When a white woman talks about her experiences, she is applauded by her vulnerability and living her truth; When Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) start speaking about their experiences, they’re constantly overlooked.
A parade, a celebratory siren, a standing ovation, or a Badge of Honour is rewarded to the next White Woman who speaks her truth. The usual badge BIPOC’s get is a badge that comes with a label unstable or aggressive, and the only parade you’ll see us doing, is when we’re marching down the streets protesting for basic Human Rights.
I figured out I wanted to be a writer when I knew I had a story to tell. I started speaking about my experiences online so that women who look like me can welcome vulnerability into their lives; so if I start writing my stories, Asian women can open those doors that we’ve been taught to keep shut, which in turn forced us—if not coerced—to keep our mouths shut.As an Asian woman, we’ve been raised to keep our feelings to ourselves; to suck it up; to trick our minds that if we convince ourselves hard enough to maintain this façade that we can FAKE IT ‘TIL WE MAKE IT. And somehow along the way, we can magically forget about our feelings in the hopes that those feelings will eventually get lost in the path as we run away from them.
Years later, a light gust of smell, a familiar face, a jolt of electricity that strikes through your body like lightning, a traumatizing taste of the past, have found its way and throws us back to that crippling night. We find ourselves trembling in our own dark little corner from years of pent-up emotions.
Faking it never works when it comes to our emotions. We cannot magically OBLIVIATE our memories. The only magical force we have within, is our voice. Imagine the power that you have as an Asian woman with a strong voice.A popular belief among Asians, especially on women, is that showing our vulnerability makes us weak. This idea harms BIPOC’s; because if we are not unstable or aggressive, we retold “It never happened.” Thus, denying us of our very own existence; thus, there is less representation in the field of ARTS; thus, our stories are never told.Creativity and the Arts is taken less seriously in Asian communities. You will never hear someone doing taxes as a hobby, because dancing is not a realistic profession. It is true that you need to find a job while pursuing your ART, but it does not mean that your ART requires less work.
I believe I was put in this position for all the women like me who had to swallow her emotions because she’s scared to be labelled crazy. But I would be doing a disservice to myself and all the women who fought in history to be where I am now if I kept my mouth shut. I confronted my emotions to be my most honest, creative, and authentic self.
My work is not an advocacy; it is a fight. It is a movement for all women like me to be seen and to be heard so that one day we will no longer be marching in the streets protesting for our rights.
As an Asian woman, writing about my vulnerability is an act of rebellion.
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.