I haven't seen you for a while and hope I won't see you anymore. I was glad when you told me that you like Asians and their culture. I should've known that you meant you like us as "Asian Women" and not seeing us properly as humans. You expect us to be "exotic," "shy," "obedient," Asian girls.
After seeing you in the city, it became a trauma. I was terrified of being alone and going out on my own. After the day I saw you in front of the school library, I avoided going through that way for the whole week. I began to doubt your compliments and became suspicious of the intention behind your smile. I have no idea where you heard the sickening myth that Japanese girls love sex. I didn’t expect you to actually say that to me face to face and that's f**king gross. You were especially enthusiastic when I had black hair and bangs (which I don't have anymore). The hands reached for my cheeks, crossed next to my eyes, and for my hair. And you told me how beautiful I am. You gave me nothing but fear and disbelief.
You have changed me, a lot. How many times have I been proud of my country and wished I wasn't born as an Asian. But you know what? It is time I have to confront you. You might say I'm overreacting. But it is time for you to listen. It's not bad that you find Asians attractive. The problem is that you have created the image of an Asian person and fallen in love with that Asian image. And many images are based on male chauvinist ideas.
I wish I hadn't met you. I hope you realize that what you are doing is racist and that your "praise" is simply discrimination.
About Nagisa Mizushima
Nagisa Mizushima is a Japanese multimedia artist who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She grew up in the Japanese countryside and moved to America to pursue her studies in Fine Art. Her work is mainly focused on feminism and social issues that are loosely based on her personal experiences and observations.
Edited by Emiru Okada