By practicing self-love daily for all the “half as good” mixed girls who, like me, would never appear on the cover of In the eighth grade, I began seeing my first African American boyfriend.Ever since then, people have insisted that I have a preference for dating black men, though an audit of my full romantic history says otherwise.
Simone Jacobson is a Burmese American writer, performer, teaching artist, and cultural worker based in Washington, D. Unlike many first generation Asian Americans, my mom’s first language was English.
My grandpa’s father was Chinese and my grandma’s father was British; both of their mothers were Burmese.
I’ll never fit the conventional mold of an “ideal” woman someone can “see” themselves with, because the vision of a Sino-Anglo-Burmese American woman simply isn’t possible without precedent.
Like many women of color in America, I grew up without anyone who looked like me to reaffirm my own self-image.
They would gladly kiss me in the dark, and then nitpick every part of my body.
I felt I was always failing to meet their white standards of beauty.The closest person in the public eye I could identify as looking remotely like my mother (and her ’80s perm) was Miles, a four-year-old black boy on Sesame Street.That’s a telling story: I was in preschool when my teacher asked me to fill in the blank, “My mom looks like ______,” and I wrote “Miles”.After all, Phoenix, Arizona is home to the nation’s strictest anti-immigration policies and state university fraternities that host “dress like black people”- themed MLK celebrations. C., my current home of 14 years, nearly 70 percent of the Phoenician population self-identified as white as of the 2010 Census.Fortunately for me, I was immersed in a loving community of Asian Americans as early as kindergarten.My paternal grandparents are first and second generation Americans of Eastern European ancestry with firmly established Jewish identities.