Double (Beauty) Standards(By: Sabrina Nguyen)

If you couldn’t tell from my last name, I am Vietnamese. Always have been and always will be. I was born in Nashville and have lived in the US my whole life. Growing up in two cultures has had its positives, but there have also been challenges that come with it. That includes growing up in a double beauty standard.

As an American-born Asian girl, I learned about the American beauty standard and ideal body types for an American female. The thing is, I spoke English without an accent, I went to an American school, and I celebrated American holidays, but I didn’t look like my peers. I wasn’t “American” enough because my skin was too dark, and my eyes were too small. Not only did I have to deal with this idea that I did not look American enough, I also wasn’t Vietnamese enough either. I was not small like an Asian girl “should” be and I was curvier than an Asian girl “should” be.

All of these factors mixed together really affected my image of myself and my body. Over the past year, I have realized how important it is that I am different. Slowly as I grow up, more people are becoming more appreciative of my culture and who I am, not what I am. I do not have to fit the American beauty standard. I do not have to fit the Vietnamese beauty standard either. I am making my own standard as Sabrina, a Vietnamese American, a freshman in college, and a future social worker.

About the Author

Sabrina is currently a freshman social work major at Lipscomb University. She wants to become a licensed social worker and work in the mental health field. Sabrina really enjoys music: singing and dancing. Sabrina has dealt with and eating disorder for 6 years and has been in recovery for 1 year.