Slut shaming but Hapa shaming…” -Carol Angeli

Image is from the Hapa Project

Image is from the Hapa Project

If you are mixed you probably know exactly what my friend is talking about. Being shamed for being your unique genetic makeup.

*Just a disclaimer, I HATE slut shaming. Girls (and boys) you be you and be proud of your sexuality!

Sounds ridiculous right? People actually try and make you feel bad and less than a person because you happen to not be full (insert ethnicity here). Maybe it’s not intentional, but whatever the reason it hurts and pisses me off.

As a Hapa, I have felt like I have had to prove something. That I AM Asian enough that I AM white enough. I know for a fact I am not alone in this. I have had way too many conversations with my fellow Hapa tribe about, as Carol so perfectly put it, “Hapa Shaming”.

You’re probably gonna be surprised to learn that this comes from all sides. I grew up in a Jewish Household, so I really wasn’t in touch with my Japanese side. Especially when it came to food because let’s be real, most of that yummy goodness is considered “unclean” by orthodox Jewish standards.
When Asian friends found out I didn’t know what something was they would act horrified. “How can you not known what this is?! You’re Asian!” Or better yet they’d tell me I was a “Bad Asian” because I hold my chopsticks like a peasant, thanks, dad. To which I would always respond with “guys, I was raised by Jews”. As if I had to apologize and make up an excuse because I wasn’t Asian enough.

Over the following weeks, I want to share stories with you about my friend’s experiences. Whether it’s about how casting labels them or how people feel they can tell us exactly what we look like whether we are that ethnicity or not. How our own people have judged and deemed us not worthy to represent them.

It has taken me a long time (and I am still working on it) to accept me for me. I’m not just some “exotic” chick. I am so much more than that. My friends are more than that. We Are Human. Treat us as such.