When I was little, I had my share of Barbies. On TV, Barbie would come with this excited and happy voice and have happy, colorful friends and pets and live in a dream house with Ken, her true love. But not only did I want to own a Barbie, I wanted to be her. I wanted those blue eyes, blonde hair, and frozen smile that seem to promise the dream house and dream guy who will adore her. I would look at myself in the mirror and see a mediocre, chubby Asian kid and reassure myself, “I’m still little. I’ll look like Barbie eventually.” So I waited and waited to be everything I wasn’t, and I waited very patiently. I was teased for my clothes, my weight, and my tanned skin, and remained optimistic that maybe someday, one day I will look like Barbie.
Obviously that didn’t work. Eventually, I got over it. I learned to look in the mirror and reassure myself, “I look decent today. Now, how about that pre-med test?” I learned what images on TV and in advertisements do to our perception of beauty, what it did to my perception of beauty. Most importantly, I learned to think, and (citing Dove) that is why I’m worth it.