Seoul Over Stereotypes

a spoken word poem. watch the performance here


When you think of your stereotypical Asian girl,

do not envision me.

You see, in my house, my mother cooks rice.

1. I. Hate. Rice.

I once told my mother

I preferred cheeseburgers over kimchi.

2. I did not survive. My friends say that I am their favorite Mulan.

3. I am Korean.


Don’t ask me to answer

your misconceptions of who I am.

I don’t need to add or subtract my identity

to please you

-that’s your problem to solve.

My mother did not sign me up to play tennis

like you thought she did.

I can’t even hold an instrument

but I can beat you with an argument.

I can see perfectly fine,

my vision is 20/20

and when I get my license,

don’t look at me funny.


You see, I am not your Asian stereotype.

God painted me with all the right shades,

perfected my being

with every imperfection it takes.

You, you expect me to be quiet, exotic, docile?

Be a walking stereotype?

Judge me when you’re perfect

because these hands

are made for something more.


Girls like me are treated like queens back home,

respect given with no hesitation,

wait for me to start eating

before their meal devastation.

But you tell me, I am just your average Asian girl.

So average, I can move mountains with my words.

So average, I speak every tongue known to man.

So average, I make you dance to every song.


You say I am too weak

to lift your man roles

but my hands can carry your sharp words

out the door.

-watch me drag it

and set it in a place

where you can find forgiveness.


I refuse to be silenced

by drowning in your words,

drowning in your ignorance,

drowning in your perception of me.

The waves of your voice

trying to swallow me,

churning in my soul

and I can’t breathe.

But I see you.

I recognize your flaws.


Because I am proud of my heritage, my culture

and you cannot strip that away from me.

I am a writer

Healer

Producer

Filmmaker

Doctor

Musician

Engineer

Lawyer

Artist

Activist

And the goddamn president of the United States.


I am what I want to be and so much more

and that is not your stereotypical Asian girl.


- Ashley Lee