] energy, but I am a very down to earth person. Once they actually meet me they think I’m hilarious and cool.

Sunnih Flores

Representation is getting better, but why does being Asian have to be so hyper-sexualized? I’m glad to see Asian recognition through K-Pop, but it seems to be the same hyper-sexualization for men that women are portayed as in Anime. People can have preferences, but are you reaching out to someone because you like them or because you think they will fit your idea of a K-Drama character?  I’m excited for when we progress past the “token Asian” trope.

Colorism is also still a huge thing; even within our own ethnicities. By Ali Wong’s definition I’m “Half Jungle Asian & Half Fancy Asian” with my dad being Filipino and my mom being South Korean. I don’t see a lot of solidarity between different ethnicities.