top of page

How to be Asian: A Manual

Updated: Mar 12

This is the manual we all received

When we were born


Step 1: Look the part.

You know what I mean.

Pale skin.

Thin almond eyes.

Slick black hair.

Skinny and short.

Tiny feet.

You’re a white man’s wet dream.

Until you don’t want him.

Then you’re ugly—

Then it’s

Dirty yellow skin.

Slanty, beady eyes.

Dull hair.

Big ugly teeth.

The face of a rat.

And the kids on the playground

Will stretch out their eyes

Everytime you pass by.

And you will hate the face

Your mother gave you.

Step 2: Talk the part.

You say, “Ching chong.”

That’s how white people talk to you, too.

You tell the white man, “Me love you long time.”

You talk funny

Because you can’t speak English well,

So for that you are deliciously exotic.

But you’re also stupid.

So you need him.

He’s your only voice.

Step 3: Act the part.

You have a tiger mom

Who won’t get off your back.

And boy, isn’t she awful?

Your mother

Who gave everything for you?

Who learned to live in a new, cruel world

And would do anything for you

To survive it?

You have to hate her.

But you also have to do what you’re told.

Because you’re submissive.

And weak.

And that’s how the white man likes you.

And the food you like to eat is gross,

So you’ll have to learn to eat something else

Besides bats and dogs,

Or else the kids in the cafeteria

Will laugh at you

And plug their noses

When you unpack the lunch

That your mom woke up early to make you,

And you’ll have to shamefully pack it back up

And make up an excuse for later

When you have to tell your mom

Why you didn’t eat today

As you avoid her gaze

Because you know her eyes look worried,

So you lock your eyes

On her pained hands instead.

And your clothes,

Like those rice hats

And chopsticks in your hair,

Or strange robes and dresses—

They’re too weird.