“As women, we have to start appreciating our own worth, and each other’s worth. Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to be inspired by, to collaborate with, to support, to be enlightened by.”
Did you aspire to be a famous writer?
I want to be recognized for beautiful work, for good work, for real work. I really want to be recognized for that. Which is different from saying I want to be famous.
If you want to be famous, don’t be a writer. When I was first thinking of myself as a writer back in my teens, the shorthand for that was fame. But then I started to really understand what writing was and who writers were. Who were the writers I valued the most as a young woman learning to write?
So pretty quickly, to me it wasn’t about fame—it was about accomplishment. Once you let go of that fame thing, it’s the first step in really being able to focus on doing good work. Because you can’t fake it. That’s the deal with writing. You can’t fake it.
“Growing Up Unreflected: How Diversity Saved Me” by (my brilliant, beautiful friend!) Tria Chang
What started as curiosity and some confusion about how I fit in with societal beauty norms gradually became insecurity and disappointment in myself. I couldn’t see myself as worthy of compliments, admiration, or love. I concluded I had no worth.
There was not really one good reason for this, but many silly little ones that, in a teenager’s mind, can arrange themselves to resemble the truth.
When young people look for themselves in entertainment, they’re not thinking about network ratings, or even racial inequality. They’re simply seeking a sign of acceptance. That who they are is someone worth aspiring to be.