In our society, “I am deserving” easily morphs into “I deserve it” — and finding true self-care can be tricky balance. In this essay, writer Tracy Wan explains how she learned to discern the difference. Read on at eadem.co [link in bio], and tell us about who (or what) shaped your relationship to beauty below.
While the Western wellness industry now embraces the wonders of collagen-rich bone broth, growing up with a Chinese mom every broth was bone broth. Since childhood, I’ve been eating collagen from all kinds of “weird” and wonderful foods that horrified my white suburban friends.
A social media editor once said she didn’t post Black hands because they weren’t “aesthetic” enough and didn’t get enough engagement. I interpreted her comment as Black hands weren’t visually appealing enough, soft enough, or pretty enough and ultimately didn’t fit her tunnel vision perception of beauty. But who gets the right to define beauty and aesthetics anyway?
Until my early twenties I was entirely unfamiliar with the word “turmeric” but then it suddenly became inescapable: Dr Oz waxed poetic to my parents on television about the health benefits of turmeric. In New York City I couldn’t pass a cafe or juice store without “GOLDEN MYLK LATTE!” and “TURMERIC ELIXIR” taunting me from menus.
I wish I had a cool story to tell you about how Persian women beautify themselves. Something with rose water or almond eyeliner. Maybe a Cleopatra reference that would sound exotic and make you go, “Oooh, chic.” I don’t.