The title of this blog was inspired by the indie, coming-of-age movie, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. It’s the Y and Z generations’ nod to the classic 80s films of the same genre – “Sixteen Candles” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” to name a few.
So back to the blog…I never really realized how much diversity there is in this world until I moved to US. Case in point, Northern California. It is a hodgepodge of many different race and cultures (whilst still maintaining a distinct American vibe). On the contrary, the society where I was born into is such a homogeneous one (albeit not boring, I must clarify). Mostly everyone’s Catholic or religious and conservative, hardly anybody’s gay (or at least they’re all hiding in the closet), and everybody’s Asian (at least where I grew up).
The difference between that and where I’m at now is night and day! I love being part of these two distinct and great cultures because it enables me to see things multi-dimensionally, giving me a unique vantage point. Also I get to pick and choose the best of both worlds. Nowadays, I appreciate this background more than ever. Being Asian is a perk so here’s a nod to that other heritage of mine.
What exactly are some of the perks of being Asian:
1. White rice! Yay. My mom would disown me if she finds out that I’m eating brown rice these days. (I have to disclose though that I only really eat that brown stuff when I’m quite desperate for a quick diet, such as 2 weeks before a trip to Hawaii.) You see, we don’t eat that kind of stuff in Asia. It’s a white man’s invention. Back home, we get to eat this 5 times a day: breakfast, snack between breakfast and lunch, lunch, snack between lunch and dinner, dinner. Even desserts have rice! Ever had that Thai sticky rice dessert with mango? YUM!
2. You never have to work out a day in your life. And still stay skinny… Despite eating all those rice in #1.. I’m not saying this is healthy though 🙂
3. Agelessness. I didn’t mean this to say that Asians don’t age. It’s just that we age much slower than our counterparts – by this I mean that the physical manifestation of aging is much more subtle and disguised. Of course another contributing factor is our generally small stature. While this has its own perks, it is actually disadvantageous at times too. Like not being taken more seriously because of looking too young. I keep getting carded at bars and to this day, people always mistake me as being in the very early 20s. I am actually 60 years old by now. Haha. Kidding. Last year, while touring Turkey, teenagers and young men were hitting on us all over Turkey. I’m like, dude, I could be your grandma! (P.S. I don’t really talk like that)
4. The awesome fashion bloggers and designers. I am blown away by the number of great fashion bloggers and designers who are Asian (and women at that!). Here are some of my favorites:
Photo Credit: patriciachang.net
Patricia Chang – She’s an up-and-coming designer from New York. She just opened her online store. Check it out at patriciachang.net. I absolutely love her fantasy and girly, modern style. She interned for Marchesa and it clearly shows in the details of her gorgeous collections. I will start saving up to buy one of her dresses. I hope it’s not too pricey 😀
Gary Pepper Vintage I love her whimsical world! Need I say more? Check out her blog and Instagram account @garypeppergirl
Peony Lim I love her classic and polished look. So stunning!
Wendy’s lookbook I love how put together she always looks and her fearless use of colors
5. You get to have 12 uncles, 12 aunties and 200 cousins.. And nobody questions this!? Haha. Kidding
6. The genius syndrome. Everybody assumes you’re good with Math and you’re smart. Not necessarily untrue but it’s a generalization, a stereotype. I think this stems from the fact that Asian parents put heavy emphasis on education and they push hard for kids to do really good in school and in everything that they do for that matter. In most Asian countries, scholarly competitions are fierce, starting from a young age. This is most likely because there are so many people in Asia and so, in order to stand out and succeed amidst this number, education is the key – sometimes the only key when you’re coming from poverty. I remember coming home from school in 4th grade and announcing I’ve fallen from my usual 2nd place in the honor roll to 4th place. My mother refused to attend the awarding ceremony and sent my older cousin instead. She was so disappointed. It didn’t damage me that much but obviously, it affected me enough as I still keep talking about it many years later. But who’s disappointed now, mom, after you received that brand new car as Christmas gift from me? Heh.
7. You get to speak multiple languages and you get to love America and Asia, equally. Self-explanatory!
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