I went to get a Chinese massage the other day and I was told that my body type is not suitable for living in Taiwan. The lady confirmed the feeling that I’ve been getting after having been here for over a month. Don’t get me wrong, I think Taiwan is a wonderful place. The people are passionate and friendly, there is so much variety in fruits and vegetables, the convenience of the place; but it’s just not the place for me.
Before I continue with what I have to say, I just want to emphasise that I am not saying that the entire Taiwan is like this. This is just my view and my experience to the general people I’ve encountered. There are also some exceptional things about this country but that I will not rant on today.
I celebrated my birthday for the first time in Taiwan this year and I gave myself a present by visiting a skin clinic. The consultant and doctor kept emphasising how certain treatments can help whiten my skin. Most of you would know how I love to soak up the sun when I visit the beach, sometimes even removing items of clothing to get my perfect tan. So imagine my reaction when they kindly advise me on whitening my skin. Why on earth would I pay money to do what I can achieve after a long cold winter? Not to mention pointless the minute I start hitting the beach! When I responded to them that I love my scuba and tanning, the doctor looked at me with her big round eyes that for a moment I had mistaken myself for a psychotic patient at a mental institution. I wanted to tell them that yes, I’m not your average Asian girl who thinks she has to be whiter then a piece of tofu to be beautiful. My bronze sun kissed skin can be goddamn sexy too.
Then there was the massage therapist. She told me that if I wanted to lose weight in my ass, I should do xyz. “Oh I’m not sure if you want to lose weight, but you know most girls…”. OMG please just stop. My ass? Seriously?! I love my big round ass and I’m not shy to say that it is one of the best asses I’ve seen in my life. I don’t want to be a paper thin Asian girl who looks like she’s pre-puberty her entire life. I’m a freaking woman and a woman is suppose to have curves!
Oh this gets better still. The really nice sweet Karen somehow got lured into a Herbalife consulting shop. The sweet lady did a free weight analysis for me which tells you your weight, body fat percentage, metabolic rate, etc. I was told I was 6kg overweight, my body fat percentage indicates I’m definitely overweight, I have a metabolic rate of someone who’s married and given birth already. Though my organ fat percentage was in a good range and my body age suggests I’m only 25 while I’m 28, she did not want to discuss too much about these two points. I’m sure the lady meant well and she just want to help people becoming healthier, but at the same time I was surprised that she didn’t just tell me in my face that I’m obese, because I swear I could see that sympathy in her eyes while she eyed my body fat percentage (which apparently was even higher than before I joined the gym last year and had 2 months of training with a personal training, nevermind the weight I lost while in India after 3 months of yoga). “According to your weight and body fat percentage, you’re above average.”
So I’m not your average Asian girl who doesn’t exercise and have no muscles (who would obviously weigh less, duh). So I’m a little bit fatter than the average Asian girl. So I’m not a paper person. So I’m darker than the average Asian girl. So I have curves. So I don’t wear XS. So I don’t always wear make up when I go to central Taipei city. So I don’t like wearing high heels. I exercise. I enjoy a good walk in the city rather than taking a cab (and in the sun! Or the rain for that matter). My heart feels healthy. I don’t eat crap then go and take diet pills to lose weight. I wear sun screen and remember to reapply when I go lie on the beach for half a day. I like my curves. I know what to wear to make myself look good and feel good with what I was born with. I don’t like wearing make up because I don’t believe in false advertising. Walking in the rain might make you wet, but it’s just water and it’s so much fun! Going barefoot makes you feel free and connected to the earth, you can always rinse your feet later. I like looking good but I’m not obsessed with it. That’s the kind of girl I am.
In this country, more often than not I feel that society places unnecessary pressure on people to be part of the norm. Be white like everyone! Be thin like everyone! Work and study like robots. Be accepted, be just like the average man. It is here where on more than one occasion, I feel that I’ve been categorised by a number according to weight, size or shade. I’m not saying I’m perfect because I know so well that I’m not. I know that I’m not an average girl on the street and how I love that! I love that we are all different. We are individuals with our own thoughts and opinions, in different shapes and sizes. I might not be the fairest, I’m definitely not the thinnest, but I’m healthy and happy and I love me. You know, that lady from Herbalife was so right – I’m WAY above average!