Noah Cho says he has felt odd for quite a while.
Very few parents looked like his, he wrote in a blog for NPR
The junior high teacher with mostly Asian features has a Korean father and a white mother.
Even after his father died, he overheard his mother’s friends mocking his dad’s accent.
“When I look in the mirror, I do not see someone that I understand to be handsome by Western standards. I look mostly Asian, and like so many other heterosexual Asian males before me, I have internalized a lifetime of believing that my features, my face, my skin tone, in tandem, make me unattractive and undesirable.”
Give Noah credit for verbalizing the impact of stereotypes and racism have had on his life.
It takes guts.
I hope he is exaggerating the way a poet might to make his point.
After all, he’s a teacher and maybe he’s just trying to teach a lesson.
But a part of me thinks Noah is being honest.
Unfortunately what’s he’s saying is quite sad.
He looks for the day he can look in the mirror and see beauty.
I look forward to the day he can look inwards and find it.