“When I was growing up, I hungered for American food, Americal styles, coded: White and even to me, a child born of Chinese parents, being Chinese was feeling foreign, as limiting, was unAmerican.”
Nellie Wong explains in her passage how important it was to her to fit in with white people. She longed to be white, and tried anything and everything to fit the status quo of a white person. She goes on to say how she saw women in the media who had “blonde hair, white skin, and sensuous lips.” She began to hide behind a mask, wearing clothing and acting the way she thought she would be accepted. It’s sad how unwelcome people feel in America, “The Land of the Free,” and with good reason. You can’t get away from the idea that we, especially as women, are expected to look a certain way. It’s shown on commericals, in movies, and magazines. No wonder she tried so hard to fit in, although fitting in is a much more difficult thing to do considering very few normal people look the way women do on TV. Nellie even says she is ashamed of the men of her ethnicity. She felt honored when white men asked her on dates, and she felt like she had to uphold the reputation of an “oriental chick.” Living in America shouldn’t involve trying to look and act the way our media portrays us. In my opinion, the media does just about the worst job possible of showing how real American’s are.