My mother is Icelandic and my father, Japanese and Native American. Which makes me….A concentration of light vibration about the height of five and a half feet tall, aren’t we all? A freckled mix of ethnic fusion, at the very least.
Growing up on the East Coast, I was well-aware of my “ambiguous looks.” I always get excited seeing other Hapas this far East Coast, we’re like a rare endangered species in these parts. I get the occasional stare from strangers, trying to guess my ethnicity. I think the freckles throw them off, because after I tell them, they usually say something along the lines of “Wow, thats really rare. You just don’t see that everyday.” When I was little, I’d be in a store with my Icelandic (and extremely fair skinned) mother, and people would ask where I was adopted from. My White friends call me “exotic” while my Asian friends and family say I’m “western.” I just consider myself “well-balanced”?
I personally love having such a neat mix. It allows me to see the world from multiple angles. Being an artist, it influences my work from the inside and out. But I think the most important thing I take from it all: We all (as human beings) are more alike, than we are different. If we can all teach, learn, and share our own unique experiences with one another, we’d all see just how close our connection is to one another. So why not just consider ourselves “human beings”? Where’s that check-box on all of the standardized tests and questionnaires?
Hi, I’m Amanda Leilani, and I am a human being.