Thursday, September 24, 2009

Candy Corn

I know for sure my China-born children aren't real Americans. Not one of them likes candy corn.

When I was first thinking about mentioning this fact on my blog, I was going to write something like this after it: Guess my kids are eggs like me.

But then three thoughts struck me.

First, a lot of people might not know what an "egg" is. At least, not in the sense I'm using it here. So, let me explain. An "egg" is someone who's Caucasian on the outside and Asian on the inside. It usually refers to people like me who have lived most of their lives in Asian countries, who have habits and customs that are Asian, but who, on the outside, look completely -- um -- white.

My second thought was that perhaps this term, "egg", isn't quite politically correct.

My third thought, springing from the second, was that this term, while perhaps not politically correct, is more importantly inaccurate and kind of stupid.

Because, honestly, when have you ever seen a "yellow" Chinese person?

Asian people have ranges of skin tone just like any other race, but not one of those skin tones is yellow. It's just like expecting to see a "red" Native American walking down the street. How did my pasty-white ancestors ever come up with these color descriptors?

My lovely daughter Olivia is ethnically Chinese. She has very beautiful brown skin. In the summer it's deep brown. In the winter it's light brown. I don't think anyone would ever look at her and think "yellow."

And in China, as I've mentioned before on this blog, Chinese women all want to have pale skin. They buy beauty products that make their skin whiter. I have never seen such a bunch of truly white people in my life.

Even as I write this, looking down at my own arms, I see a yellow tinge, maybe left over from newborn days when I had jaundice. Or perhaps the result of the electric light bulb casting its artificial, orange-ish glow on me as I type. Still, I would wager that I'm yellower than any Chinese person I've ever met.

So, maybe I should switch that. I'm not an egg. I'm candy corn. Completely mixed up ... and loving it.


  1. I'm thinking I might be a China-born child, b/c I don't like candy corn either. Interesting thoughts about color of skin. I've always found it weird the color choices we've slapped on different ethnicities.
    ~ Wendy

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  3. Hmmm ~ I am so challenged at this sometimes, lol. I put my post on Facebook.

  4. I have never heard the term "Egg," but I have heard those who grow up in one culture but look different on the outside as "third culture kids." Fun post, Amy.

  5. I sat at my kitchen table with two Chinese gals who earnestly compared their arms with mine and INSISTED they were yellow and I was pink. I thought brown and white, too, but they said I was wrong on both counts!