Achievement Unlocked: I Got Published in the BBC! :D

Hey guys! I have some very exciting news!

I got an article published on BBC! 

Yep, that BBC. It’s a writeup on the stigma against dark skin in Malaysia. You can view it here:

IS THAT AWESOME OR WHAT? 

Sorry I’m shouting; I’m just so excited 😀 Granted, that was published like a week ago and I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to blog about it, but… still excited. 😀

I guess it’s every writer’s dream to be recognised for their work, and having been told before that I don’t write as well as my colleagues (I used to work in a newspaper), this is a huge achievement for me.

Anyway, the story of how this came about – last year in September, I wrote an article on fat shaming, which I put up on my rant blog and shared on my personal Facebook. It was picked up by a friend who works at a viral news portal. He asked permission to feature it. I said okay and it went ‘viral’, so to speak. The site has since closed down (I guess they weren’t making enough money to sustain?), so I can’t link it to you guys, but you can read my original version here: badwithchopsticks.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/thin/ I felt encouraged reading the comments: readers sharing their own experiences and how they know it shouldn’t get them down, that they related to my quest for a healthier life that not necessarily involved taking insults from people who knew nothing about the struggles I go through everyday.

The writeup was viral enough that I received an email from a BBC correspondent in Singapore, who said she loved my style and tone, and wanted me to write a separate piece on a similar issue (since they can’t reuse the one I already wrote). I was beyond excited, and decided to write about another topic besides fat shaming that has bugged me a lot growing up – stigma against dark skin. Those who know me in real life will know that I’ve never had the prized ‘fair’ complexion, which is prized as a beauty ideal in my community.

Fan Bing Bing, China’s highest paid actress – considered the ‘ideal’ beauty in many East Asian communities. Almond shaped eyes, sharp nose, delicate bone structure, pale skin.
And then there’s me. A happy tanned potato. On most days I like me, except on the few that haters get me down.

 

I admit, it was harder for me to write an article when I knew such a reputable organisation was asking me to – what if they didn’t like it? I held back a lot, as opposed to how I would normally sound (blunt, lol). There were a couple of rewrites with exchanges that lasted several weeks; and then I didn’t hear back from them after Chinese New Year in January.

Assuming that they had scrapped the idea, I put it out of my mind. After all, having gotten an email from them was already a very happy occasion for me – it meant that they valued my writing, whether or not my article gets published. I know my parents never liked me picking journalism as my major, and throughout my course and career they have (perhaps subconsciously) indicated their disappointment. Deep down inside, I struggled: I wanted to be a filial daughter who can make my parents happy, but if it meant sacrificing my own happiness to pick something they thought was a ‘good’ career (like accounting, or engineering)… I couldn’t live with myself. So I followed my heart.

Getting published wasn’t really the issue. It was the recognition that I am actually, you know, pretty good at what I’m doing.

Fast forward a couple of months and I got an email from the same correspondent, with a link. It was finally out! I proudly shared it with my parents. While they did not lavish praise, I could feel their quiet approval. Which means the world to me. I believe in my own writing abilities, but sometimes you just need a booster now and then, you know? xD

Let me know what you guys think of the writeup! I’d love to hear from you 🙂

 

 

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Author: Luna

Bibliophile/foodie. Drop me a line at erisgoesto@gmail.com

16 thoughts

  1. Congratulations! I can totally relate. What is it with us Asians and our society’s seemingly unending obsession with fair, porcelain skin? 🙂 But at least there’s been an improvement over the past years. Our standards of “beauty” have certainly expanded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading ! I agree that there has been more body-positive movements which are encouraging people to love themselves more physically and emotionally, rather than strive to achieve stereotypical (and often impossible) beauty ideals. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! I just stumbled upon your blog when I googled for something… and I too, really enjoyed reading your posts and articles. Asian being Asian, I’m sure your parents are extremely proud of your achievements. You do well, keep going!

    Like

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