I dreamed that a magazine was running a photo contest: “Which celeb do you look like?” I really wanted to enter, but I could only think of a handful of famous Chinese women, and since the contest restrictions said that the celebrity had to be from the US, that eliminated about half of them. I was in the bathroom with a giant makeup kit, knocking myself out trying to look glamorous, but it wasn’t working.
Finally I wiped off the makeup and took a natural self-portrait and sent it in with the name: “Token Asian.” In the “description” part of the form I wrote a short essay in which I explained:
Until the faces we see on screen and in print more accurately reflect the diversity of humanity, this contest is inherently unfair. Not only is it racist, it’s ageist, sizeist, and discriminatory against a thousand other features from broad noses to thick necks. Since I don’t look like Lucy Liu, Lisa Ling, or even Connie Chung, the closest I can get is “token Asian.”
I woke up before I found out what happened to my entry, but I like to think the magazine editors gave me an honorable mention.