An Outsider

I was reading an article today about how they were almost about to cast Lewis Tan as the leading role of Iron Fist as Danny Rand but ultimately gave the role to the white guy in the show. Here is the article: 

Lewis Tan, is half white and half Asian, an American born in England. In the article they quote him on saying that he understood how it felt to be an outsider both in Asia and in America. I resonated well with that as I understood how it felt and I feel as if being mixed race there were even be more of an identity crisis.

I remember my friend, whose half white and half filipino, telling me that when she's in Australia she's Asian but when she's in the Philipines she's white. It's like she doesn't belong in either places she's part of and can you just imagine how confusing that would've been for her when she was younger?

When I finished reading the article, I scrolled down to read the comments section and one of these comments stood out.

Hey Orange Apple, your comment meant no harm at all, but I feel like I just need to inform you and help you understand what this 'whole outsider thing' is about.

While I can't speak on behalf of mixed race people as I feel as if their experiences would somehow be completely different to mine but I can speak on behalf of my own experiences.

As Lewis has said, there's no more of an outsider than an Asian-American. What he means is that as an Asian who grew up in a Western country - we're told constantly that we don't belong even though we may dress the same, act the same, and speak the same way as our white peers. We simply just don't look the same and so people don't accept us as just a normal citizen of America/Australia/Europe.

We have people telling us to speak English when we speak our mother tongue and when we do speak English we have people telling us that our English is really good and asking us where we're really from.

When Lewis mentions that we feel like outsiders when we're at home. I can bring up a story my friend, who is Asian but has only ever lived in Australia and hasn't been to her mother country before. She told me she felt disconnected to her grandparents because she can't communicate with them as they don't understand English. She feels disconnected with other Asians because she can't relate. She doesn't even like Pho. Yet constantly, again and again, she has people asking her where she's from and they don't believe her when she says the honest truth that she's from Australia.

My experiences are a bit similar when I go back to Hong Kong to visit my extended family. I can't communicate with them. There's just a big cultural difference in how we live our lives. They see me and start talking Cantonese with me but I can't piece the words together as eloquently as I would like and I end up sounding like a 5 year old child. They way we do things over there are different and even my FOB friends call me the ABC of the group and list out the ways in which I do things differently.

There's just no winning for us and I don't see this kind of thing changing anytime soon. The other way in which I see a slight change is when people point these things out and educate people on what it means to be considered an outsider.

A lot of controversy surrounded Ghost in the Shell also and a lot of the arguments they used was that it was a film for Americans so of course they would use American actors and actresses. When people use this argument, it irritates me so much because this is another way in which people see other non-white Americans as outsiders. They're not Americans - is what they're simply saying. They can't cast an Asian-American actress as Motoko Kusanagi - it's either got to be a white American actress or a Japanese actress. Asian Americans are never considered.

So, Orange Apple, I hope by now you would have at least grasped the gist of what Lewis Tan meant to be 'an outsider as an Asian-American'.

I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise

being asian australian

Growing up as an Asian-Australian, I had to deal with people throwing racist remarks at not just me but hearing about it from my parents and my sister and how upset and helpless they felt when being attacked.

Growing up Asian-Australian meant that my life would be completely different to the lives of Asians growing up in predominantly and homogenous countries like the city I'm from - Hong Kong - they wouldn't need to deal with being oppressed or being discriminated against just because of the colour of their skin.

Growing up Asian-Australian meant that for most of my life I had an identity crisis and going to a predominantly-white Christian-religion school did not help. I remember coming back from Hong Kong and being at school and trying to share my culture and what I had learnt from being overseas to my friends and they told me I had changed and became more Asian. Like it was a bad thing.

I had an identity crisis over how I should act and dress and I tried to hide my culture because it didn't fit in with this particular society's standards. There was only one way of doing things and if I didn't do things their way I was considered 'different' and 'weird'

I was labelled weird throughout the majority of my high school life and it was me not understanding that I needed to have dual personalities to fit in - the one at home and the one outside of home and sometimes the one I had in front of white people.

Growing up Asian-Australian meant that I wanted to learn about my culture but there was nothing here to learn from. Nobody talked about it and there were hardly any history books about Chinese history or culture. Even if there were - it was either all in Chinese or from a Western point of view.

Even now, being Asian-Australian and coming over to Australia before I even turned 1 - I still get people asking me where I'm really from, where my parents are from, if I'm really from Australia and telling me that I speak English really well...for an Asian. They start asking me questions about China that I don't even know the answers to. I want to embrace my culture but the culture I've ever really known is Australian culture.

I've been in Australia my whole life but to them, I'm not Australian. I hardly know anything about China or Hong Kong because where am I supposed to get any of this information from other than my parents and Google? The only thing the white education system has ever taught me about history was it's Aboriginal Australians, World War 1 & 2 and the gold rush where they completely missed out on how they attacked the Chinese.

2016 was such an important year for me. I've learnt so much and heard stories from people of different races and backgrounds. Listening to stories about what it's like to be African-American, Latina and a Muslim haunts me to this day and watching all these documentaries has educated me so much about the world and so I've decided that 2017 will be the year that I will stand up for my beliefs and core values without even caring about what people think of me or if I offend them because people have already offended me enough already.

Pro Choice

I went to a Christian school and what this means is basically that our sex education was short, sweet and incredibly one sided. The gist of our 'education' is that we had to wait to have sex after marriage otherwise our lives would be ruined and our options are cut - that we won't have a successful life and that life will be a struggle after having sex.

They didn't tell us that there were other options. There was only one option - don't have sex. The worst part was that they separated the genders up so that females were in one room for sex education while the males were in another room for sex education. We didn't even received the so called education until we were around 15 years of age. It's just ridiculous looking back now on how my religious school has failed us so hard. 

I want you and everyone to know that there are options - there are options beyond pregnancy or even options before sex. There are contraceptives. Your life doesn't just end there after getting pregnant. You should be able to choose for yourself. It is your life and your body and nobody should be taking these basic human rights to CHOOSE from you. I so strongly believe in educating both men and women in sexual education in all forms and I am so passionate about having the ability to choose what you do with your life FOR YOURSELF. You should be able to have the option to keep the baby or have the option to abort it. 

When we lose empathy for others is when we lose the essence of what it means to be human. 

Why do women have abortions? 

Do you understand or even know why abortions even take place? It's not only just because they happened to fall pregnant after having sex - it can be so many other reasons.

The top 3 reasons: 

  • having a child would interfere with a woman's education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%);
  • that she could not afford a baby now (73%);
  • and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%).

I just cannot wrap my head around the reason why people would want to barge their way into somebody else's business in regards to a person's body. I've read and heard people wanting to keep the baby but what happens to the baby THAT NOBODY WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE? It's a destructive cycle. The child is left unloved in a world that's already broken. The adoption process is difficult and numbing for the child who goes from home to home. Nobody should have to go through the process of foster care when so many people cheat the system and are in it for the money instead of actually looking after the child. It's a never-ending cycle. 

We should be educating both our sons and daughters. Men and women. Into proper sexual reproductive education and how our bodies work. I've always wondered why we need to pay sanitary tissues. They're not even that cheap either. Why is something so necessary and part of every single woman's life (a necessity) not free? Why do people give out condoms for free but not sanitary pads? I don't understand how this works. 

Making abortions illegal doesn't stop abortions from happening. They decided they don't want the baby - people will find a way to not have a baby. Making it illegal isn't going to do anything. In fact, actually, it will make it worse. 

Updated Skincare Routine (2016)

(Left to right): Etude House: Baking Powder Cleanser and Wonder Pore Freshner, The Body Shop: Aloe Soothing Cream Mask, Banila co: Clean it Zero Balm, The Face Shop: Natural Sun sunscreen, Etude House: Wonder Pore Serum, The Body Shop: Seaweed Mattifying Moisturiser and Seaweed Pore Cleansing Exfoliator

Recently I've been investing heaps into my skincare routine as my skin has been breaking out heaps and is super bumpy due to millions of whiteheads and blackheads popping up everywhere. I've developed my own 'Korean' 8-step-skincare routine with these products!


I just use the Etude House Baking Powder cleanser and to be honest, I'm not in love with it but it gets the job done and it smells quite nice. It leaves my face feeling clean.

Double Cleanser

I used to use the JUJU AQUAMOIST Cleansing Oil which I absolutely love but decided to try out the Banila Co. Clean it Zero cleansing balm as I heard a lot of good reviews about it. Didn't realise it came in such a huge tub and is totally worth the money as I've had it for a couple of months and barely made a dent. I use it to double cleanse and it smells amazing but I'm not sure if it's because I'm not using it right but it still leaves a lot of balm residue on my face even when I've washed it off.


The Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner is an absolute favourite and I'm so sad it's nearly all gone as they don't stock it in stores over here and I absolutely hate waiting for packages when I online shop. This toner does a lot - not only does it balance your pH levels after you've washed your face but it reduces the size of your pores! My pores definitely have noticeably gone smaller after using the freshner and the serum.


The Etude House Serum is amaziiiinnngggg!!! It does such a great job and definitely locks in the pores to make them smaller.


For the longest time ever, I've had so much trouble looking for a good moisturiser for my skin. My family has been recommending me these moisturisers when I go back to Hong Kong but then I can never find them when I go back to Perth so I'm always left with a really sucky moisturiser as I don't know which moisturiser here does the same job as the Hong Kong brand moisturisers. Then I discovered the Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying moisturiser and IT IS SO GOOD!

Not only does it moisturise my face and leaves it feeling smooth and supple but it takes care of my oily T-zone so I don't wake up in the morning feeling an oily mess (which most moisturisers I used did). It also has a slight tingling sensation as well which the sales assistant told me was normal.


The sales assistant at the Body Shop also recommended I purchase the exfoliator as I told her I had a lot of whiteheads and she said it was probably from the build up from my dry skin and dead skin cells as I wasn't exfoliating my face and getting rid of the dead skin cells. After using the exfoliator I noticed that a lot of the bumps started disappearing and they would come up to the surface and form pimples and then disappear! I was so glad as the bumps were so unappealing. 


Still in the process of looking for more masks to try as I absolutely love masks! Recently purchased the Body Shop's Aloe Vera Soothing Cream Overnight Mask as Winter is coming and my skin gets more dry during the winter time. This mask smoothes my sensitive cheek area which is really dry and I can leave it on overnight and my skin feels absolutely amazing in the morning. 


Last but not least, SUNSCREEN!

My friend gave me this sunscreen spray puff from the Face Shop where you pump the sunscreen onto the puff and pat it onto the skin like a cushion foundation. It also has a cooling sensation and has 50 SPF and PA++++ which is so good! I love it/would repurchase again.

Water, H2O -- BLUE GOLD

You ever just watch a documentary that completely changes your mind and thoroughly provokes your thoughts. I've been watching environmental documentaries lately and I highly recommend Blue Gold.

Wars of the future will be fought over water as they are over oil today, as the source of human survival enters the global marketplace and political arena. Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. Can the human race survive?
(taken from IMDB) 

The environment has always been a stressing issue and a huge reason why I love the Lorax by Dr. Seuss. There's a good quote from a Chinese film I watched recently, The Mermaid, and one of the characters asks the main character a really good question:

'Hypothetically, if you had only one minute left in your life. Hypothetically, if the earth didn't have a single drop of clean water left or a single breath of clean oxygen left. What do you want to do most?' 

- The Mermaid (2016)

We're depleting the Earth of oxygen and water all for the sake of money. What happens once we've gotten our money? Money isn't important anymore when the Earth is damaged because of it. You won't be able to breath or drink clean water and then your health suffers and making money was for nothing because of it. 

We are a circle of life and so is the environment. We are born, we grow up and die and turn into soil. The trees grow from the soil, then give out clean oxygen for us to breathe. We all learn about where water comes from right? Water comes from rain water, then it falls to the ground, the soil soaks it up and the water goes back into the ocean and the clouds evaporate it and then the clouds make it rain. 


1. We're destroying forests
2. We're building dams
3. We're polluting rivers

The reason why there is less rain water is because the clouds are taking less in less water from the oceans! The reason why there is less water in the oceans is because there isn't enough water in the ground. The reason why there isn'ts enough water in the ground is because the roots of the trees aren't there anymore to push the water into the ground. The roots of the trees are getting removed because we're removing the forests to build houses and infrastructure established by big companies that care more about money than the environment! They don't care about us - they're rich and they can just buy bottled water. 

The only ones at stake are lower and middle class people. We can't afford to pay bottled water every day. We need to protect the environment from huge companies that will (in the future) make us buy water because water is and will run out. 

I highly, HIGHLY recommend this documentary and urge you to watch this. It is eye opening. 

What I Learnt Last Year/ New Years Resolution

I know it's pretty late into the 'new' year (it's March already..what) but instead of creating a New Years Resolution I wanted to create a post about the many things I learnt last year and wanted to reflect on the many things that have moulded me into the person I am as of right now and have a mini resolution at the same time.

Coming back from travelling, I always tend to learn something new and exciting - culturally mostly and geographically - but this year it really opened up my eyes.

1. Chinese Identity

E.g. America, where everyone seemed to idolise and see as the 'Great American United States wow land of the free and celebrities.' However, I saw it differently when I came back. I learnt to really appreciate how so many immigrants and families sacrificed their life in their hometown for their children's future and for a better life even though the first couple of years moving to this new and foreign country were probably the worst years of their lives. They can't speak English, they don't know anyone, they're struggling financially and they have to look after their children. Who are they supposed to rely on?

So many people moved over to America for a better life and before, I never learnt to appreciate those kinds of things. I actually felt kind of embarrassed ~ like why can't my parents act more westernised? We're living in Australia - learn to adapt to the Australian life. But it's difficult for them. Their sense of belonging and identity belongs to a certain group and they feel like they belong to this group and thats why having a Chinatown in San Francisco was so important to them. It was a place where they belonged and they'd honestly be lost without a community like that.

My Aunty, who can't speak English but is the most outgoing person I know, blended in so well with the people in Chinatown even though she was so worried about not speaking English well in America. She just talked to strangers on the buses, trains, planes and even learnt about someone's background in San Francisco. Everyone's just kind of blending in and living their life - everyone is the main character in their life.

Coming back from America has made me realised that there are so many people whom I share a similar identity and position with and I think that was a really big eye opener for me.

2. Australia is the best
Honestly, Australia is the best. I take back whatever I said about moving to America when I grow up. I'm staying in Australia until I find a better place to call home. The houses are nice, the transportation is OK - but the public transport is easy to navigate through, the weather and beaches are nice. NO TAXES. NO TIPPING. No severe traffic. Whatever, screw you all Australia's the best in my eyes.

3. Skincare and Health first
Never thought I'd be so envious of so many people until I went to Hong Kong and everywhere I went all the girls had such nice skin and beautiful, crystal clear complexions. I am in awe. This year, I am going to focus on improving my skin complexion and less on purchasing makeup which will just make my skin worse than it already is. Even though I'm a makeup junkie :(

Another aspect is that I need to improve my overall health and fitness. I need to exercise more and stop eating so much unhealthy food. My cousin in San Francisco walks everywhere and their roads are so steep and slopey! I was out of breath already not even halfway through and we had to take the bus back because I couldn't deal. Australia's roads are so flat so it's not even that difficult and yet I still drive everywhere!

4. So many people on this planet
There are honestly so many people on this Earth it's unbelievable. Every single person is a main character in their life. Especially when I went to China and around just the California state. There are so many people on this Earth and I can't believe that there are enough resources for so many people. Does it ever occur to you that water, food, air will run out? Where are all these resources coming from? I went to so many buffet places this year and each time I just thought - the sashimi, the oysters, the fruit, the poultry - it's all going to run out someday right? How in the world do they have such an unlimited supply of fresh seafood and fruit?

Some people earn their income from working, some earn it from their own business and just everybody is working hard to make a living and it made me think about the type of life I want to have in the future more.

5. Time is precious
You honestly only live once and there is no going back. You can't rewind time you can only look onwards that's why choices and the decisions you make are so important. I have always known this but I never understood the importance behind this aspect but now I know the true, utter importance of time. There is absolutely no way I can go back to last week to change whatever I wanted to do. Each second is important and I could've been spending it working and earning money or studying but I didn't - I don't and I really should this year. Instead of staying at home - I can volunteer, go out and catch up with friends, join a club or class or work on my health. Each second and minute is valuable time and we all only have a limited lifespan and I'm going to spend each second like it's truly my last.

just take it

I created a new mini vlog using film from way back in July 2015 when I went to visit Perth's secret garden. It's only less than a minute long. Trying to get some practising in before I go on holiday back to Hong Kong and hopefully will end up getting some exciting new footage in. I also need to discover some new music for potential background music for my vlogs and video diaries. No luck so far but will hopefully post a Spotify playlist when I discover some new tracks. 

Take chances, Have no Regrets

Life is too short to be anything but happy.
So kiss slowly, love deeply and forgive quickly.
Take chances, give everything, have no regrets and forget the bad in the past.
Just remember what all it taught you.
Just be someone else. Life is too short to be someone else.

 If there's really one thing I've learnt (but have yet to implement in life) is that life is too short to not be crazy and too short to be anyone else but YOU! Take risks, go after whatever you want, why shouldn't you deserve what's been given to you? Jump through those obstacles to reach your goals and achieve what you want in life. Life is way too short and fast-paced to go day by day without doing something productive.

Social Media and Self Esteem

Hello my little porcupines!

In the midst of study plus exam week I thought I would shove in a blog post before I have way too much free time and forget to write out my sad and sensitive feelings again. I feel like I blog about myself too much so maybe I'll just talk about something else other than myself and my life is so boring and hasn't changed much at all.

First things first - social media. Social media is a marketing tool for businesses but it started out as a medium for people to interact with one another. I think when we think of social media these days the first thing that pops up is usually Facebook or Instagram and I think those two are predominantly two social media platforms in which I use the most. While Facebook is proper, professional and more for friends; Instagram is a platform in which I can explore and interact with people around the world and also show off my creative side which Facebook is lacking. I remember being so obsessed with my Myspsce profile as it was a way to show off my personality and artistic influences and tried to make it represent me. To summarise really - I probably spent way too much time editing my MySpace profile when I could've been doing something more productive.

Which reminds me of the Instagram model - Essena O'Neil - I think the main points she makes where social media is portraying a fake life and not everything is not as perfect as they want you to believe it to be are such valid points. How many times have I seen a photo on Instagram and been like 'I wish I had her life' 'I wish I had her body' 'I wish I had her hair and clothes' when in actuality they've been sponsored and their life isn't as perfect as the extent they made it out to be. However, I honestly draw the line and tell myself that that's her life and this is my life there's honestly no point in comparing and there is nothing I can do about it other than improving myself and striving towards my own goals. Where being social media famous is not one of them and putting myself out there for people to nitpick on my appearance is definitely not one of my goals. I already have enough anxiety over stepping out into the city with so many people around. I think the best thing we can ever do is to be a good person and be a good role model to whoever is looking up to us and don't validate yourself through a strangers opinion of you or how many numbers are behind your brand. It's honestly not worth the stress, effort and self esteem issues associated with it.