life of a teenage adoptee: stereotypes edition

When I was younger, I didn’t understand race or skin color. I assumed everyone was the same (meaning everyone was white), including me. Then the earth-shattering moment came when I realized that I was not white. That I was different.

Unconsciously you register this news it two ways: Embrace that you’re not white or try everything in your power to become white.

Racism isn’t just black and white. In my experience, even teachers can be racist to Asians, which radiates to the students. Last year, for example, I was sitting in class and the teacher made a comment like, “Oh you remind me of a twinkie–yellow on the outside, and a wanna-be white on the inside.” Yikes. How do you even respond to that? Thankfully none of my peers found that joke funny and they all sat in awe from the comment that the teacher just said.

I’m not going to lie, I am flattered when people I’ve never talked to ask me to be part of their group for a project. I feel included and feel like they want to be friends, but then I always realize that many of them only pick me because I am the “Asian kid,” and they instantly categorize me as the smart one. It doesn’t help that a lot of people know that I want to become a doctor when I am older.

Not to mention all of the comments talking about my facial features: Almond eyes, yellow skin, small nose… Eye jokes are the worst. Pictures are the worst because my eyes are always borderline closed. And people are the worst because they always feel the need to comment on my thin eyes. Thank you Captain Obvious for saying my eyes look closed. I don’t own a mirror at home so I am glad you can tell me everything I don’t know. I hope you can also realize that was sarcasm because I was laying it on pretty thick.

In conclusion, I am not a bad driver, I do not eat rice for all meals, I am not that good at painting nails, I am not Chinese, I am not a math genius, I am not a black belt in any Martial art, I have not gotten all A’s, I don’t play golf, I don’t wear shoes at home, I do more than study in my free time, I enjoy more than just classical music, my English is understandable, I look different than most Asians, my parents are not the reason I want to be a doctor, and I have never eaten dog.