Are You Asian?

Are you Asian?

This is a question that I’ve been asked many times in my life. Mostly when I was younger, but also as recently as this fall. Even though I now joke about looking like an albino Asian, it used to make me extremely sad when others called me that, because I was an insecure child/teen and wanted nothing more than to fit in. I didn’t want to look different or be different – at the time.

Now, I can’t think of anything better. In fact, looking different has become a bit of a trend over the last few years. Take for example winner of America’s Next Top Model Winnie Harlow, and the Dutch Daphne Groeneveld, who has modeled for Dior, Chanel, Tom Ford (not that I’m in any way comparing myself to models!). Of course, traditional beauty will always be popular, but it just seems like looking different has become more accepted – if not preferable.

I am not, though. Asian, that is.

Kids would call me Eskimo, and it absolutely ticked me off

My grandmother was from Greenland, which makes me a quarter Greenlandic, so I do have some foreign facial features: I have a “relatively broad, flat face” (scientific terminology describing Inuits), my eyes are slightly slanted, and whatever weight I gain sticks mostly to my stomach. I’m also deviant, however, in that I’m freakishly pale, my hair is naturally blonde, and my eyes used to be blue.
Here’s a picture of my Grandmother, my older sister, my cousin and myself (sporting a rather hideous haircut – thanks, Mom)

In school, kids would call me Eskimo, whenever we were in a fight, and it absolutely ticked me off. I guess that’s the only reason they did it. I think they were too young to know about the stigma around Greenlanders and their substance abuse and high rate of suicide. Either way, I don’t mind anymore; I’m actually proud to have Inuit genes. Whenever I see people from Greenland, I wish my features were more distinguished, so we could bond over our shared heritage – I know, I’m a little strange!

Anyway, my Mom hasn’t been back to Greenland since they moved to Denmark in the 1970’s, so I obviously haven’t been either. I would love to, though. Maybe I’ll take her one day, when I make enough money 🙂

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