Lindsay Bryan-Podvin is a biracial financial therapist, speaker, and Plutus-nominated author of the book "The Financial Anxiety Solution."

The Cultural Appropriation in Fashion Issue: Poetry Roundup

Each issue we feature the pieces of Asian womxn all around the world. Here are this issue’s pieces!

The Sunflower Girl by Thao La

Yellow, gentle, pure
She captured the wandering eyes of many
Among the sparse, tall fields
They gravitated towards her
Wherever she turned, so did they
The direction it seemed
Was almost like an endless cycle 

Or so they thought
Within this girl lied many hidden secrets
She was not who they constructed
The girl was not who they wanted her to be
She blossomed differently 

Yellow, bold, daring
She was anything and everything
An unrestrained force to be reckoned with
Someone who the girl actually wanted to be

She was after the radiating sun
Even the shadows from her onlookers
Could not stop her from attaining her goals 

She was vibrant
She was an overachiever
She was a model minority
She was inspirational
She was a sunflower girl

 

The Girl In The Mirror by Anusha Asim

She looks into the eyes of the girl in the mirror
Makeup-free and bitter
Her flaws becoming clearer and clearer
“The mirror doesn’t lie,” they say
Does she really look this way?
All those remarks echo in her ears
The girl in the mirror is blurred with tears
She wipes her eyes and stares again
The truth becoming clear and plain
Her flaws make her different for each tells a story
For once she notices their concealed glory
She is unique, a masterpiece, an amazing work of art
And love for the girl in the mirror sprouts in her heart

 

I Share My Qipao With You by Alison Wang

I never gave a second glance
When you asked to wear my dress
The baby pink one that you loved
Pure silk with embroidered flowers and vines
Which hugged my waist and brushed against my neck
Whispering life into my veins
That I blithely wanted for you, too.I never thought a second time

Until I was told to by those
Entangled in that blindly-spun web
On lines of fallacies
Spinning me into its reach
Weavers who twisted yellow yarn without yellow hands
Wove thoughts into my mind
That I should take offense
At your innocent request.I stayed in that nest, untangling the mess they warped me into
Until I became a golden bird with the will to fly away
And I wondered if it was too late to return your call
Because you never asked to wear my dress again
For fear that they would cage you, too.

Context: I Share My Qipao With You is written from a child’s perspective and takes an alternative stance on the victims of cultural appropriation. In the poem, the young girl sees no issue with sharing her culture to her equally-innocent friend, who wishes to borrow her qipao with no malicious intentions. Over time, the media feeds the girl mixed messages which cause her to believe that her friend is trying to appropriate her culture offensively. I presented this nearly satirical perspective on cultural appropriation to communicate how mainstream media can take cultural appropriation to the extreme, and how there is actually power in sharing cultures with others.

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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