10 November 2011


Over the last week an old blog post has really been on my mind, and not in a good way. Several months ago I wrote about my perception of Asian people trying to be more Western from clothing choices to hair color and even skin tone based on advertisements I had seen and news reports I had read in addition to thoughts put into my head by my friends before I even stepped foot on this island. While I am sure there are a few with that thought in mind, I am now confident that I was mistaken and that my original view was swayed by everyone at home who told me what to expect. It wasn’t until I started spending time with everyone else living in Singapore that I realized what Asian people here really are like.

Before I moved to Singapore the only interaction I had with truly Asian people was picking up my Chinese takeout but that did not stop my 100 percent American friends from telling me like it would be when they had never been on this side of the world.

I was told that Asian women were straight up and down; they supposedly had no hips and no boobs.

I was advised that I would be stared at because of my light skin and blondeish hair.

I was informed that Asians are so unfamiliar with blonde-haired women that they would not only stare but gawk and touch my hair as if they had never seen it before.

I was reminded that Asians all look so similar that they want to be more like Western people and they will do anything to look like people like me.

I should have put all of these thoughts aside and waited until I actually experienced this new culture before I made up my mind but I did not. I listened to those around me because that is all I knew how to do. And then I was made a fool several times over.

After living here seven months, I now know that Asian people come in all shapes and sizes. The Singapore Airlines flight attendants are some of the most curvaceous women I have ever seen aside from those living in Heff’s mansion.

It did not take me long to realize that a lot of white people live in Singapore – surprisingly, Paul and I were not the first to land on this island. I don’t know what I was thinking. The locals are so familiar with various skin tones, hair color and accents that not only was no one staring at us when we left our apartment the first day, no one seemed to care whether or not we were on the island.

Bleaching the skin with daily creams is practically the same as walking around with an umbrella when the sun is out. Women here do not like sun. Pale skin is beautiful skin.

While I have read stories of young girls getting their eyes surgically opened to appear more round and, in their opinion, more beautiful, this is not a common practice. Many Asian women here seem to be flaunting their flat stomachs and petite frames. They carry crazy expensive handbags and wear red-bottom shoes and flashy accessories. They are confident in who they are and I happen to like that. 

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