Good Intentions, Villainy and Fashion Sense

Good Intentions, Villainy and Fashion Sense

Written by Grandpa Dinosaur

I look like a bad guy.

I look like I’m crazy.

I feel like I’m crazy. I feel like I’m the only one who feels certain things, maybe because I was raised with Buddhist values. Maybe because I weight myself with responsibility and accountability, considerate of the good and bad karma from each action I take.

I really don’t think I’ve done anything wrong, but I’m a radical and vigilante: “You do what you have to do.” I know I have, but I’ve done time too.

I’ve fallen, but I get back up. But at the same time, I feel like I can never get “clean” again, like a cotton cloth. Maybe because I’m choking under the double-standard of being a Cambodian Woman. Knowing that I can get stained so easily, have my reputation and value ruined in an instant. Knowing that as a Canadian-Cambodian woman, knowing I’m substandard beside a TRUE Cambodian woman, knowing I can’t change my life.

I feel weighed down. I feel like I have to do everything. I know I have to do everything. I know I have to do everything by myself. I know when people say “I’m your friend,” it’s bullshit. When the chips are down I always find myself alone. I feel like I can’t delude myself with false friendships, but I also know that living in Canada that I have to swallow a lot of poisonous bullshit as a Woman of Colour. Even when I say no, even when I stand up for myself and even when I do everything in my power I am powerless against the flow of the world.

I’m a radical, I know I walk against the current. But it’s hard.

It’s hard to say, “the way I look is beautiful, I feel beautiful” when beauty standards and (lifestyle) realities for Coloured women and White women are so different.

It’s hard to be a bad guy.

It’s hard to want better things for yourself and for the women in your community and the women in other communities and the Black children in schools. But I do what I have to do, and endure what I have to do and say what I have to say. And keep saying it.

“I am not a bad person, I am a human. I try my best, even when I fail. I will take the privilege of having a good education, having a good community, from the pockets of others and put it in my hands and say: ‘This is important to me. This is important to our community.’ We need to show other’s what is important to us, that we are humans.”

I remember when I joked around about my ideas after an Anime Convention, in saying “those of us with good intentions can hurt others, that’s why we have to have the confidence to do what we have to do but be accountable and acknowledge the reaction that our actions produce.” Because I’m Buddhist, you can’t be afraid to take a step without stepping on ants but at the same time you have to tread lightly and respect all forms of life.

And I remember my white friend commented that “Hitler thought he had good intentions,” and I remember sitting there and thinking did she just compare to Hitler? I’m doing a good thing, I’m trying to help everyone and she said what I was saying and how I was acting was similar to Hitler.

I feel like a bad guy.

In the eyes of a White person, I wonder in my intentions are “good.” I wonder if I’m ruining their “lifestyle” or “way of life.”

I look at my skin colour and realize that I’m not Chinese or Vietnamese or Japanese, those nationalities rhyme but they also tout women of pale, white skin. (Even though there are some exceptions in those cases.)

I am tan, like cinnamon, brushed lightly red like an autumn day. Almost dark enough to be like an Indian from India.

I know I look like I’m a bad guy, I look like an invader. I look like a foreigner.

But I know I’m not a bad guy. It’s hard to convince myself that I’m not bad or evil when I look around and see the world. And feel the way I’m are treated, for not “being the pale, thin, Asian beauty that touts the latest fashions” like all the other girls.

To be hated for being tan, wanting better, wanting to be accepted for being myself.

Because being human and real is bad, and being superficial is good.

Just look at the ads, your skin is never right. Nothing is right. And you don’t even use the right lotion.

I am myself, and will continue to unabashedly be myself. Because even though not being liked and being treated badly for wanting better is rough. Being hated and ugly for being who I am is unbearable.

I look like a bad guy, I’m going to tout that look my entire life. Say it’s in style. That’s right, tanned skin looks good on me and I can wear whatever the fuck I want.

I’m going to look at myself for who I am and aim to be what I want to be.

I’m not bad person, I’m hated for daring to be beautiful. And hated more for saying that it’s myself, and how dare I say that I am beautiful because it would mean that everyone in the world was lying to themselves.

I’m going to make this crazy look my fashion style for the rest of my life, the “bad guy look.” It’s a fashion statement.

It’s who I am.


~ by l on July 25, 2008.

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