I was cleaning out my daughter’s papers from first grade to make room for all of the papers she’s going to get in second grade. It made me smile how she progressed in her writing and spelling, how she learned addition and subtraction, and then I came across this poster. Scanning through, I stopped reading (and breathing a little) when I read “When I grow up I would like to be a model”. It’s these types of situations that create internal conflict between my Chinese heritage and American upbringing.
The Chinese in me is horrified, instantly thinking that she needs to stop watching tv and I need to throw away all of her Barbie’s. Questions like “How will she make money?” and “Will she want to go to college?” flood my brain. Things like more piano practicing and finding extra homework are added to my to-do list. It breaks my heart thinking about the jobs she won’t get because of the way she looks or she isn’t skinny enough.
The American in me will support her 190% in whatever she has passion for. I dream about the amazing experience, the clothes and all of the traveling. How she will finally get over her stage fright, be confident, and learn to put on makeup. Maybe I would be her agent to make sure she was ok and take care of her? I would be the proudest mom in the room at Fashion Week.
This internal turmoil keeps me awake at night. After millions of minutes spent thinking about what I will say or how I will act when she tells me this at 18, I’ve come to the conclusion that it won’t be the Chinese or American in me that speaks to her. It will be as her mom. I want her to be happy and fulfilled in whatever she decides to do. I want her to work hard, be kind, and contribute to making this world a better place. All of this is possible to do as a model.
Cheers to all moms of models,
The Dumpling Mama xo
P.S. As much as this makes me freak out, her best friend wanted to be a Korean pop-star. Somehow that made me feel better…