Sunday, December 7, 2008


When I think of an Asian girl, the first adjectives that would come to mind are small, smart, quiet, and beautiful I know, it’s a stereotype, but, stereotypes are based on small grains of truth. Almost every Asian girl I know – every Asian person for that matter, is smart, rather small, and quiet. When I think of those stereotypical Asian people, I get mad. Not a ticked off, but mad, because then I look at myself and think “wow, I’m Asian?”
My family often calls me a banana or Twinkie. They say that I’m “yellow on the outside and white on the inside”. As of Thanksgiving, the Twinkie has become the potato. Because of water polo, I’m no longer light skinned. My insides are still white, it’s just the outside got darker. “Kind of like a rotten banana”, my cousin was quick to point out. I usually over hear my grandmother talking to my mom, saying that I was raised wrong. “With the wrong morals” she says. My grandmother often says this because I am neither smart nor quiet.
The ethereal Asian beauty is petite, has silky, smooth black hair that hangs to her waist, and is smart. My sister Tieny is the epitome of an Asian beauty. She is smart, very, very smart. She graduated magna cum laude at Piedmont Hills High school, was clarinet first chair at Piedmont, and went on to UCLA as a business major. She is smart, beautiful, and rather quiet. Everything I’m not. It actually used to make me a little sad when I was younger.

The fifteen years I’ve been alive, I’ve been the chubby one, the dumb one, the loud one. I’ve just started to see myself as special, that I am rather tall for an Asian person, but to any other race, ill be pretty darn short. I’ve also realized that I’m not dumb compared to the world, I’m just dumb compared to my incredible sisters. I’m loud and I love it. I love making my voice heard, I love being able to quiet a crowd, and I love the laughs my friends and I share when I say something really loud in a room full of people and it gets quiet. I love myself.
Five years ago, I would have given anything to be like my sisters, I still do from time to time. Now, most days, I love being me. I love every inch of my petite, but curvy frame. I love every neuron in my brain because of their ability to remember the most random things. I love my loud, obnoxious voice, and my loud, obnoxious laugh. I can fully say that I am a regular girl that loves herself most days. So, when my grandmother says I’m not Asian, Pooh to her. Well, not pooh, because she’s my grandmother. When my family call me a banana or a potato, who cares? I am Thi, and nobody else. I’m not Tieny, Thu, or Trang. My name is Thi Phan, I’m 5”1, I have a B average, and a loud voice. So sue me.