twin face

For the first KYD No. 14 teaser, Estelle Tang writes about being mistaken for other, usually Asian, women. Are these confusions a symptom of cultural ignorance?

To read the rest of Estelle’s piece, grab a copy of Issue Fourteen, available online 3rd July!

This is tricky. Do I begin with the story about being on the train with three teenagers, who pointed at me from the other end of the carriage and yelled, ‘Look, it’s Björk!’ Or would it be better to start with the one where whenever my cousin-in-law says goodbye to me, she shakes her head and says to no one in particular, ‘Doesn’t she look like Lucy Liu?’ Poor Shannyn Sossamon – not only was she in A Knight’s Tale, but apparently we could practically be sisters. (She did name her son Audio Science though, so perhaps she deserves it.) Once, I even had someone tell me I looked like Bruce Lee.

I have a lot of face twins. I don’t remember when it began, but for all my adult life I’ve been continually likened to this person or that celebrity. And I’m here to tell you: Please stop it. It’s really annoying.

I know such utterances are never meant in a cruel spirit. Those who notice a resemblance are usually so excited by the idea that they have to get it out in the open immediately. New acquaintances often blurt it out as soon as they meet me, and I know the feeling: I once unthinkingly said to a six-foot-plus ex-colleague, ‘Wow, you’re really tall!’ She responded, justifiably, ‘You’re really short.’

Estelle Tang is a writer, editor, bibliotherapist at The School of Life, and editorial advisor at Paper Radio.

Subscribe to Kill Your Darlings