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by Emily Yang

The little girl liked to draw.
She drew animals,
Plants,
Rainbows,
Idyllic pastoral scenes,
But most of all,
She liked to draw
Beautiful girls–
The girls that
She felt were
The best.
She pushed back her
Straight black hair,
And she squinted her
Slanted eyes
As she drew.
She drew what she thought
Was the most superior
Kind of girl,
Sometimes with pink frilly dresses,
But most importantly,
The beautiful girls had
Long
Blonde
Hair.
Sometimes the little girl
Got creative,
Felt like doing something different,
And would draw who she saw
Was the next best,
Beautiful girls with
Long
Brown
Hair.
Not once
Did she draw
Anyone she viewed as
Beautiful
With
Long
Black
Hair.
Not once
Did it occur to her
That anyone who
Looked
Like
Herself
Could be
Beautiful.
Not once
Did she come across
Any TV show,
Movie,
Book,
Or other story form
In which her people
Weren’t “Chinese people”
But rather just
“People.”
Not once
Did society ever
Affirm her as
A person,
As having value,
As being beautiful,
And she agreed
With this lack of affirmation,
As she continued to draw
Anyone but
Herself.
 
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