AAPI women are an integral part of our society, and understanding their identity and belonging is essential to creating a more equitable world. In this interview with Lin, we hope to explore the importance of AAPI women's voices in forging a stronger sense of identity and belonging for themselves and other members of the AAPI community.
First off we have Lin Chen from @pinkmoon.co, a firm believer in eco-conscious self-care.
✨What is your ethnicity? Taiwanese
✨How does your ethnicity play a role in your identity within the Asian diaspora? As I've grown older, I've developed a deeper appreciation for being a member of the AAPI community. As a college student, I advocated for AAPI representation through membership and involvement in several clubs and post-college, I volunteered my time for several AAPI-focused nonprofit teams as Marketing/Events Director (TAP - Taiwanese American Professionals and Hyphen Magazine). There's something really beautiful and uplifting about being part of a community that is joined together by similar experiences.
✨Tell us about your background, where you grew up, your upbringing and when you realized you were asian. I'm a 2nd generation Taiwanese American. My parents came to the States in the 70s to pursue their masters degrees. They settled in southern CA, initially in a suburb of LA called Bellflower, which is a predominantly white community. In the search for a thriving Asian community and better public schools, my parents moved us to Irvine. My brother and I grew up in a pretty Americanized household, at least compared to my Asian childhood peers. I stopped speaking Mandarin Chinese at home at age 5 (a big regret!) and was then sent to weekly Sunday Chinese language school. Chinese ended up being my secondary major in college! I started working in the beauty industry, specifically the eco beauty industry, 11 years ago. More often than not, I was the only Asian person, and woman of color, in a room. The feeling of being “other” was always rumbling in the back of my mind. While things have certainly improved since then, we still have a long way to go.
✨What part of your identity do you feel are determined by others or society? Definitely my career. My brother is a doctor and many of my cousins are accountants, engineers, or in the healthcare space.
✨If your younger self knew about the progress in AAPI representation, what could that have changed about your experience? I would have felt less alone and more included. When you grow up and only see a singular representation of personhood in the media, it can have a detrimental effect on your self-perception if you don’t fit that mold. Representation matters, we need to keep fighting for it.