Seeing conversations on the fox eye trend unfold online was trying for me. I saw so many Asians speak up and painfully recount experiences with being tormented for their eyes, and non-Asians completely dismissing and silencing them.
Some of the responses I saw from non-Asians were: Stop looking for reasons to be offended, Were trying to normalise your eyes, Everyone is so sensitive these days, Were not trying to offend you, Theres no need to look deep into it, This is the most ridiculous thing Ive ever heard, Youre making something thats not racist, racist.
The list goes on, and the gaslighting was very real.
I also saw a lot of arguments for reverse racism, stating that if were offended by this trend, Asians shouldnt be allowed to dye their hair blonde, get double eyelid surgery, do the cut crease makeup look and buy double eyelid tape.
To that, I say that were not trying to take something away from a group that has been oppressed, marginalised and disadvantaged for those traits. If anything, those are the beauty standards in the Western world that some Asians aspire to meet to be accepted and assimilate.
I recently started using my Instagram account as a way of calling out and privately messaging individuals, influencers and companies that are promoting the trend. This included one notable group of Australian influencers who had joined in on an IGTV video demonstrating the fox eye trend.
Ive been continuing to raise awareness around this trend and racism against Asians, and its been very well-received by my online community.
At the end of the day, those who participate in it can wipe off the makeup and remove their fingers from pulling back their eyes and they dont need to deal with the cultural baggage that comes from being Asian and having our eyes. Its only a beauty look to them.
All we ask is that when we speak about our experiences with racism and share our stories about the insecurity and pain attached to our eyes, that youll be open to learning and unlearning. Its far too easy to silence us, shut us down and dismiss where we stand.
We want you to challenge yourself by simplyjust listening.
Alyssa Ho was born and raised in Melbourne, and her cultural background is Vietnamese. She started herInstagram pageto share her writings on life and love. She also has two side passions and businesses - a womens group called My Go To Gal where she hosts events for women to connect and make new gal pals, and Pretty Little Pink Book, an event styling, planning and management business.
Feature image: Instagram/@kendalljenner @bellahadid
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