eurocentre

don’t you just love girls with big thighs? curvy girls with wide hips, large feet, and round bellies? girls who have cellulite, stretch marks and folds? girls with full lips, crooked teeth, and braces? girls who don’t shave? girls with flat noses, small eyes, oily hair, and dry skin? girls who can’t find makeup to match their skin tone because it’s dark? girls who are thick in all the “wrong” places? girls who are ugly according to eurocentric beauty standards?? 

I know I sure do. 

K so I’m not done.

This is the year 2017 and I’m still having to yell about how ridiculous Maya extinction myths are and tell people we are ‘Maya’ not ‘Mayan’. I’m not saying shame shame if anyone reads this and didn’t know. I’m so angry concerning how slowly these issues are being picked up by educational institutions, at how often I have to bring these things up to higher education professors.

We are a massive massive group of peoples. One of the largest Indigenous groups in the Americas. Wikipedia cites 7 million or so of us total but honestly that’s way off because that’s about how many Maya folks there are in Guatemala alone.

We’re not dead. The Maya did not ‘mysteriously disappear’. We did not ‘fall’. We did not fade into obscurity. We’ve led revolts and rebellions against colonial powers for hundreds of years. We’ve had a big hand in shaping legislative definitions and protections for Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

We haven’t lost our cultures. We’re constantly threatened and experience a lot of violence and have our resources stolen but we are still very much alive and our cultures have persisted.

And don’t even try me with the whole “Oh well we mean your CIVILIZATION disappeared, not you.” The structure of our societies and layout of our network changed and decentralized in many areas. That didn’t make us turn invisible. That didn’t make us not still be large in numbers with a relationship with our lands and lose influence in the areas we live. We still held power in large cities way after what people like to cite as “the fall of the Maya Civilization” (around 600-900 A.D. when we still had cities that we held power of until nearly 1700 when the last was “conquered” by Spain.)

Which brings me to the next issue. Being “conquered” or having a colonial government installed does not erase Indigenous societies or civilizations. That’s an extremely eurocentric way of thinking. We didn’t suddenly turn into Spaniards. We still had massive amounts of towns and villages with leaders. We still had our cultures, our trade, our networks, our influence, while Spain focused on putting up flags in our cities.

So yeah. All your history books have you all convinced that an extremely large group of people, with a greater population than more than half of the countries in Europe, all died out 1100 years ago.

Now try to imagine what kind of shit Indigenous Peoples with much less numbers and much lower access to resources go through.

cole sprouse/jughead is so ugly how can yall sit here and lie on this damn website EVERYDAY? someone called him a beautiful hobo and i felt guilt from their own damn lie! it is a LIE! he’s UGLY! open your eyes you eurocentric beauty standard worshipping sheeple!

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Although WWC shares resources when we can and bring some to the table ourselves, we don’t exist to seek outside sources for one’s writing; this is ultimately the writer’s job. Even so, we’re more than happy to offer guidance on the What, Where and How of doing research for your inclusive writing. 

Take a look at some of the research help & resources complied below:

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when will people realize that not every lesbian is a white blonde girl with super long hair who has a “nice” body with tattoos and resides in california

black lesbians exist (incl. dark skins)
brown lesbians exist
east asian lesbians exist
indigenous lesbians exist
islander lesbians exist
latinx lesbians exist
jewish lesbians exist
muslim lesbians exist
fat lesbians exist
nb lesbians exist
lesbians who aren’t able bodied exist
trans lesbians exist
mentally ill lesbians exist
lesbians who don’t fit eurocentric beauty standards exist

and we’re not just here to be a token post on your blog. we exist and we’re real and we’re just as valid.

Female Chinese Adoptee in the US

Hi, I’m a female Chinese adoptee who spent more time with a foster mother than in the orphanage. I was adopted before I was half a year old by a white American single mother, and later raised by two white American parents once she married. I have a younger sister who is also adopted from China, but we aren’t blood related at all (yes people do ask me if we are). I grew up in a largely white portion of the south and went to religious schools with largely white populations (My mom did not adopt me from some misguided Christian white supremacist stance of saving me). I’m currently getting a degree in theater and film, so well thought out representation and minority stories are very important to me. Every adoption story is different, and as far as I can find, you only have the one POC profile on Chinese adoption and I wanted to give my point of view for variation.

I want to preface this by saying that my adoption has had a big impact on my life, but it is not my identity, and the impact it’s had isn’t something that I was consciously thinking about as it happened. It’s mainly as I’ve gotten older and looked back that I’ve realized how it has impacted certain aspects of my life. Growing up, my adoption isn’t something that was always on my mind, and it’s only through trying to better understand myself and who I identify as that I’ve come to analyze it more. Also sorry this is super long, I just wanted to be thorough.

Beauty Standards

Again, not something I consciously thought about when I was younger. Contrary to the popular stereotypes and fixations about Asian eyes, the shape of my eyes wasn’t something I thought about. What I was self-conscious about when I was a kid was how “flat” my face was, especially my nose. I felt like I didn’t have any definition, and because I didn’t grow up seeing many other Asian people or POC for that matter, I didn’t understand that different races had different facial structures. I just internally accepted that the caucasian facial structure was how people were supposed to look. I’ve since accepted the way I look, and while I don’t think I’m the hottest chick out there, I like the way I look.

Culture

When I was young, my mother enrolled me in Mandarin Classes and Chinese Culture classes/camps designed for Chinese adoptees to help me connect to my native culture and to surround me with other people like me. At one point I was even enrolled in a Chinese Fan Dance class if I remember correctly. I’m sure I had fun with some of them, just as I’m sure my attention span was short when I was a kid and that I got bored quickly. I didn’t have a problem with them at the time, but looking back I do remember feeling mildly annoyed with going to the events specifically for adopted kids because if felt like people just assumed we’d be friends because off of us shared the adoptee experience. I get that same feeling of annoyance when people to this day tell me “Oh, so and so is adopted from China too! You’d like her,” because I personally resent the idea that people assume my adoption is my identity and that alone is enough for me to connect with someone.

Identify Issues

I have always identified as a Chinese-American. My parents were always very honest with me about my adoption for as long as I can remember, so I was always somewhat aware that I was different. That being said, growing up surrounded by white people meant that the people I identified with where white, and there was a time in middle school where a teacher mentioned something about me being different in regards to my race (we were talking about casting for the school play). For a good 5 minutes I was confused about what she meant until I remembered that I was Chinese and not white like everyone else. That’s a moment that’s stuck with me throughout my life and I’ve always been a little ashamed of forgetting myself.

Recently I was asked if I identify as an immigrant, and I didn’t know how to answer. Technically I am one. At one point I had a green card and my mother had to fill out paperwork to make me a US citizen, so I don’t feel like I wasn’t an immigrant, but I also don’t identify with the typical image of immigrants. My story of finding my place in America isn’t the typical story of POC immigrants so I don’t necessarily feel solidarity with them. 

Within Asian Americans’, there’s been a stereotype about them being too Asian, but not Asian enough which is something I’ve also struggled with on both sides. In high school when I mispronounced pho, I was accused of being a “bad Asian” by a white friend, but when I was talking diversity politics with a teacher, my point of view was dismissed because she knew I was adopted so I was “basically white anyway.” While I do try to defer to the point of view of Asian immigrants and descendants of immigrants when it comes to certain topics and experiences, I also think it’s important for people to understand that when I interact with the majority of people, I am treated as an Asian woman. I live life as an Asian woman, not a white woman. Alternatively, because I grew up in such a white area, I admit that I grew up with a lot of internalized racism and have found myself judging mixed race Asians for the same thing from time to time though I am actively trying to unlearn that habit.

Honestly, as I get older and try to understand who I am more, the more confused I get over my identity. It’s still something I’m working to understand.

Language

Outside of the Mandarin classes I went to briefly as a kid, I also took 3 semesters of Mandarin in college to fulfill my language requirement. I did actively choose to take Mandarin because I thought it was important for me to learn, not because of my culture, but because as an aspiring Chinese American actress, many breakdowns for roles require a knowledge of fluent Mandarin. I am not fluent. I fulfilled my requirement and haven’t pursued it any further as of yet. I might try again in the future.

Daily Struggles

Since turning roughly 18, whenever I go places with my parents, we’re typically asked if we want to split the check, but if my younger sister is with us, no one asks. I don’t know if it qualifies as a struggle, but it’s something I’ve noticed that biological parents and children don’t go through as much. I’ve also come to explain that I’m adopted when I’m talking about my childhood or my past. I do it partially to give context to whatever story I’m about to tell or for whatever I’m explaining. Ex: I’ve had to explain my background during a workshop when I wrote a paper on representation in media for Asian Americans because the people reading the paper didn’t know I was Asian American simply from the context of the personal experiences I presented in the paper and were guessing my race off of my white sounding name. I’ve also had to explain my background when another Asian American commented repeatedly that I “sound so white.” I’m also very open about the fact that I’m adopted if people ask because it’s not something I’m ashamed of, and I want to normalize the idea of adoption.

When I was only a couple years old there was a girl who made fun of me for being adopted. It’s one of my mom’s favorite stories, because rather than letting the girl get to me, I said something snarky in return, but I’m assuming that’s why I try to normalize the idea of adoption, because being adopted doesn’t make me any less of a person than someone who is still with their biological parents.

I also witnessed a lot of the Asian eye jokes, but curiously enough they were never directed at me. I guess that says something about the kind of environment I lived in, because when I said something to a boy drawing an “Asian smiley face” he looked stunned and was surprised that I was Asian. I guess this instance doesn’t have as much to do with adoption but is more of a comment on the stereotype about how Asians are supposed to look distorting the fact that we actually look like regular human beings and not caricatures.

Dating and Relationships and Home/Family Life/Friendships

I’m putting these two in the same category because my abandonment issues have had a similar impact on them. As a kid, I always hated leaving when we were visiting my out of state grandmother or whenever my mom would go on a work trip. I would cry and fuss, and even as an adult, I hate saying goodbye for a long period of time. Intellectually, I know I’ll see these people again, but emotionally I worry about what if? I also get really scared and start tearing up if my parents are late coming to pick me up from the airport when I come to visit. I worry about being left alone. And I want to emphasize that this isn’t a conscious, “Oh, I’m adopted, I’m worried I’m going to be abandoned again” type thing. So much of these feelings are internalized and subconscious. It’s just that fear of never seeing someone you care about again, and even though I’m a logical person who knows that they’re just late, I can’t override that fear.

I have never had a romantic relationship and I have a few close friends, but I’m not the life of the party. I’ve always been careful about forming connections with people and have even actively resisted it when I was younger and was going to camps or doing something where I’d only see these people for a small amount of time. I had the mentality of “It’s not worth it because I’ll never see them again,” and that’s another thing I’m trying to overcome, because I still don’t like making connections if I know they’re not going to last. For similar reasons, I’m also very bad at vocalizing my affections and feelings towards people. I’ve never liked letting people close, and there was a time when I was a teen where I even distanced myself from my family, and that’s a bridge I’m still trying to repair to this day.

My family has always been understanding of the fact that I’m dealing with a lot when it comes to understanding my adoption and my identity, but there are also some things that they don’t understand and it can be hard to talk to them about things like my cultural identity and growing up around tons of micro-aggressions that they’ve never had to deal with. 

Misconceptions

The idea of who my real parents are. The idea of one set of parents being more valid than the other just seems fucked up to me, especially when it’s been posed to me as “So if they tell you to do something, do you ever just say, ‘No, you’re not my real parents, you can’t tell me what to do.’” My adopted parents are still my parents. I also think of my biological parents as my parents. I have never hated or resented my biological parents for giving me up nor have I ever used my adoptee status as an excuse to act out towards my adopted parents. While I do know about the One Child Policy, I don’t know the specific circumstances surrounding why I was given up for adoption. I don’t see the point in being angry about it without knowing the whole story, and I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may never know the whole story.

I also don’t feel particularly grateful towards my adopted parents or like I owe them anything for adopting me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love them, but I’m not actively trying to repay them for adopting me. I don’t owe them my life, they’re just my family.

Self-Esteem

I had a lot of self-esteem issues growing up, and they still persist today. They aren’t something I linked back to my abandonment issues until I sat down and talked to a therapist. I’ve always been a perfectionist to the point where I was never happy with anything I did, unless it was perfect. I literally never felt good enough. Part of the reason I distanced myself from my family is because I didn’t want to be a bother. Intellectually I knew I wasn’t going to be abandoned again, but I still felt like I had to be as good as I could possibly be to make sure. This is another one of those things that was never consciously thought about, it’s just how things were. I didn’t feel like I or whatever issues I was having was worth the trouble of bothering people, especially my parents, so I just didn’t, and had a habit of keeping a lot of things bottled up inside without telling anyone*. It’s another thing I’m also currently working to better my perception of myself.

*Just because I was trying to be a good kid and didn’t vocalize affection much does not act as an excuse for writing a submissive, emotionally stunted stereotype of a Chinese Adoptee. I am also snarky and sarcastic and opinionated and outgoing with my friends.

Things I’d like to see less of

Stop using adoptees in the abortion argument in general, especially if you don’t understand the adoption process or the issues adoptees face. Stop asking me to choose who my real parents are. It also bothers me the way people romanticize adoption, even if it’s people in various fandoms goofing around. People who adopt are not saints. Fandoms who make light of adoption and squee about wanting to adopt a character or wanting one character to adopt another makes light of a whole situation. Adoption is a great thing. It’s great for kids without families to get a family, but it’s also a painful thing for the kid, because a kid needing to be adopted means that they’ve also lost a family at a young age. Please be sensitive of that. Don’t romanticize adoption. People trying to empathize with those internalized feelings of abandonment and mistrust when they don’t have the same or similar experiences. Other people are allowed to feel those things, but please understand that the degree of what we feel is immense. From a personal perspective, when people try to do that, it feels like they’re making light of what I feel.

Things I’d like to see more of

Just normalizing the idea of adoption and understanding the good and the bad. Adoption stories in media that don’t hinge on the angsty, rebellious adoptee being angry at their adoptive parents. Stories that give adoptees identities outside of their being adopted. Understand that all adoptees are not the same. We all have different experiences based on race, religion, the region we’ve been adopted into, the kind of parents we have. There are so many variables that make up who we are.

I think one of the things that white feminism / terf feminism misses completely about WOC is that there is a difference between being sexualized and being found attractive and how that affects women of color as a result.

White women in the media are both sexualized and viewed as ideal and conventionally attractive, white women tend to take a position that pushes back on all forms of the male gaze which includes both sexualization, and being viewed as conventionally attractive.

Which is fine because of their dominant position as the apple of men’s eye they’re never going to doubt themselves as the most attractive species (even when it’s unwanted and generally unfavorable, and comes with a strict set of rules and beauty standards, because even if a white girl feels ugly, internal racism is still going to make her value herself higher than brown girls) but generally when white women reject beauty standards, they have enough support that it doesn’t adversely affect their mental well-being.

Now onto WOC. The system is completely different, woc are considered play things and sexual objects in a way that is unparalleled by their white counterparts. White women don’t /want/ to feel beautiful woc never /got/ to. And that matters, in a world where beauty, especially for women, determines worth, when women of color were never considered beautiful in the first place, their self worth is nonexistent.

So when woc say things like “I want to feel beautiful” a lot of white women mistake that for “I want to look good for men” which can be true if you’re white (even though everyone should be allowed to feel attractive in whatever way they want)

But with women of color the meaning shifts to more like “I want to feel like I have value, I want to feel loved and respected and to be attractive. Eurocentric beauty standards have never fit me, and with those being all the media I ever consumed, they’ve cemented themselves in my brain, I deserve to be desirable in a non inherently sexual way.”

And white women literally can’t empathize with this, which is okay! But there has to be an understanding that feminism isn’t one size fits all in which white women are the proxy.

Mixed Black African Girl (Cameroonian/French)

I’m a mixed black african girl who grew up and lived most of her life in Cameroon, in Central Africa. My dad is half-white (french) and half-black (cameroonian), and my mom is 100% cameroonian. There’s little to no black african characters in popular fiction, which has always bothered me, and it would be so nice to read about someone like me for once.

  • Culture and food

Cameroon is a country created during colonization, with borders defined by europeans. Because of that, Cameroon is actually made of 200 ethnic groups, each of them having their own language and culture. So the culture and daily habits vary a lot depending on which region of Cameroon you are in. In the big cities, though, everyone is mingled no matter where they’re from. However, so many different ethnic groups cohabiting together often causes tension. There are also a lot of stereotypes about every ethnic group.

I grew up in the central and coastal areas of the country, and I’m Bassa. The Bassa are one of the main ethnic groups in Cameroon. If your parents are from two different ethnic groups, it is decided that you officially belong to your father’s ethnic group. My mother is Bakoko but my father is Bassa, so I’m the latter. When I meet another Cameroonian, two of the first questions we usually ask each other are : What are you (meaning, what’s your ethnic group) ? and Where is you village ?

Villages are very important in the Cameroonian culture. Your village is where your father’s ancestors were born. Even if you’re not born there, you usually have grandparents or great-uncles or family friends living there, and if you have enough money to do so you must regularly visit your village. And usually, when people earn enough money, they send money to their village so that people living there can have a better life, build more houses and schools etc.

Cameroonian food is very diverse, and varies depending on the region. The national dish is Ndolé, a dish made with ndolé leaves, stewed nuts, and meat (fish, beef or shrimps). Other common foods are bobolo and miondo (food made out of fermented manioc), soya (spicy grilled meat on skewers), and plantain. My dad is half-french though, so at home we eat almost as much french food as cameroonian food (crème brûlée, shepherd’s pie, beef bourguignon, A LOT of bread and cheese).

  • Language

There are hundreds of different languages, but the official languages are French and English. Cameroon was colonized by France and England so Northern Cameroon mainly speaks english and central/southern Cameroon mainly speaks french. Most people also speak their ethnic group’s language. I don’t know how to speak Bassa, though, because neither do my parents. When me and my siblings were kids, our dad asked our baby-sitter to teach us, but she could only do so much and I only remember a few words.

  • Beauty Standards

Like most countries, there is a lot of colorism in Cameroon based on European beauty standards. When you’re a woman, the lighter you are, the prettier and more desirable you are considered. Dark skinned women are often mocked and considered not as pretty. A lot of people, mainly women but also men, use dangerous products to lighten their skin. Internalized racism and white beauty standards are very insidious, and a lot of people want to look like white people, including me when I was younger. As a kid I remember wishing i was a pretty blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl like the heroines of the books i was reading. Growing up I stopped wishing that, but I relaxed and straightened my hair a lot, wanting to have long straight hair without realizing that it was still an attempt to look like the ideal version of a white girl. I’m sure that if I had more black female characters to relate to when I was growing up, I wouldn’t have spend so many years hating myself without even realizing I was doing it.

Also, Cameroonians usually consider thick, curvy women to be the ideal beauty standard. But being thin is still an ideal broadcast by the media (especially that american and european media are heavily broadcast and consumed in Cameroon) so most women still diet a lot and go to the gym to lose weight.

  • Clothing

Women wear a lot of skirts and dresses, be it casual or for work. Most cameroonian schools have uniforms and mandatory hairstyles (either cornrows or short shaved hair).

Elderly people often wear more traditional clothes and outfits. The most prominent traditional item of clothing is the Kaba. The Kaba is a long dress made of wax fabric and other materials and is owned by pretty much every woman. The dress looks different depending on the situation : the Kaba you wear when you stay at home is usually very long and very loose, the Kaba you wear during official/formal events is more tight-fitting and stylized, etc.

  • Dating and Relationships

I’ve never dated anyone, but when I was in high school none of my friends ever told their parents they were seeing someone. Having your parents know about and meet the person you’re dating after only a few weeks or months is something that just doesn’t happen (unless someone gets pregnant). It’s when things get serious that you introduce them to your family. Also, a lot of parents would prefer their children to marry someone from the same ethnic group.

Homosexuality is still illegal there, and you can go to jail for being gay.

  • Home/Family life

My parents are still happily married, and I have 3 siblings. My parents are both close to their siblings, and I’m close to mine. Me and my siblings grew up with our cousins, we were always at each other’s houses. I pretty much consider most of my cousins as extra siblings. We have a very big extended family and every day I discover new distant cousins, aunts, great-uncles etc. My dad being half-french, when I was growing up we sometimes went to France during summer to visit his relatives living there.

In Cameroon, most people who have enough money to do so send their children to study abroad once they’ve graduated high school. I’m currently living in France for my studies, and most of my high school friends are also going to college in France, England, Canada, Brussels, South Africa etc.

  • Identity issues

Despite being only ¼ white, I’m very light-skinned. My siblings being much darker skinned, when I was a kid I thought I was adopted (i’m not, it’s just genetics). Cameroon being a black country, when someone is visibly mixed and light-skinned as i am, most people just label them “white”. A lot of people would refer to me as “the white” and it always really hurt me. My family wouldn’t understand why i was so angry and hurt, they’d say “they don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that you’re light” but the fact is it made me feel like i don’t belong. I’m cameroonian, i’ve lived in Cameroon almost my entire life, i’m black, and still some people see me as “other”, they see me as white. And so for a long time, I didn’t dare to call myself black, I’d say “I’m biracial” or “I’m mixed” instead because I somehow felt like a fraud. But I’m black and not white-passing at all, and I still experience racism abroad (but I’m aware I have a lot more privilege than dark skinned people).

  • Daily struggles

So I’m currently living in France. On one hand, sometimes white people are racist toward me, or just totally obnoxious and ignorant, trying to touch my natural hair and thinking that people in Cameroon don’t have computers or whatever. On the other hand, when I randomly meet other cameroonians and we start talking, they always assume that because i’m mixed i’ve lived my entire life in France and i don’t know anything about Cameroon. And there’s nothing wrong with being a child of immigrants and not knowing the country your parents or grandparents came from, but i know that if i wasn’t visibly mixed they wouldn’t question the fact that i know Cameroon and lived there my entire life.

  • Misconceptions

Because of how the media depict African countries, a lot of people think that everyone in Africa is extremely poor and starving, that we don’t have electricity and internet and that everyone lives in huts. Which is so false. We have rich people and poor people, we have huge modern cities and regular cities and small villages with huts, almost everyone has access to a tv and internet, etc.

  • Things I’d like to see less of

Cameroon and other african countries being depicted as poor unfortunate countries where everyone is starving and illiterate and waiting for the generous white people to save us. What we need is for people to see us as the humans we are, and to allow us to grow in peace.

  • Things I’d like to see more of

Black african characters being written as the complex human beings we are. Shy black african characters. Nerdy and hella smart black african characters. Mixed black african characters who struggle with their identity. LGBTQ black african characters.

  • Tropes/Stereotypes I’m tired of seeing.

The “savage”, “uncivilized” african. African characters who are aggressive, dumb and shout all the time. The poor africans in need of saving by white people.

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

sometimes i feel there’s a tendency to forget that Christianity is a religion that was born in the Middle East…not a religion founded by Europe. Many people in the MENA were Christian when Europe was still worshipping its pagan gods and polytheistic pantheons. yes, it is important to wrestle with how Europeans, after they converted to Christianity due to Roman imperialism, used it themselves as a tool for their own imperialism. but conflating the history of Christianity with whiteness comes off to me as actually a reproduction of white supremacy itself. like we’re attributing things to Europeans/whiteness again, and forgetting its Middle-Eastern roots. Eurocentric history, no?

this is actively harmful when it leads to the notion that Christians everywhere = privileged. they are not- MENA Christians are facing genocidal violence at the hands of ISIS right now, for instance. these people are not white or Westerners who can escape from this via Western privilege. If we go further back in time, the Ottoman Empire’s genocide was targeted at Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, who were Christian minorities in what’s now modern Turkey. 

Filipina-British-American Immigrant

Hey everyone! I’ve been following this tumblr for a while and I love it. Not only has it addressed problematic representations of Asian people in the past, I have also learned a lot on portraying other non-Asian people of colour. I’m currently working on an alternate universe-dystopian novel where the Cold War turned “hot” but with people of colour as the main characters. I have come across novels that portray this, but it’s often from a white person’s perspective.

While I am fully Filipina by blood, I identify as a Fil-Brit-Am: born in the Philippines, lived in England for 12 years and currently live in America. Below is what I have experienced and/or observed.

Beauty Standards

Just like what some people have said on here, whiter = more attractive. In the Philippines, walk into any beauty store and you’ll instantly see tons of skin-whitening products. With women, pale skin was a beauty staple; with men, being handsome meant being “tall and dark”, but not “too dark”. In England, it was such a double standard. I went to a mainly white secondary/high school where for white girls, it was attractive to have tanned skin (the more tan = more attractive) while girls of colour were seen as the opposite. In America, you were “exotic” (my situation) or shamed.

Daily Struggles/Culture

Oh man. Balancing conservative Filipino values with those of the less conservative English was a struggle, especially going through puberty. While it was normal for my friends to hang out in the park after school everyday, date who they wanted and just get home before it was dark, my parents gave me a strict curfew (always way earlier than when my friends would go home) and pressured me to not date until finishing college. Back then, I resented my parents for what I saw as my lack of freedom. Looking back now, I understand why. We lived in a neighbourhood where crime was relatively high and during the time, it was also where a surge of immigrants from East Asia flowed into the UK. As you can imagine, our presence wasn’t welcomed. My parents were simply trying to protect me.

Dating and Relationships

For a lot of immigrants, education was THE way to progress to a more secure future. During my teenage years, my parents emphasized this with the whole “no dating until you finish college and have at least some form of a stable job”. They mellowed out after some time. In some talks with my mother, she said that my dad and her would prefer me to marry a Filipino because they would have a better understanding of our culture. However, if he is a good man, loving etc, the race wouldn’t matter. 

Food

In England, I discovered staples such as the “English breakfast”, cake with custard, scones, fish and chips, Indian curry while keeping to Filipino dishes at home (adobo, pancit anyone?). Even though I had the option to bring lunch to school, I decided to have meals from the cafeteria. Whether that was from a moment of other children thinking my lunch food was weird or I feared of being seen as different, I can’t remember. In America (with more diverse communities anyway), they’re more open to food of other cultures.

History Repeating in the Workplace

Philippines - you’ve guessed it: colonialism. From beauty standards to power, whiteness is seen as the best. Just like another poster has said, it makes me sad that Filipino culture has been eradicated through the ages and that I never got to experience it.

England and America - Having benefited from colonialism, there is a lot of colonial mentality (though subtle). From stories I’ve been told from my parents and their generation, this is common in workplaces. White people are fine working with people of colour until they hear that a person of colour is applying to be their manager. Then they suddenly have a problem (with the whole mentality of “people of colour can’t be leaders” crap). 

Identity Issues

With three cultures part of my identity, I never really knew what my identity was or even how to identify myself. I always had the feeling of “belonging everywhere and nowhere” at the same time. it was only until last year that I discovered a term for it: third culture kid (or fourth for me I guess). Third culture kids are people who have developed multiple cultures from having lived in multiple places: one from their parents’ culture, one they grew up in and the third being a combination of the two. It has helped me with my depression, as it stemmed from the fact that I had no label to call myself while everybody else seemed to. If you are like me, I would suggest the book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds by Ruth E. Van Reken and David C. Pollock. It helped me a lot.

Misconception/Micro-aggression/Religion

In England, discrimination was more towards the Asian community (in particular, the Muslim community despite living there for a long time). In secondary school (high school), I had the typical comments of “chink” and talking to me in a mocking Chinese accent. I remember one time when a guy asked me where I was from - I answered “Philippines” and he immediately said, “so basically Japan?” *rolls eyes* 

As I was raised Catholic, the family went to church every Sunday. After some time, due to some pressure from my mother, I became an altar server. We became pretty close to the church community. What I didn’t remember is when we first attended mass, (as my parents told me later) they had openly looked at us with disgust. This shocked me as I couldn’t imagine the church goers being so mean. Talk about “loving your neighbour”. Makes me wonder what would have happened if I didn’t become an altar server…

Things I’d like to see less of

- Asian women being portrayed as submissive, shy, petite or as the Dragon Lady

- Asian women only being seen as scientists (with the whole smart, nerdy Asian trope). What about writers? Mechanics? Musicians? Leaders even?! One of my characters is an Asian woman who is an investigative journalist.

Thing’s I’d like to see more of 

- Asian people being friends with or at least, being respectful towards non-Asian people of colour (in particular, black people). It’s my hope that my generation and the ones after ours will bridge that gap.

- That writers of colour get more representation. 

I look forward to learning more from y'all!!

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

The history of the world video is funny as all hell, but I also can’t help but think of the loads upon loads of research bill wurtz had to do to make it. Not even counting the science of how the universe and earth were created and the prehistoric building of life. He took care to go over more than what a world history class would in an entire semester without being 100% eurocentric like it so often is.

Lets have a bit of a talk about the Middle East and why it’s actually West Asia

First lets describe what the ‘Middle East’ actually is

The Middle East is focused on Western Asia and Egypt, it encompasses around thirty two ethnic groups and seventeen countries. It is the birthplace of many modern religions.

Now how did it come to be known as the ‘ Middle East’ ?

Well when Britain was in its colonial days it decided that ‘West Asia’ wasn’t enough so they forced the name ‘Middle East’ onto our land.

 It’s because of  Eurocentric ideals that we are now known as ‘The Middle East’ and not part of our home, Asia. 

What does this mean?

Most of our people use the term Asian for ourselves once we find out about the European influence in our areas name. But there is a struggle because mainly white people refuse to see us other than the categories they put us in. 

If you don’t see The Middle East as part of Asia take a step back and wonder why that is. If you live in a Eurocentric country you can probably guess why. 

I’m Middle Eastern, Can I use the term West Asian/Asian for myself?

You absolutely can. Many Middle Eastern bloggers use the term West Asian for themselves once they actually do the research. BUT this does not mean you can reclaim East Asian slurs. Please keep that in mind.

Please reblog this, and yes you can reblog if you are white. 

i can’t believe i have to make this post in the year 2017 but any jokes made towards people of color at the expense of facial features not adhering to eurocentric ideas of beauty is racist. people of color literally spend most of their lives hating themselves for having facial features that dont match up with “small button nose, thin lips and thin eyebrows” and then whatever confidence in these features they may later obtain can be swept away in an instant by one “joke”. idc if the people making the jokes arent even white, if you’re maliciously pointing out someone’s big nose/thick eyebrows/big lips etc and making them the butt of a joke you arent funny and you arent clever. and if you really think these “jokes” are funny then you desperately need to reevaluate your sense of humor. like just sit there and explain to me what’s so funny about poking fun at any of these facial features without making an ass of yourself. i’ll wait

anonymous asked:

Ok so I would like to know which language you associate with each house...

Gryffindor: Spanish/Portuguese

There’s so many different versions of Spanish and Portuguese depending on where you live. It allows you to express your roots and heritage whilst still maintaining enough semblance to be understood by people across the globe. It’s a language that has adapted a lot but still allows people to connect

Slytherin: German/English

German is just efficient. Why go to lengths to describe something with multiple words when you can just mash together a sentence and say it’s one word? Also you can laugh at people when you tell them rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften is an actual word

And English just because it’s assumed. English speakers expect others to be able to speak their language and will converse on their own terms, always giving them the upper hand. If that’s not slytherin then I don’t know what is

Ravenclaw: Romantic/Ancient

Romantic because French and Italian remind me of the renaissance, a time based on the progress of arts, science, and exploration. It was a time of learning and one with a distinctly ravenclaw feel

And ancient because who other than ravenclaws would be interested in learning dead languages? Nobody else cares about ancient greek it’s dead for a reason

Hufflepuff: Hebrew

Hebrew is an incredibly old language which has worked hard to survive. It even fell out of use around 400 BC but it had that never gon quit hufflepuff spirit and brought itself back. Hebrew is the language that makes me think most about community. It brings together a group of people who’ve been through so much. Hebrew tells a story of loyalty, trust, and hard work, all things extremely reminiscent of hufflepuff