Dear Straight People,
All my life, I felt like I was ugly.
A lot of you reading this may find that hard to believe. And to a certain extent, I can understand why.
From the outside, I seem to have it all. Looks, muscles, confidence and charisma. I have over 100,000 followers on Instagram and I’ve had the opportunity to model for the likes of Men’s Health, Gillette, Reebok and Abercrombie & Fitch.
But truth be told, I’ve felt unattractive from the time I was a little kid.
Because I was ashamed to be Asian. Ashamed to be me.
As an adopted child of a white family growing up in America, I’ve always felt ugly and second best as an Asian male in America.
No one in my family or my community looked like me. When I was a child, my parents used to call me ‘stone face’ all the time. It was because I didn’t know how to express my feelings of hurt.
I’d turn on TV and watch movies, and the only Asian men I saw were martial artists. They must have been the only Asian men my classmates saw, too, because other kids teased me by making martial arts joking and doing karate chops and calling me “chinaman.”
Girls (including the few Asian girls I knew) told me they weren’t into Asian guys.
I love my family, but them insisting I was being too sensitive or should just “get over it” didn’t help (they realise this now).
So I did that shitty “If you can’t beat them, join them” thing where I started making fun of my own race. I’m still embarrassed by this, but looking back, I realised it was a coping mechanism. After all, I was the only Asian male in my entire school. When classmates told me I was the “whitest Asian” they knew, I took it as a compliment rather than the shitty racism it actually was.
I felt like a joke.
When others told me I wasn’t attractive because I was Asian and skinny, I knew I couldn’t change the Asian part, but I wanted to prove them all wrong. I did the opposite of what Asian men were seen as.
I paved my way to what I believe masculine Asian men should be, since there was no real definition when I was growing up.
I started to use fitness as an outlet. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I buffed up and became a professional working model in New York City and a coach in fitness and lifestyle.
Changing my body changed my perspective on the world; for the better, not for the worse. And it didn’t take long before I learnt that changing my outside was just one part of the battle won against myself.
It wasn’t until I started self-developing, working on the inner and outer, that I was able to overcome my self-hating and then to start loving my Asian race. Males and females.
I spoke out. I expressed myself. I wanted to be tall. Thank god that worked out on its own!
While it took a few years to learn how to balance exercise and life in a healthy way, my health focus has hands down been the key to developing a positive self-image of myself. It also helped extinguish a lot of the anger that was starting to consume me.
I hope that by sharing my story, I would be able to inspire you to become the best version of yourself.
I hate saying that because it’s corny and overused as shit, but it’s true.
Be you, but the best version.
What that means to me is to improve your confidence, self-esteem, and quality of life. It’s a continual journey that is not only good for you but for other people. Continually work on being the best version of yourself because there’s always room for improvement.
I’m here to help you bring it out if you want it.
So watch this space because I’ll be sharing fitness tips across a range of topics from intermittent fasting to motivation techniques on my new fitness column on Dear Straight People.
Be so sexy that they can’t ignore us.
Be More Than Just Muscle.
Written by Kevin Kreider: @kevin.kreider
If you’re keen on becoming a better version of yourself, check out my website www.kevinkreider.com for Online Fitness and Coaching Programs.
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