In China I’m both fat and beautiful

As a white female foreigner in China there are two things Chinese people seem to think about me. One of them is that I’m extremely beautiful with my Western look and white skin. Other is that I’m fat because I weight more than 100斤 (50kg).

In China 100 seems to be a magical number for girls and women. It comes up in TV series I watch once in a while. You should absolutely never weight more than 100斤 (50kg). And if you do, well there’s no clothes you can buy, there’s no man who wants you and so on.

Not looking like a 10 year-old school girl makes me huge in China. I might be size M in Finland, but that’s like XXXL in China. When I leave the house I still look good, but then I go outside and suddenly I’m a giant. Not tall and skinny like Russian girls (then why everyone thinks I’m Russian then?), not short and skinny like Chinese girls. In Finland I’m called average, in China it’s fat.

But then again I hear constantly how beautiful I am. People can’t get their eyes off me and I hear “wow”  being whispered (or shouted) every week. People comment how white my skin is (white=beautiful). A classmate’s mom (Vietnamese) told me over and over how beautiful I look when we had dinner with friends.

It’s like Chinese (and other East-Asian) people can’t really decide if I’m more fat or more beautiful. Just to give you a hint, other is a compliment, another one is just asking for trouble.

This blog post was published in 2012, want to read more about my recent life? Check out My Life category.