M A N D Y K I M

11 months ago

It took me a while to embrace my complexion and freckles when I was younger.  I grew up in a multicultural home and those cultures have very different standards of beauty. I really didn't fall into either. I tan quite easily and have a sprinkling of freckles on my cheeks that become more prominent in the sun. These are not desired traits in Korea, where they prefer a porcelain white complexion that is absolutely blemish and freckle free. I additionally inherited very European eyes, which often confused Koreans who did not think I looked Asian. Basically,  I stuck out like a sore thumb there. The U.S. on the other hand, is a melting pot of race and culture, so I felt I blended in much more.  However,  I didn't fall into the tall, blonde. blue eyed, all-American girl ideal either. It's something that really shaped my perspective on my self image. I was never going to be the standard of beauty for either culture, which meant I was free to wear what made me happy and style myself however the hell I wanted instead of how everyone else thought I should. It's become a world where I am flattered and  incredibly appreciative of a compliment instead of one where I need validation to feel pretty.

It took me a while to embrace my complexion and freckles when I was younger. I grew up in a multicultural home and those cultures have very different standards of beauty. I really didn't fall into either. I tan quite easily and have a sprinkling of freckles on my cheeks that become more prominent in the sun. These are not desired traits in Korea, where they prefer a porcelain white complexion that is absolutely blemish and freckle free. I additionally inherited very European eyes, which often confused Koreans who did not think I looked Asian. Basically, I stuck out like a sore thumb there. The U.S. on the other hand, is a melting pot of race and culture, so I felt I blended in much more. However, I didn't fall into the tall, blonde. blue eyed, all-American girl ideal either. It's something that really shaped my perspective on my self image. I was never going to be the standard of beauty for either culture, which meant I was free to wear what made me happy and style myself however the hell I wanted instead of how everyone else thought I should. It's become a world where I am flattered and incredibly appreciative of a compliment instead of one where I need validation to feel pretty.