Think of the most beautiful woman you can imagine. Growing up, what I pictured was a woman with sparkling, almond-shaped blue eyes, with long, straight, jet black hair, who is tall, thin, yet voluptuous, with flawless olive skin. As a little girl, this is the woman that I thought I would grow up to be, even though my eyes are brown. It is the combination of individual characteristics, of what I considered perfection, among the different cultures in my life. Throughout my life, my cultural background, based on each of my parent's ethnic backgrounds, the society I was raised in, as well as my own personality, has shaped my personal concept of beauty, and has resulted in my belief that everywhere, within everyone, beauty can be found.
My mother, born and raised in South Korea, was the rock in my life. She, like many other native Koreans I have met, is reserved and silently critical of her surroundings.
I have never heard my mother lightly say that someone or something was beautiful. She isn't the kind to freely show much affection or emotion. Even so, my interest in all things Asian grew from my heritage. On top of that, of the seventeen years spent living with my parents, eight of them were spent living in Japan and Guam, with many visits to Korea sprinkled between. I took notice of the small frames, common to Asian people, as well as their beautiful hair and slanted eyes.
My father, born and raised in Colombia, was all kisses and hugs. He treated my sister and me like princesses, rarely ever scolding or reprimanding us. When I was two or three years old, I went around telling everyone that my name was Kaylinda. As the story goes, everyone, especially my father, upon greeting me,