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#109 Being Skinny

Posted February 10th, 2009 by kvietgrl · 80 Comments

As a treat for our loyal readers, we have given two perspectives (male and female) to this less-discussed but very important topic: Being Skinny.  Enjoy!

Asian Guy Perspective

pix1When I hit the 50 kg mark in 3rd grade, my mom responded appropriately, just as any concerned parent would:

“It hurts me to look at you! It must have been that one time I fed you American food last year.”

Asian parents have an amazing aptitude to find specific things to blame, and specific things to be angry about. My A- in math class resulted in a swift beating, a 3-week grounding, and no more playing in the sand–”the American sand is dangerous.” My playing too many videogames was seen as a rebellion against the classic Chinese values I should be upholding, especially growing up in New Mexico–”too much hanging out with those Amigos.” And while my parents forgave the sand and the Amigos, they never forgave the fact that I was overweight for most of my childhood–”do you know how ashamed I am of you?”

I never really minded being overweight. I was softer, gave better hugs, and could run around outside just like all the other little kids. But as I grew older, and continued to be a source of shame for my parents, I began to feel ashamed of myself as well. After my parents refused to let me eat dinners anymore in 7th grade, I decided that I had to go on a diet. I lost about 22 kilos over the course of the year, seeking the approval of my parents, and approval of myself. Unfortunately, when I did reach my weight goal, my parents did begin to approve.

I became disillusioned. Do my parents only like me now because of how I look?

Thankfully, I was wrong. Raised in the US, I’m not used to how Asian parents treat their children. The first day of kindergarten, I watched all the parents say “have fun!” when dropping off their kids for the first time. My mom said to me, “Alan. Today is the first day of school. You will do well. Go to Harvard. Become good doctor. Make money.” I was always raised in an environment of shame. I’m studying Symbolic Systems and Computer Systems Mediation of Medicine. I didn’t go to Harvard, but chose Stanford because of the superiour CS programme. Both decisions were huge embarassments to my parents. I watched in envy as my friends would go out with their families to celebrate their entrance into New Mexico State. There was always a higher bar to reach, and I felt unloved. But now, I see how this constant disapproval was really constant love from my parents. I didn’t deserve to wake up to breakfast everyday. Have a car ride to school everyday. Receive the best of every endeavor I took on. I certainly don’t deserve to be at the unchallenged mecca of computer science.

As for my weight, my parents just wanted me to be healthy–they were never ashamed. Asian parents really just go about things differently. In our western view, we might think they are taking things too far, but it is this hyperbole that characterises love in the Asian culture.

Written by Alan Sien Wei Hshieh

Asian Girl Perspective

pix2The skinny Asian girl has become a stereotype.  Asian parents (specifically mothers) are critical in general and usually call their skinny daughters fat.  You may be thinking, “What in the world?!”  The reason may stem from their constant worry for their daughters to “have a happy life,” in other words, find a wealthy husband to take care of their daughter, have a family, and give them many many grandchildren.  In Asian culture, having many grandchildren is a measure of prosperity, so Asian mothers are constantly matchmaking in their heads (save for later post).  If the guy has any label of “doctor,” “engineer,” or “lawyer,” they will approve with a big grin inside.  And if their daughters are fat, that makes them less attractive or plainly-put “ugly” so “no guy would want to marry [her].”

Asian mothers start worrying at the earliest signs of what they believe to be obesity which is equivalent to average according to American body mass index.  They have their own Asian body mass index.  Once their 8 year old girl starts showing a little bulging tummy, rosy cheeks, and maybe cannot fit her jeans anymore, the mom will start yelling, “You fat girl! Look what you did! All you do is eat and now you can’t wear any of your clothes.  I’m not letting you eat anymore.”  And so the mother starts to feed her girl less food, not realizing this may just be the normal signs of healthy growth, and her actions might just stunt the girls height and health in general.  Asian parents do all this out of love and worry for their child’s future, and Asian kids are just used to being called “fat”.

My friend told me a story about his sister.  He said, “She’s only 90 lbs, and my mom still says she’s too fat.”  I’ve heard countless stories in college where without the supervision of Asian parents, the girls can eat whatever they want.  After holiday breaks, they usually come back to campus complaining that their parents told them to go on a diet immediately, and that they are way too fat.  I looked at most of them and wondered is 115 lb and below considered fat?  Asian parents confuse me.  Anyways, telling their child to go on a diet by starving themselves is really not the way to go.  They should really encourage their girls to pick up a sport, be more active, and be more informed about nutrition.

Asians also have an Asian Superiority Complex (I mean…we really are superior), but if we want to be better, why not be bigger instead?

Written by Kvietgrl



Last 5 posts by kvietgrl

Tags: Activities · Chinese · Clothing · Customs · Habits · Japanese · People · Vietnamese

80 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ChaotiX66 // Feb 11, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I found your website by typing \I like Asians\ and was most amused by many posts I read here. Because many things you say feels true! I have many asian friends (and yes, I like them) and much of their mentality is concentrated in what you write here. It’s really funny! Keep it up! I think they (my Asian friends) would like this site too, so I’ll write a couple of lines on my site about yours ;-)

  • 2 Anon1 // Feb 11, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I’m fortunate enough to have parents that don’t care about my weight. They actually WANT me to gain weight. My mom would always give me more meat on my plate or give me the bigger bowls… and no, I’m not fat — but I feel fat when I visit Asian countries… All the girls are like size xxxs

  • 3 Keni~Kira // Feb 11, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I’m being sarcastic when I say:
    “I love websites that promote ethnic misconceptions and incorrect generalizations.”

    My parents want me and my sister to gain weight as well. “If you eat, you’re healthy.” Of course, I’m not obese. I burn too much energy staying up late into the night replying to posts such as this. XD

  • 4 YASPy Chick // Feb 12, 2009 at 10:33 am

    90 lb is fat? How tall is she? At least make the minimum weight like 110.

    My mom thinks HK girls are too skinny though. And this is coming from a woman who is 5’5″ and weighed under 100 lb until she got pregnant with me. Wouldn’t she have been “too skinny” when she was young, too?

  • 5 jennych // Feb 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

    wow i didnt know asian parents were that bothered about being fat o.O my parents always urge me to eat more cos otherwise im gna be ‘bone ash’ or something -.- but yeah didnt know about the shame of being fat.. i think its nicer cos then you can transform when you lose weight 8D

  • 6 Isha // Feb 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    This is an interesting topic because I always wondered what eating disorder stats were among Asians and Asian Americans if the standards were a slimmer than average weight.

  • 7 F. // Feb 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I gotta give my Asian parents credit here. My siblings and I growing up were somewhat overweight but they never once made fat comments or took away our food, they just encouraged us how to make healthier choices (more veggies, less Cheetos etc). And we turned out very healthy (physically AND mentally, by the way).

    Not all Asian parents are terrifying, I love mine ha ha :)

  • 8 blissfulting // Feb 17, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I love this post. My mom is the EXACT SAME. Only I’m not super skinny (90 lbs…? no way). I’m actually pretty skinny/average for a girl living in the US. But whenever my mom starts on her little rants, I just start tuning her out. I figure, there’s no reason for me to diet or whatever when I have a perfectly normal weight. HOWEVER, even when she tells me I eat too much, she STILL gives me food anyway. How much more Asian-motherish can you get, right?! LOL. so contradictory.

    On the other hand, the last time I went back to China was about two years ago (I was also about 10 lbs lighter), and the girls my age weren’t super skinny at all. The funny thing is that the older women were the super skinny ones…

    Oh, and my parents want me to go to Harvard too (It’s the best school in the world! Everyone knows what it is the second they hear the name!) BUT my dream college is Stanford. So Alan, you’re living my dream right now, haha.

  • 9 nomnom // Feb 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I don’t remember my parents (mom) being too critical of my weight growing up, but she did mention being chubby. Now that I’m an adult all I hear is that I’m too skinny….from everybody :\. I eat everything in healthy amounts, throw in some light exercising but I don’t gain weight. Result, 5’8″ and 130lb. It’s become irritating to be told, “you’re skinny”, “you look annorexic”… I have a healthy fully functional body….just scaled down :\

  • 10 Anonymous // Mar 4, 2009 at 7:48 am

    hooray for Jiro Wang! =D

  • 11 Anonymous // Mar 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    i wish my parents cared bout my wieght,.. when i say i want to loose weight they shut me up with a cone of chips and a tub of ice cream!! :L

  • 12 JJ // Mar 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    my mom rants about my weight all the time, she’s so irritating. this is where the ipod comes in, i mean she’s skinny but not super skinny so she shouldn’t be talking in the first place. She goes on and on about how i didn’t inherit her ‘skinny’ genes. she shuts up after i go off on her lol.

  • 13 Regular Asian // Mar 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I was born and raised in Hong Kong and have lived in the States for a while. I’ve noticed that Asian Americans here are more “Asian” than real Asians in Asia. What I mean is that the Asian stereotypes are amplified here in the states. I have never witness in my life that parents would get so upset over an A-. Real Asian parents would get upset over a really bad grade, but A minuses.

    Well, we are not all engineers in Asia… We have creative people too. You can find proof when Asian films are on the screen in American theaters.

  • 14 lee // Mar 29, 2009 at 8:54 am

    sistas! I ‘ve read that Asian American women suffer from eating disorders, bulimia , anorexia, and the like. Since we are the perfect model minorities, we have to look perfect too! so beware!

  • 15 cho // Apr 1, 2009 at 3:39 am

    My family has always been so negative. After puberty, I started gaining weight. I went from something like 105 to like 120 by the time I reached 16. Then everyone started talking about how FAT I was.

    This was really a shot to my ego since… well, I was a teenager.

    And then college hits and I get like the freshman 15. When I came back from college, all I heard was how FAT I’ve become and how I’m the FATTEST person in the family and even family friends who haven’t seen me (in person) for years tell others about how FAT I am, like it’s spreading like wildfire.

    While it’s amusing that people lead such boring lives that they want to comment about how big someone is.


    (btw, I do have a pretty big bust and butt which I think rocks. Too bad my parents want me to be modest and dress like a boy.)

  • 16 QueenMiMi // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Because of this stupid mentality that skinniness is attractive, I feel so fat and I always feel fat. Arrrrgggghhh!!! I’m sick of dieting and I can’t do anything about it.

  • 17 Joey // May 8, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I think this really insightful. My extremely critical Asian mom passed away when I was little, so I never got comments in either direction about being fat or skinny. Growing up in a white community (and being half), I only ever got comments about how skinny I was. I started college at a very low 89 lbs (at 5’3″) and am now maybe 5’4″ and 115 lbs, playing intercollegiate sports. My fully-Asian friends talk about how their moms tell them how fat they are all the time and it makes me really angry. This is insightful because sometimes I want to smack them for calling themselves fat, but I just try and remember that they were brought up to believe they were.

  • 18 Ging // May 17, 2009 at 7:53 am

    This post is VERY true.

    I’m about 5″4 and 109 lbs which is considered skinny for American standards.
    But I did beauty pageants for a bit and my mother would ALWAYS call me fat.
    In Asia, all the clothes are mainly one size fits all and if you don’t fit the quota…well sucks to be you.
    I recently went back to the motherland and my aunts would call me “overdeveloped” AKA fat.

    It makes me sad how Asian parents have such high standards for their daughters.

  • 19 Luce // May 19, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I was wondering when you guys would do a post about Asians’ obsession with being skinny. I’m pretty slim (115lbs on a 5’5″ frame) but I have big boobs and a bubble butt, and a lot of Koreans have made comments about my “fat” butt. I know I shouldn’t respond, but I do and it shuts them up.

    I knew a guy who said that the only reason he would marry within his own race was because Asian girls wouldn’t let themselves get fat. So, I guess it’s not just parents who have incredibly high expectations. Very sad.

  • 20 Blackrose // May 31, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I too have a big butt in asian standards. My mom hates it but i’m fine w/it. She’s extemely critical of my thighs/calves because they actually have meat and muscle covering the bones. She goes”omg,look at your ______, its growing so big” and I go “mom, its called muscle”. Since when are bones attractive and when did muscle turn into fat??? Its so ridiculous. Chinese mothers(my mom) are the worst on the weight subject IMO.

  • 21 Nina // Jun 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    I used to think I was rather on the average to skinny side, but my parents and brothers would say I’m chubby a lot which made me lose confidence. Like, I know I could lose a few pounds now, especially around the waist area, but still. Is being 5’5 and weighing 122 lbs chubby? My ideal weight would be around 105-110. BTW, I’m chinese.

  • 22 Chrissy // Jul 2, 2009 at 1:04 am

    It’s not surprising to see that Asians (especially girls) have eating disorders. I’ve known quite a few myself, though they considered it “dieting” when they decided to become more-or-less anorexic for the next month or two.

    It’s not only the mentality of the adults that’s an issue. I have friends (from Asia – Korea, Japan, China, etc.) who feel that they are “fat” and “inhuman” at 5’3″ and 120 lbs, or even worse, 5’1″ and 105 lbs. I’ve even heard one of them say in regards to another mutual friend (who is slightly overweight but not obese – chubby is how I would describe her), that if she “ever got that fat, [she'd] commit suicide” – a shocking, disgusting, and rude statement. She also said she wasn’t “human” herself at 5’3″ and 120 lbs.

    Peer pressure and the media seemed to be to blame, as well as cultural views on body image. She majored in dance while in her country of origin, which required everyone to be roughly 100 lbs. The same criterion is held true for most female celebrities in Asia – at least the ones who are seen as being attractive. Even some of the guys from Asian countries (“FOBS”, if you will) had a similar viewpoint on body image, though most agree that Nicole Ritchie and the post-Love Actually Keira Knightley aren’t exactly their cup of tea.

    I, myself, am average by my standards (also influenced partially by Asian standards), and probably thin/average by American standards. I’ve had “FOBS” jokingly point out that I’m “chubby” or “fat”, and I’ve outright told them to go screw themselves and mess with other people’s heads. XD

    Oh and yay! Another New Mexican Asian! lol :p

  • 23 ダブル // Aug 19, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    I find that the pressure put on Asians to be tiny and thin are rather ridiculous [on par with how western girls are coerced into feeling like rubbish because they are not very tall, long limbed, narrow hipped and sickly thin]. However, it is both genders that are being delivered this message [although currently more of us males are pressured into being more slim and eating disorders do in fact effect us]…and I can understand fully the feeling of self-loathing even though I am only a half and am living in North America.

    But with Asian parents….from my experiences….one it always either “too fat” or “too thin”….never “alright”, “healthy” or simply to their satisfaction.

    I have never been lanky or rail thin and for the most part had been at a healthy weight [mostly leaning toward the thinner end of the "normal" spectrum] as described by the BMI scale…however, I have always had the fear of becoming shameful by being too fat. Whenever I visited a friend’s house I was instantly “sized-up” by the mother and compared to my friend (who was a bit chubbier) who was often scolded and told: “See, why couldn’t you be like him? He is so slim.” I was always afriad of becoming embarrassing to my parents and I naturally have a personality that drives me to try and please everyone…so of course when the warning of “Watch out, you’re eating like a pig and you’ll get fat before long! ” it terrified me…so much so that being too fat became a major concern to me at the age of five.

    Many of my female friends and cousins confided in me, saying how their parents would complain about their weight or something being much too large and unattractive when to any other person they were already tiny and very thin. Going back to Asia, one realizes that clothing is rather difficult to come by for those considered “average” in the west.

    Although not mentioned in the article…along with being shameful and unattractive….the message given to me [this also is a popular belief in western culture] was that if one was fat he lacked self-control, strong will and discipline. Eventually I became disgusted every time I ate…and even now find myself too chubby. Standing at ~172 cm/5’8″ and weighing 50-51kg/110-112 lbs with a BMI lower than 17.5 [though I seem to look fat] I am still considered heavy…it is only when I become physically weakened and sick from forcing myself not to eat that my family eases up. Though I still feel that I need to reduce wwwwwwwww @_@.

    I understand that some of us naturally have a smaller bone frame and are not prone to putting on weight [my mother could barely keep 90lbs at 5'5" and she ate three healthy meals per day] which is fine…but to subject others who fall out of this ideal to unnecessary ridicule and pressures to make one-self too thin and unhealthy is too much. It exists in other cultures as well…but I find it disturbing to have mothers tell their children who are already thin to reduce.

    Our parents want the best for us…but sometimes the efforts and methods they employ are more damaging. That is the mentality though…if you put coal under enough pressure it may just become a brilliant diamond…but usually a person doesn’t follow the same principle, usually we break and collapse.

  • 24 Kvietgrl // Aug 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Hi! Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I really like what you added about the feelings of shame and guilt guiding what you become in the future. Parents don’t seem to realize how much their expectations of perfectionism and assumptions of being chubby is associated to lacking self control, strong will and discipline affects their children until it is too late. Please continue to share your stories. Thanks for a great comment. =) — Kviet

  • 25 iPokex3 // Sep 11, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    I liked Alan’s story the most, i dunno why, but i just do =)

  • 26 oceansdepth // Sep 25, 2009 at 11:47 am

    I agree there should be a better way to tell girls a better way to lose weight. My grandmother and mother were very helpfully constructive in getting me to maintain my weight by making me healthy food and getting me into the habits that made them slim, which I do naturally now.

    However, my aunt was a different case, she was sometimes mean about pointing out my increasing waistline in a very unproductive manner, and I ended up having an eating disorder which my grandmother and mother eventually helped me out of (I was becoming too skinny at that point).

    Parents/elders have to also learn how to tell their relatives correctly like mine!

  • 27 polka_dots35 // Nov 2, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Wow, I’m so fortunate to have parents who don’t comment on the weight issue, not that I’ve had any problem with it. I guess it’s because I was underweight in primary school and only started being average after I moved to Australia. (I think it’s all the junk food and meat I consumed)
    I’m actually the one who announces that I’m going lose weight, rather than my parents mentioning it.

  • 28 Yujin // Nov 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Being an Asian female at 5’2 and 135lb living in a predominantly Asian community, imagine my experience. :] People actually freak out. My older brother would yell whenever he sees me eating and questions my parents on why they don’t starve me. But whatever, the Wii Fit says I’m at the ideal weight. even if that’s only a couple of notches away from ‘risk at being overweight.’ Plus, chubby people are awesome. :)

  • 29 Lu // Nov 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    i’ve always been skinny, and my asian parents have been encouraging me to eat since childhood (i looked really malnourished when i was little) this is probably because they grew up starving.

    i do see the skinny asian stereotype all the time, and i do feel pressure. my mom tells me i’m beautiful and slim, but it isnt enough.

    i am proud of my body, yet i am not fully satisfied

  • 30 Serena // Dec 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    This is so true! Though most people who aren’t Asian wouldn’t understand. See, a year ago I did gain a little bit more weight but this year I lost about 5 pounds in the past month and I don’t even play any team sports!

    I think Asian mothers are concerned about our health because my mom is always so scared of cancer, diabetes etc. since her side of the family is \larger\ apparently and my grandma has diabetes.

  • 31 Ica // Dec 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    true story. at a family gathering, as i walk thru the door, “ahhh you so fat now. use to be slim. so fat! no wonder you dont have boyfriend!”

    taking food at the table: “why you dont eat? eat more! all this yummy more!” (spoons food into MY plate without being asked).

    as i was exiting the door on my way home, “you’re so fat. so fat. why you so fat and not married yet?”

    oh gee thanks. after awhile i just learn to ignore it, because i just have other things going for me. and if asian men dont find me attractive (so fat! so fat!) maybe i will start dating outside my race (see wm/af)

  • 32 40kg « Prinses Mijntje’s Blog // Dec 28, 2009 at 4:35 am

    [...] are shorter and narrower that most. But then when I weighed 45 my mother called me fat. It’s an Asian thing. I think it was around December 2003. After that things got bad. I think it’s called [...]

  • 33 Ha // Feb 13, 2010 at 3:33 am

    This is so true. My mother tells me all the time that I’m fat, she is always looking at me when I eat.

  • 34 some girl // Feb 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    at 109lbs, i am considered fat.

  • 35 Susan // Mar 4, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I am not Asian. I am a white girl attracted to Asian guys. I have a question: I am overweight and so would an Asian guy like me?

  • 36 J // Mar 5, 2010 at 4:04 am

    @Susan, how overweight are you? If you are 500 lbs overweight probably not. If you’re slightly overweight a lot of them won’t have a problem with it. Regardless of whether you’re overweight or not, it will still be a challenge to get them to talk to you.

  • 37 susan // Mar 5, 2010 at 11:40 am

    @J, I am not over 500lbs.

  • 38 Peter // Apr 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I’ve lost about 5 lbs lately!

  • 39 Liu // May 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    I am Chinese, and my mom does this all the time. I am about 5’6 and 120 pounds, and I always think I am fat. My mom always says that I need to lose weight, or joke around saying she won’t feed me. This one time we were trying on clothes, and she said that I probably wouldn’t fit into a shirt. I then said “Mom! I’m only 150 lbs!” I was joking, but my mom gave me a look, and said, “Really?” I then said no, which she replied with “Well, you’re almost that weight, then.” She just always calls me fat, and I am going to Taiwan this summer. She keeps telling me that I need to lose weight, becuase the people in Taiwan are skinny and they will laugh at me and call me fat.

    It sucks, because whenever I go to my neighbor’s house, she is chubby, but her mom always calls her beautiful and the right weight, and just says that it’s the right weight. (She’s about 5’5 and 132 lbs.) But she never appreciates her mom. She is spoiled rotten, and yells at her mom and says she has the worst mom ever, just because she won’t buy her $100 dollar shoes, or a new iTouch.

  • 40 erin // May 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    My mom actually tells me that I’m too skinny. Asian people are probably the thinnest, it’s just genetics like our eyes. But sometimes my parents say some people are fat, but are actually thin.

  • 41 yani // Jun 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I’m half Asian, and I’m 5′ 8″ and almost model-skinny. When I was a kid people would tell me I looked like a string-bean and stuff like that because I had really long legs.

    When I went to Korea I felt really out of place because even though I look Asian for the most part, I’m significantly taller than quite a few of the people there… When we went to see our relatives I was taller than ALL of them. I guess I should be lucky, but sometimes I hate not being able to fit in.

  • 42 Nana // Jul 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Ahhh my parents always try to stuff me beyond my limit, because I’m too skinny and don’t look healthy in clothes :L

  • 43 Lan // Aug 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    One time at my aunt’s bbq last year, and a family friend came to visit and he said something to me while I was sitting next to my sister. I didn’t really heard what he was saying and my sister whisper to my ear saying that I’m FAT. I look at the guy with weird face and didn’t say anything. I’m like only 113 lbs and 5 feet 2. Do you think I’m fat? I don’t think I’m too fat like overweight, I just have a curve body. What is wrong with that? Seriously I just hate being Asian all the time and has to follow the stupid culture. At least I’m not like those white obese women in America. Once in a while, my parents do said that I’m fat and need to lose some weight. So yeah f- my life for not having a normal standard Asian body.

  • 44 Luanna // Oct 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Honestly, everything I’m reading so far is true. I’m white and I started dating my half Chinese/half Indian boyfriend for a little over a year now. I decided to move in and the FIRST comment my boyfriends mother made was how I needed to lose weight. At first I was completely offended, shocked, and honestly just…depressed, so I ate MORE just to spite her.

    Then I got to thinking, mostly after reading this post. I’m a living example of a life where a family who did not have a lot of money would resort to the American junk food, and became chubby…I always knew it, there was no fooling it..but people would tell me otherwise so I would suppress that thought.

    I appreciate her helping me now and giving me advice and comments. It bugged me for the longest time how she would STARE at my stomach when I was trying to have a conversation with her. And she would get so offended when people would jokingly say how I eat a lot of her food because it’s so good, so she takes it that SHE’S making me fat.

    You just have to understand that they entirely blame themselves, it hurts them more than it does you. And in their mind they just want to help you because you live ONE life, they want you to be happy and successful, and in their head…that’s being skinny…because in all honestly that IS our society.

  • 45 Riza // Nov 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    At 118lbs and 5’4″, I’m actually what’s considered pretty thin to medium size in America (where I currently live) but I really want to…how do I say it? “Be a good Asian” and that means I really want to slim down.
    So I think that I’m going to start eating less fatty western food and more grains and “Asian” meals with smaller portions. Sure, I’ll be hungry, but I know I’ll be happy when I get down to that size 1 pair of jeans :)

  • 46 jane // Dec 2, 2010 at 12:37 am

    This is bullshit, I’m Asian and my parents are always complaining that I am too skinny and they want me to look more like my chubbier sisters. A lot of Asian parents consider chubbiness as attractive, because in their home country, being thin is considered lowly and unattractive.

  • 47 Amanda // Dec 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I’m half Asian and my mom (she’s asian) always says i should cut down on my food and eat less sweets my dad (he’s american [czech to be exact] on the other hand says that i’m all skin and bones and that i should eat more…
    just thought id put this out there…

  • 48 Annie // Jan 4, 2011 at 3:04 am

    My parents are just full on nuts, they constantly tell me I’m too fat but still try to make me eat more.

    My uncles when I went to china last kept telling me how much prettier I’d be if I was skinnier… When they all have major beer guts hang over their pants. Being raised in North America, I obviously gave them a piece of my mind. Hahaha it didn’t go over well.

    I guess I’d be considered fat for an Asian since I’m not stick thin. I’m a C cup and have an ass, actual ass, bigger than my white friends. I’m a size 4-6 dress and 26-27 jeans… I consider myself womanly and curvy. I’m totally happy with my body and do not want to lose any weight. I’d be disgusted with myself if I looked like a stick thin shapeless girl from Asia. Yuck!

  • 49 ... // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    @Annie, omg you are not fat at all!!!!

  • 50 ... // Feb 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    @Yujin, awww im just like you cept I gained 10 pounds :( ughhh

  • 51 Anh // Feb 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    @Yujin, Thanks for posting. It’s refreshing to see real stats up. It seems like the only people who like to post their weights are under 115 and makes me feel like all Asian girls are under 115!

  • 52 wood pellets // Feb 28, 2011 at 2:07 am

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  • 55 Jammys // Mar 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Haha, I suppose my parents are like the 1% minority of Asian parents who are actually very open in their outlook. When I got rejected from Cambridge they hugged me and told me it wasn’t suitable for me, and Cambridge have lower starting wage anyway because it is mostly focused on research. When I told them I wanted to do economics, they told me that as long as I make money and can feed myself then they are happy. When I asked them what they want me to achieve in life they just said, ‘happiness, health and a good guy to look after you.’

    of course there were the normal asian rant about rich guy and medicine and good grades, but they were mostly just fun banter.

    Though I did always feel pressure about my weight growing up. I was from North China, so people tend to be bigger there (Cold….). Of course, as the HK and Korean skinny girl stereotype begins to come in, my mother demanded me to lose weight as well. She was against me not eating and told me to have healthy diets (which I kindly always ignore.) I think she is happy if I am around 55kg, but sadly I weigh a little bit over. Ahh mother, I am trying hard to lose it though!

  • 56 Melissa // Mar 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    The “you’re too fat” rang all so true to me! My mom is 100% korean and still tells me to this day (at 26 yrs old) that I need to lose weight. I am 5′ 8″ and weigh under 130 lbs (size 3) and I will never be thin enough in my mom’s eyes. Everyone aside from my mom tells me that I need to gain weight. It really gives me a complex! One day, I will wish that I’m curvier whereas another day, I wish I was as thin as my mom or my sister.

  • 57 links london // Mar 21, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Good to hear that you are back to blogging. I am looking forward to some good article.

  • 58 trulyasian // Apr 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

    haha! ok this post is so true. but Asian parents don’t want their chil to be bone skinny, because if you’re too skinny they’ll scold you for looking poor. but not chubby as well because it’s just wrong. I’ve been constantly nagged by my mom to lose weight, but my foreign friends dont find anything wrong with me. And there are less stout asians because well we dont really enjoy fried foods or fast foods, most people basically just eat organic.. nevertheless, there are still stout people in asia

  • 59 Lee // Jun 20, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Asian food is the best food in the world! Yet we feel we need to be Perfect model minorities and compete to be thin or skinny. You are ok if you aren’t a size 0-1-2-3 or whatever. That’s society telling us that we have to starve to be accepted. Ever go out with a friend who only looks at her food, or picks at it because she needs to be anorexic? Boring! I’ve been in the fitness field for years, and thin is not always healthy.

  • 60 LEAOPE // Jul 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    u really can’t and have no right to speak for every asian parent.

  • 61 Sidra Ahmed // Aug 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Btw, the American BMI chart DOES NOT apply to Asians (both South and East Asians) because we have thinner bones, on average, and also we show signs of insulin problems at a lower BMI. We also have a tendency to gain weight on our waists, which is more unhealthy than weight on the hip and butt. So, Asian moms can feel better now…your americanized kids yelling at you about how they are at a “normal” bmi were actually wrong! a obese bmi for non-asians is 30 but for asians it is only 24!! See:

  • 62 Secret // Aug 31, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    So… judging is bad… I hate it when people call skinny people “disgustingly thin” and what not. I would never call an exteremely overweight person “gross”. Especially not to their face… Furthermore, it is not good to encourage your child to be a certain way. No I am not Asian.. but I had a severe eating disorder for years (weighing 83 pounds at 5’2” and I was very disillusioned that this was a nice body but still wanted further perfection).. I understand that being thin can be natural.. I weigh about 98 lbs now days naturally. It sucks to read stuf that encourages being super skinny because I do see the appeal.. and I do not want to backslide into unhealthy eating (or lack of).. we need food to survive.. Not sure where I am going with this.. but I guess.. we can’t really blame anybody for our insecurities.. everybody has opinions and there are a lot of haters out there.. Enough said.. God bless..

  • 63 Amanda // Oct 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Yeah I’m sick of the Asian skinny steoreotype! My mom who was born and raised in the Philipines used to be 95lb but the reason she was so light was because shes short! only 4’11″ a perfect weight actually! Many of the under 100lb celebrities in Asia are just short! Another thing id like to point out are my friends one of my friends born and raised in Korea and my other friend born and raised in Thailand are both overweight! Also according to my chinese language textbook from school it says that about 48% of the chinese people are obese now!

  • 64 Jackie // Oct 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I’m not Asian but I live in Philippines where people (mostly women) are too obsessed with being “skinny-fat” or a thin person with no muscle tone. But to be fair, Filipino people are somewhat becoming aware of being healthy & not just skinny although there are still many women who still lacking proper education on good health & the benefits of strength training & muscle gains. Ugh, it makes me want to vomit everytime I see these people trying so hard to wear a sexy tank top while walking around with their bulging tummies or a cottage cheese in their thighs! So since I’m medium-framed with a natually athletic type body, I still look bigger than some of the women here. When I was 65kg, many people including my work collegues told me that I will look OK at 45kg. Well no thanks, that was my weight when I was 8 years old & I was thin & sickly as a kid & that no way will I ever going to survive with that weight! Now that I lose the weight, I get all praises & they thought I’m weigh 50kg but in reality I’m at healthy 54kg. & working hard to gain muscles.

  • 65 Kathie // Oct 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    This post is the opposite to my family, I’m consider very very skinny, about 85 – 90 lbs and my mom will always nag at me to eat more. In vietnam, whenever i visit I see my cousins getting fatter. I ask my dad why and he says, in vietnam, parents like to feed kids a lot of food to give them strength and grow beautiful, while I’m just worried whats their weight as we get older.

  • 66 No One // Nov 5, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hey, New Mexico State is where Awlaki studied.

  • 67 Mary // Nov 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    This reminds me why my life is so hard: because I had an Asian mother and I am female :’(

  • 68 Stupid Racist Asian People Annoy me // Nov 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Asians are superior?

    I’m Asian and I’d like to tell everyone, NO, ASIANS ARE NOT SUPERIOR.

    Stop exerting your stupid Asian pride over other races by telling people that you’re better than them. It’s just as bad as white supremacy, except it’s harder for people to protest it.

  • 69 um // Apr 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    It’s not weight that matters, it’s body fat. I have seen girls that weigh 100 pounds and yes they do look slightly chubby due to their weight is mostly fat (no muscles and small bone structure). Whereas some girls can be 130 pounds and be very slim because they are bigger-boned. I myself am 115 lbs and a size 0. 33-24-33. Because I have very little fat, but pretty sturdy bones and most of my weight is in my calves. I have never seen any girl my size who weighs as much as I do. Not bragging, just making an example.

  • 70 Gladys // Apr 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Unfortunately I’m pretty short (5″2) so if I’m over 100 lbs, that instantly puts my BWI into a high percentage. My parents say I’m pretty healthy looking, though my mom and grandma like to mention how skinny they were when they were my age. (I saw photos–yes, they were quite skinny..)

  • 71 mi ho // May 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    wow….amazing…why most of you have this problem?haha my mum also keep telling me “GOSH why are u so FAT” yah i admit i’m fat but i like to be fat…because it’s hard for me to being i eat what i want…and feel so great..i do want to be skinny like those korean actress but…maybe in my dream ..if i wanna be like them i must not eat..and that will be so dangerous to my u think i must become skinny??by what? throwing out after i eat what i want?then become bulimia and anorexia??

  • 72 Tomi // Jun 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    It is obvious to me why black guys don’t dig asian women and leave you guys to,the white dudes…lol.
    We like meat on a woman.

  • 73 Shug Knight's Clone // Dec 14, 2014 at 9:10 am

    “which is equivalent to average according to American body mass index. ”
    Which is fat. I’m 6′ and under BMI average and I’m still doughy. Someone fatter than me is fat.

  • 74 ilovehorseyrides // Jun 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    My parents think that if I’m over 108 lbs, I’m considered as “fat” :(

  • 75 ilovehorseyrides // Aug 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

    This should be the Asian weight scale:

    80-90 lbs – underweight
    90-100 lbs- below normal
    100-108 lbs – normal
    109-115 lbs – fat/overweight
    Over 115 lbs – obese

    (Applies to teens-adults)

  • 76 ilovehorseyrides // Aug 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

    My mom overreacts even if I gain just 1 lb… :(

  • 77 ilovehorseyrides // Apr 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Asian weight scale:

    over 120 lbs: MORBIDLY OBESE!!!!!

  • 78 ilovehorseyrides // Apr 8, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    While in CA last year my relatives just kept force-feeding us and the strange thing is, they NEVER told us that we were getting fat…

  • 79 Daniel // Aug 12, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I was in China recently and could not believe how many fit kids there were running around! Like, seriously obese kids who must be at risk of all kinds of chronic diseases. Seriously, it’s starting to look like the US there. So in my mind obviously there are many exceptions to this stereotype of the skinny Asian.

  • 80 Jenny // Apr 1, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Ever read Harry Potter? Petunia and Vernon overfed and overindulge their son Dudley out of love, everything they did for him, to him, was out of love, but it was still abusive because it resulted in him being an overweight bully who will have increasing trouble fitting in as he grows – if he hadn’t been snapped out of it by someone else, Dudley could have ended up in jail.

    Doesn’t matter that Asian parents are acting out of love when they underfed their kids, the result is stunted growth. Doesn’t matter that Asian parents are acting out of love when they are always critical and sometimes physically abusive (but often, extremely emotionally abusive) because their kids are less than perfect: the result is that we asians have a higher rate of anxiety and depression, especially asian females – the suicide rate is higher compared to white females and black females.

    Abuse is abuse and should not be excused.

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