Every Chinese Girl I’ve Tried to Be – A Sonnet


What of mine would I give up to be her?

Taper my legs thin, an A4-sized waist,

pinch nose ‘til pointed; delicate, tethered.

Plaster on her Douyin1 face, mine replaced.

Carve her language into my softened teeth, 

into my skin; scrub ‘til pale and demure, 

till I bleed just like her, even beneath.

华人2at heart, I say; always sure. 

Girls like her, they’ve always known who they are.

Transparent, pure, flawless majority 

from porcelain ancestry. She’s a far

dream from your bloodstream; who you’ll never be.

She is perfect. All your attempts can cease.

Kill yourself and still, you won’t be chinese.

Nyein Su Thar (Class of 2025) hopes to explore what it means to be an immigrant through her literary work and reveal the ever-evolving answer to her readers. She aims to bridge the gaps in her diasporic identity and writes to remember her journey as a person. Su Thar’s favourite part of writing is explaining her pieces back to her mother in Burmese.  

  1. Chinese version of TikTok
  2.  Pronounced “hua ren”, meaning Chinese person ↩︎