A WORLD APART, A HEARTBEAT AWAY
Bradley, Karen Kohn
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When I first came to the US from China, I felt mute and deaf, unable to communicate through the opaque language barrier enveloping me. But with the loss of speech, came the crystallization of other perceived sensations and realizations. Though many ideological differences exist between American and Chinese culture, none became clearer to me than the unspoken ideals of feminine beauty and aesthetics. Like a first language, one's sense of the femininity is consciously and subconsciously shaped by one's environment and culture from an early age, manifesting into one's way of speech, thought and movement. At first, immersed in the US aesthetics, I'd never felt further from home. But the longer I find myself in this country, the more my viewpoint changes of what feminine beauty is and should be.