Davidson Microaggressions Project

Awkward, Exoticized, and Embarrassed

(I am a female-identifying, Asian-American student at Davidson.)  I visited a Walmart around campus my first year here and was approached by a white man at the register who asked me if I was Korean. After affirming, he continued to talk to me across the register, asking me if I ate kimchi, if I spoke Korean, and other questions about my heritage. He proceeded to tell me about his Korean wife and even showed me a picture of her. He couldn’t hide his pride at having successfully guessed my ethnicity. I felt incredibly awkward, exoticized, and embarrassed to be having the conversation at such a volume/distance that others could overhear.