(Expanded from a debate on Facebook)
As I talked to my parents recently, they are very anxious that I find a boyfriend because they are afraid nobody in Vietnam will marry me. The reasons are simple.
Because in Vietnam, I’m ugly
Admit it, to love somebody, first you have to find that person attractive. However, the definition of beauty is dramatically different from a culture to another. We Vietnamese always think that the Westerners have a weird taste. In Vietnam, we have a fixed guideline to beauty which means you have to look like this, like that to be considered beautiful. For example, a girl has to have fair skin, long black hair, pigeon’s eyes, etc. An English friend of mine who has been to Vietnam once complained that all the girls in Vietnam have exactly one hairstyle. In Western culture, they like those who look a bit different.
When I was in Vietnam, I was very insecure about my look. People constantly made fun of my wavy fluffy hair, my round face. My Mom was so disappointed to find out that I’m so tanned that my skin looks as dark as buffalo skin. A newspaper once wrote about me something like: “She might not have beauty but she has guts” (assholes, yess >”<).
Because in Vietnam, I’m domestically incapable
In Vietnam, girls are supposed to all the housework. When I was in Vietnam, whenever we had a celebration, my female cousins and I would have to wash all the dishes and cook all the food while all the boys just hung around playing cards or doing all kinds of mischief. If I asked my Mom why my brother didn’t have to work, she would scold me: “You are a girl, don’t ask such a silly question. People will laugh at you if you do.” (!!??).
So now, I have a resentment against housework and lazy men. I don’t mind doing things for myself, but I would never do everything while my boyfriend just sat there and played video games. People say that a lot of Vietnamese men nowadays are more open-minded. But who wouldn’t want a girlfriend that his family and friends think of as “đảm đang”, or I call it “domestically capable”? Try to take home a girl that his family can’t use as a domestic slave you will know.
Because in Vietnam, I’m corrupt
In Vietnam, girls are supposed to keep a low profile, to always be soft and meek. I’m outspoken, I don’t give a damn to mannerism. My family thinks that my body-painting photo is a shame. A Vietnamese guy few year older than me called me “ill-bred” just because I dared to argue with him.
Every time I call home, my Mom always asks: “Are you still a good girl. Everybody (in our hometown) is saying that only bad girls can travel that much.” Ha, I have no idea how they define “bad”, or I can’t see any correlation between “traveling” and “being a bad girl”, but apparently, a lot of rednecks believe that I’m a waste. In Vietnam, if a girl drinks alcohol, she’s spoilt. If she smokes, she has no hope. If she goes clubbing, she’s a whore. If she travels like me, she is a combination of all 3 things mentioned above.
So yeah, I’m doomed.
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