I have never been a particularly popular girl, and that never matter to me. I was never shy, just always more of a good book, red wine, little black dress girl, than a dancing on tables, fake nails, house party kind of girl. Not my scene. I never socialised a lot with my year group, we were close as it was a small school, but I mainly stuck with 2-3 girls.
When I was younger I used to get quite a lot of racism from the boys at my school, because I'm a English/Italian/Russian/Chinese mutt. Most of the insults would be to my Chinese side, you know the eye pulling type thing, I got a lot from the guys at school, no idea why the Chinese side in particular.I always have been one of the high achievers in my class, I've been playing piano since I was four, and had interest in reading and politics. A lot of boys would say you're part Asian that's why you're clever. And they would call me geek and nerd and dumb things like that. I never considered it to be bullying, maybe I should have, but I grew up with it so I was used to it. I was the only girl who could speak many languages and had travelled, I did not blame them.
I never got that much attention either, no one ever called me pretty, and everyone was getting their first kisses when they were 13 and I did not. I was a little insecure, I was very pale, I always blushed uncontrollably and I had bushy eyebrows. I was also taller than everyone else and skinny. Occasionally I had those stupid moments where I thought "Ahhh I'm going to die alone and a virgin." But I was only a little drama queen.
I continued like this until I was 15 focusing on school, no boys, no drama, no gossip. Until things started to change for me. For some reason I started racking up a lot of unwanted attention. It started outside of school, in the summer, I think I started noticing people staring at me and I thought it was strange. I got a lot of wolf whistles that summer. I didn't hate it, like a lot of girls do, unless I couldn't see the person who had done it, then it's creepy. I never gave it much thought until one day I walked my dog (isn't she gorgeous?) past a rugby field where maybe 10 guys were playing around. One saw me, and they all started shouting and suddenly I found myself in the middle of this group of ridiculously tall guys and they were all asking for my phone number and my brain was like what is happening? I didn't even have a phone yet!
That summer I also went back to Russia, China and Italy. I got offered a modelling contract in Russia, in China a man offered me a job as a sales girl in a bank, I would have to sit and smile and distract clients while they closed bank deals. Obviously my parents were horrified at both requests and I was too. The Italian fiasco was by far the worst. Mum was feeling ill and stayed in the room while my Dad and I went to dinner. I was wearing a red dress with heels and he was wearing a suit. We don't share many features in common but I got his height because my mother is Asian tiny. My Dad had let me have three glasses of wine and I was oddly clinging to his back when we went to check in to the hotel. the hotel manager looked at me and said, no prostitutes allowed. What. WHAT?!?!?!
Deep breaths, deeeeep breaths.
Anyway back to the story. My return to school was interesting to say the least. My mother (love her) is one of those annoying women who is like "sweetie, find yourself a good looking man and grab him before all the good ones are gone!" so to 'help' me she altered all of my school skirts from perfect school regulation knee length to mid-fricking-thigh! I went to school in September with my skirt a foot above anyone else's, and the white knee high socks just made the 'sexy school girl look' even worse.
Let me tell you, there was no racism or name-calling when I got back to school. I got out of the taxi at school and everyone was looking at me and all the girls in my year came running up to me like oh my gosh I never realised how pretty you were! None of the guys dared to the whole Asian eyes thing.
When we had a literature session on archetypes, I got the nickname 'snow' and it stuck. People insisted looked exactly how Snow White is described. "Hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow."
They're not wrong, I do look almost exactly like the second Snow White, just paler. The similarity is actually scary.
In the end, it does not matter what famous actress I look like, the point is how differently people have treated me because of it. I am now 17, almost 18. My confidence has grown a lot, now I have been on a lot of dates and feel a lot more experienced. Most of the guys interested in me tend to be older, often over. No one my age though, I not sure why (comment if you do). I am thankful for this strange genetic lottery I have won, I think it would be selfish not to appreciate it. Despite this I can't help but feel sad that beauty is one thing that can transcend prejudices and bullying. Not my success in school, or talent in piano or dancing. If you are pretty, no one cares what race you are, how murky your past is or how lowly your family background.
I also seem to get very highly sexualised. Guys who never spoke to me will make have deliberately sexual conversations with me, and ask me 'spit or swallow." On a daily basis, even though I've answer that question a million times. They'll tell me the size of their dick and this happens 24/7:
I cannot tell you how many people have grabbed my butt! It is not public property! I don't mind that much. Like, I'm not going to sue people for sexual harassment, because I know they don't mean it in a psycho-rape way, they just want to play and tease me. But it's like tag in my school. They guys are like how can touch her butt the most times this week. They make bets on me. It gets a little old. There was one that I liked, we'll call him Andy. He was quite nice to me, always teased me, but stood up for me.
Guys would say things like "just mess around and have fun" but they don't realise the more they do this kind of thing the more on edge I get. Eventually I had to draw the line. I was already having a bad day because some old man shouted "suck it!" from his truck and I had a test that day. I kneeled in my chair to reach for my friend who was on the row in front, did not think about my ass stuck in the air when I bent over. He got a long ruler and used it to flick my skirt up onto my back and poked me with the ruler right on the lower lips. It was Andy that had done it, and everyone in the class was laughing so hard. I was really upset and I felt so horrible. I was only 16! A fist fight broke out between two guys and I was done. I moved to an all girls boarding school.
Not that boys were the problem, I think I just needed a change of school, and scenery. Girls are equally capable, if not more of being rude. At least if a guys don't like each other they just tell each other, instead of holding grudges and plotting for 9584736 days. It was certainly different, and I made a lot of really great friends. Unfortunately, it was in the same city, and some the girls, mainly the really 'popular' ones had heard lots of rumours about me. Quite a lot of slut shaming and nasty secret messages happened before everyone calmed down. They still don't trust me, and don't want me around their boyfriends, but mostly they leave me to myself and my little friend group. Aside from an American girl screaming at me that I'm "too feminine and taking women's rights back 50 years" last weekend, all is well, and there's not much drama.
I know they all think I'm a slut and talk about me behind my back, but I don't care what my reputation says. There's no more racism at this school, because it's boarding and so there are a lot more international students. It's also very academically rigorous, so we don't have much time to gossip anyway.
I started doing a little modelling when I was seventeen, I did a some photoshoots. The problem I have with modelling is that I'm not the super skinny type any more. Most people still think I'm skinny, but I'm not model shape, you know. I'm also 5'8 and nowhere near the requirement of 5'10. My waist is quite small, and my butt big, so there's rather an unnatural curve there that does not fit in at high fashion. People wanted me for glamour modelling though. But I declined most of the jobs because if you don't know glamour modelling is mostly naked, playboy type sexy stuff. I think 17 is still too young for that. Modelling is not for me.
So therefore, what has being attractive given me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
One time I met a lovely, bubbly girl, we'll call her Milly. She's older than me, 19 and very into make up. We're very different. She's quite overweight. Even though I was never rude to her, I was thinking it inside my head when I first met her in Spain. I was judging her so meanly. But I discovered that she was so sweet, enthusiastic and always happy! Milly was not very smart, and I started judging her all over again, I was so judgmental. In my defence, so was everyone else, people were giving here odd glances and funny looks. Until one afternoon, I was playing piano in the music room when Milly started singing Ave Maria, the opera song, perfectly in tune and in time with piano. What a set of lungs. Everyone was falling over themselves to tell her how amazing she was and apologise for being so rude.
This got me thinking, it takes us 30 seconds to judge a person. How attractive they are, how successful, how clean etc. So quickly! People judged Milly so fast and concluded that she was loud, lazy and dumb, without realising that she can speak five languages and sing like Adele. All these talents, you would not find out within 30 seconds of meeting her.
I spoke to a body language expert who told me what people's first impressions of me would be. And I found out that I stand really straight and walk very confidently (all that modelling), so people would naturally trust me because I seem to have conviction. I don't smile all the time, so not that friendly. But I touch my hair and neck very often, which is seen as very flirtatious. He also talked to me about the type of clothes that I wear, which is often very feminine and always a little overdressed (which is not possible in my opinion) and a little too fancy, will intimidate a lot of people. Especially my high heeled shoes, and the colour red. So that's apparently why I'm short on a few friends, and perceived to flirt with everyone in sight.
Now, more than ever, I wish that someone would like me for being international and ambitious. Or someone would like me because I cook mean Chinese food and can play the piano. I wish someone would like me because I'm oddly clumsy and bashful. As cliche as it is inner beauty is still the most important. Of course I like it when people like how I look, and as much as it also annoys me that I can't really trust anyone's intentions, or their true thoughts, I appreciate the opportunity to meet people, who wouldn't have otherwise paid me any attention.
Without a doubt this is a conflicting topic, especially with social media and today's standards. I hope that I have offended anyone. I'm not crying for attention or saying that people are evil and mean, I just hope that people will read this, sexualise and slut shame less, as well as not judging a book by it's cover.
Some photos are mine, please don't copy.