SWIRLYBAE RADIO EPISODE 3: WHAT MY BULLIES NEVER KNEW

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A SELF LOVE STORY

I'VE WANTED TO SHARE A STORY WITH MY READERS FOR A LONG TIME. FOR MANY YEARS, I'VE FELT THIS DEEP NEED TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME, PEOPLE WHO HAVE GROWN UP FEELING LIKE THEY WERE OUTSIDERS, OR CAST ASIDE. I CAN RELATE A LOT WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE BIG HEARTS YET ARE GRAVELY MISUNDERSTOOD. I AM SHARING MY STORY WITH YOU BECAUSE I WANT TO SPEAK ON WHAT IT WAS LIKE GROWING UP MULTI-ETHNIC. I'VE ENDURED SO MUCH RACISM, BULLYING, HATERS, AND MANY PEOPLE HAVE FAILED TO RESPECT ME. AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE, I'VE COME TO A PLACE WHERE I DON'T REALLY CARE WHAT OTHERS THINK OF ME, BECAUSE I KNOW MY TRUTH. I'M NOT AFRAID OF UGLY ANYMORE. I'VE TURNED MY BACK ON THOSE THAT HAVE DONE ME WRONG OR MEANT MY LIFE NO GOOD. I'VE HAD MANY HURDLES TO JUMP AND MANY MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB. BUT THROUGH IT ALL, I'M STILL STANDING.

IN MY LATEST EPISODE ON SWIRLYBAE RADIO, I'VE TITLED IT "CORNROWS, CONAIRS, & CURLING IRONS" BECAUSE IT REPRESENTS EACH PHASE OF MY LIFE AS AN ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG ADULT. I HAD A MAJOR IDENTITY CRISIS BECAUSE OF WHAT THE WORLD WAS TELLING ME ALL THE TIME. IT WAS SAYING, "YOU DON'T FIT IN", "YOU'RE NOT WORTHY". IT WAS LIKE I'M DAMNED IF I DO, DAMNED IF I DON'T. WE WERE LIVING IN A TIME BEFORE THE KARRUECHES, THE JHENE AIKOS AND CASSIE VENTURAS. BEFORE IT WAS "COOL" TO BE TWO ETHNICITIES.

THE BIG MISCONCEPTION ABOUT BEING MIXED IS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN CATEGORIZE YOU. PEOPLE ALSO FEEL ENTITLED TO SHARE THEIR FEELINGS OPENLY WITHOUT FEAR OF CONSEQUENCE. YOU START TO FEEL INVISIBLE WHEN YOU'RE SITTING IN A ROOM HEARING PEOPLE SPEAK RACIAL SLURS AND NOT KNOWING YOU'RE BLACK. THE CRAZY PART IS THAT THEY'VE SOCIALLY ACCEPTED YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE "EXOTIC" BUT THEY DON'T RECOGNIZE YOUR ETHNICITY. IF YOU'VE EVER EXPERIENCED THE SAME, THEN TUNE IN ON YOUR MORNING DRIVE AND RELATE WITH ME. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY IN THE COMMENTS.

 

DEALING WITH REGINA GEORGE TYPES

AS A YOUNG GIRL GROWING UP, I FELT FROM AN EARLY AGE THAT MY MULTI-ETHNIC BACKGROUND WAS SOMETHING NEGATIVE. I LEARNED BY WATCHING. IT WAS HOW TEACHERS TREATED OTHER STUDENTS, THE WAY CERTAIN FAMILY MEMBERS WERE FAVORED, THE WAY OTHER CHILDREN DIDN'T WANT TO INTERACT WITH ME, AND HOW SCENARIOS WERE PORTRAYED ON TELEVISION.

IT WAS JUST LIKE JONNY QUEST. I WAS ONLY GOOD AS A SIDE KICK. I NEVER FELT LIKE MY LIFE WAS WORTHY ENOUGH TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN A STORY. AS I GREW UP, I BECAME VERY ACQUAINTED WITH BULLY BEHAVIOR. I USED TO WISH I COULD JUST BE ONE RACE. MY ETHNICITY DREW SO MUCH NEGATIVE ATTENTION, I SOMETIMES WITHDREW FROM OTHERS AND HAD ANXIETY GOING PLACES.

IT'S SO HARD WHEN PEOPLE TELL YOU THAT YOU'RE OVERTHINKING IT, THAT YOU'RE PARANOID.

PEOPLE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND MY STRUGGLE SO I NEVER WANTED TO VOCALIZE IT. I SUFFERED ON MY OWN. BULLIES SOMETIMES MAKE IT SO THAT YOU FEEL DIS-EMPOWERED BUT THAT YOU STILL WANT THEIR ACCEPTANCE SO THEY'LL STOP MAKING FUN OF YOU. IT'S LIKE THAT SCENE IN MEAN GIRLS WHEN LINDSAY LOHAN'S CHARACTER CADY SAYS, "THE WEIRD THING ABOUT HANGING OUT WITH REGINA, WAS THAT I COULD HATE HER, AND AT THE SAME TIME, I STILL WANTED HER TO LIKE ME."

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THERE WAS SO MUCH I WANTED TO SAY AS YOUNG PERSON, BUT NEVER HAD THE COURAGE.

WHAT MY BULLIES NEVER KNEW WAS THAT I NEVER WANTED TO FIT INTO THEIR BOX.
THEY NEVER KNEW THAT I HAD BEEN BURNED 1,000 TIMES BEFORE THEY MET ME.
THEY NEVER KNEW MY STRENGTH.
THEY NEVER KNEW MY ETHNICITY WAS NEVER MY WEAKEST QUALITY. 

I TRULY BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE I HELD ONTO THESE SEEDS OF POSITIVITY, IT HELPED ME SHIELD THE NEGATIVITY. IT WAS MY PROTECTION.

 

RACISM, HATERS, & SELF IDENTITY CRISIS

CORNROWS | THE YOUNG YEARS
WHEN I WAS JUST 7 YEARS OLD, I WAS FIRST CONFRONTED WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT MY BACKGROUND. KIDS WERE ALWAYS CURIOUS ABOUT MY RACE. I HAD THIS DARK LONG HAIR AND DARK SKIN. I WAS ALWAYS ONE OF THE ONLY PEOPLE OF COLOR IN MY CLASSROOMS. I ONCE TRIED CORNROWS AND WANTED TO EXPLORE NEW HAIRSTYLES BUT THE REACTION WAS HARSH. BY THE TIME I WAS 11, GIRLS WERE TELLING ME I WAS NOT BLACK, THEY WOULD THROW MY HOMEWORK ON THE GROUND, AND GOSSIP ABOUT ME. THEY WOULD DENY MY BLACKNESS BECAUSE OF MY FEATURES. I WOULD AVOID RECESS TO AVOID THE HATE. NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRIED TO FIT IN, I FELT LIKE I WAS NEVER BLACK ENOUGH DURING THOSE YEARS.

CONAIRS | PRE-TEEN + HIGH SCHOOL HELL
AS I ENTERED MIDDLE SCHOOL, I STARTED STRAIGHTENING MY HAIR MORE, TRYING TO ACHIEVE THIS ABERCROMBIE LOOK. I WANTED TO BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. ONE DAY A GIRL CAME UP TO ME AND SAID I NEEDED TO STOP BEING SO WHITE-WASHED AND THAT I NEEDED TO ACKNOWLEDGE MY BLACK HERITAGE. THAT REALLY KILLED MY SPIRIT BECAUSE I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE MY BEST SELF. IN HIGH SCHOOL, A GROUP OF ASIAN GIRLS WERE CALLING ME DARK, OSTRACIZING ME FROM THEIR CLIQUES, AND EVEN CALLED ME A SLUT FOR HAVING GUY FRIENDS. I WOULD EAT LUNCH IN THE BATHROOM SOMETIMES. IN MY SENIOR YEAR, A GIRL TOLD EVERYONE ON A CLASS TRIP THAT I THOUGHT I WAS ALL THAT BECAUSE I WAS MIXED. NO MATTER HOW I DRESSED OR BEHAVED, IT WAS NEVER ENOUGH OR IT WAS WAY TOO MUCH. 

CURLING IRONS | COLLEGE DAYS
WHEN I GOT INTO MY JUNIOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY YEARS, I FELT LIKE I TRIED TO EMRACE A NEW NATURAL LOOK. EVEN SO, I REMEMBER PEOPLE SAYING I WAS PRETTY DESPITE MY BLACKNESS. PEOPLE FELT COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE TELLING ME HOW DARK I WAS. SOMETIMES I WORE LONG SLEEVES JUST TO AVOID THE NEGATIVE ATTENTION. IMAGINE FEELING THAT WAY IN THE TEXAS SUMMER HEAT! I TRIED HANGING IN DIFFERENT CROWDS. I HUNG WITH OTHER ASIANS BUT I HAD A HARD TIME DEALING WITH THE RACIST COMMENTS AND JOKES. THEY DIDN'T SEE ME AS BLACK, I WAS INVISIBLE. THEY WOULD TRY TO TEASE ME DOWN AND MAKE FUN OF MY LOOKS. OR THEY WOULD SAY I WAS ONLY PRETTY BECAUSE I WAS HALF FILIPINO. THE SHIT HIT THE FAN ONE NIGHT WHEN THIS ONE VERY POPULAR ASIAN GIRL SHOVED ME AT A HALLOWEEN PARTY. ALL I COULD SURMISE WAS THAT IT HAD TO DO WITH HATE AND JEALOUSY. THAT WAS THE NIGHT I FINALLY DECIDED TO WALK AWAY FROM THAT GROUP AND ANYONE WHO WOULD TRY TO MINIMIZE ME. I WAS 24.

 

WALKING AWAY, CARVING MY OWN PATH

MY HOPE IS THAT BY SHARING WHAT I WENT THROUGH, PEOPLE WILL FEEL LESS ALONE. THE GOAL OF SWIRLYBAE RADIO IS TO CREATE A COMMUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO FEEL ACCEPTED AND WELCOME SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE UNIQUE. I HOPE YOU'LL TUNE IN BELOW!

I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES, CULTURAL EXPERIENCES AND KEEP EVERYTHING EDUCATIONAL. IF ONLY TWO LISTENERS LISTEN, THAT'S TWO PEOPLE WHO WALK AWAY A LITTLE MORE WOKE. IN THIS EPISODE, I WANT YOU TO KNOW, THAT YOUR HATERS ONLY PROVIDE THE AMMUNITION YOU NEED TO WALK YOUR OWN PATH. THEY SERVE AS A REMINDER TO NEVER SELL YOURSELF SHORT.

BULLIES TRIED TO BRING ME DOWN WITH THEIR RACIST AND HURTFUL WORDS. AND IN THE END THEY MAY HAVE HURT MY FEELINGS, BUT THEY DIDN'T HURT MY HUSTLE. IF YOU'VE EVER EXPERIENCED HATRED FOR BEING DIFFERENT, I HOPE THAT YOU HAVE THE WILL TO WALK AWAY. YOUR TIME, YOUR SKILLS, AND YOUR BEAUTY IS TOO VALUABLE. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO CONVINCE THEM THAT YOU ARE WORTHY. YOU ARE ENOUGH. AND THAT'S ALL THAT YOU NEED TO REMIND YOURSELF AS YOU BRAVE THIS CRAZY WORLD!

#LOVEONLY
JASMINE