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Showing posts from November, 2018

The Pink Sweater and the Subtle Art of Shade

“I like your Halloween costume, Rachel-sensei! Very colorful, ne?” A well-meaning teacher says to me, upon seeing my outfit.

Yes, today I’m teaching a lesson on Halloween traditions in America. No, I’m not wearing a costume.

Here’s a breakdown of my outfit: black tights, already starting to run because they weren’t made to accommodate American thighs. Red skirt, a sale item from UNIQLO. Hair down, modestly arranged into a half-updo. And a hand-stitched shirt I bought in Mexico. If you’ve ever been on a cruise I guarantee you’ve seen these shirts, made of cotton or linen with bouquets of colorful flowers hand-stitched around the wide neck. These shirts come in lots of different styles, depending on the region of Mexico where they’re made, and they’re a popular souvenir for tourists. Importantly, they’re not a Halloween costume.

But more importantly, I know this teacher means no harm, so I shrug it off and go on with my day.

I’ve never felt more scrutinized about my looks than since I …