What is your blended heritage?
My heritage is Japanese, German, Polish, Irish, Dutch, and American Indian; however I am mainly Japanese, German, and Polish so I usually just say those 3.
Where are your mother and father from?
My mother is Japanese, German, Dutch, and American Indian. My father is German, Polish, and Irish.
What do you love the most of your blended heritage?
I love learning about my heritage. My grandmother grew up during wwii in Japan and it is interesting to listen to her somber stories. The most interesting story to me is one from when my grandma was 9. The government made all kids work in bomb or bullet factories. One day my grandmother came down with a terrible flu and she had to miss a day of work. That day, the factory was bombed by the allies and all of her friends were killed. She was one of the only children in her area that was still alive. All because she was sick that one day.
What is your response when people ask, “What are you?”
I usually just say Japanese, German, and Polish because that is what I mainly am and those parts of my heritage have always been celebrated and remembered in my family.
What was your experience as a blended kid?
I feel like I had it a lot easier than a lot of blended kids because people are fairly kind to people of Asian decent and my eyes are fairly European-looking. I went to a small private school for middle school. I wasn’t treated too differently; however, I was seen as the token minority and if there was ever a race issue, I was asked for my opinion on the topic.
What were you family dinners like?
Growing up, my mom cooked a variety of different foods from all ethnicity’s. One thing that is specific to my family is we always have Japanese food on Christmas. No ham or mashed potatoes. We have teriyaki chicken, yam noodles, stir fry, and lots and lots of rice. That’s another thing that was specific to my family growing up. I didn’t know any other families in my area that had 3 rice cookers in their house.
Does your blended heritage have any influence on your modeling career?
My heritage goes with my everywhere I go, but I try not to let it affect the work I do too much. I love acknowledging my ancestry, but it is not the only part of who I am. I think a lot of blended people are seen only as their ethnic backgrounds and that’s not what I want to be seen as solely.
What positive message do you have for blended kids?
I always had a hard time because when I was little and I told people I was part Asian, they would always say “well, you don’t look Asian”. You can’t help how you look! That doesn’t mean you aren’t a part of that ethnicity just because you don’t look like the stereotype. Love your background and the looks it gave you, even if it doesn’t match other people’s standards of what you are supposed to look like!