(Sorry if I make your dash ugly!)
“Are you wearing a mask?”
“When are you getting your face fixed?”
“Look at that girl! She looks so weird…”
These are the three most common reactions to my appearance.
My name is Kali, I am 18, I am a Korean-American, and I… look different.
I was born with a medical condition that (clearly) affects my face. Essentially my lymphatic system can’t properly circulate fluid so the excess fluid builds up in my face. It is difficult to remove because the tumor-like masses can interfere with my nervous and circulatory systems. Sure, I’ve had many, many surgeries done, but there is very little chance I will ever look “normal”.
They say to never judge a book by its cover. I always tried to live by that mantra. I went to a summer math program when I was 14 and was assigned a roommate. The moment I walked into the dorm room, she spoke to one of our counselors and requested a roommate change.
I never cried so hard in my life.
A book is more than its cover. I’m a Starbucks addict. I play three instruments. I write poetry.
And you wouldn’t know that by looking at my face.
A person in more than his or her face. I’ve struggled to fit in at college for this reason- that people still feel hesitant to talk to me because of my appearance. They say rude things behind my back. I had grown up with the same people from elementary school through high school, so people were used to me. I hoped people would learn to accept me in college, but I haven’t found that yet.
You can’t exactly tell Stanford students that they’re stupid, can you?
I guess the reason I’m posting this is to introduce myself, and to tell my story. I don’t want to be an inspiration. I’m not a hero. I’ve simply learned to accept myself.
Someday I hope others here do, too.
My name is Kali, I am 18, I am a Korean-American, and I… am more than my appearance.