Girls Like Me

Photo by Kleigh Balugo

By Kleigh Balugo

In May, I wrote an essay called “Girls Like Me: Finding a Cure for Yellow Fever.”

Writing it helped me cope with a past relationship where I was fetishized for being Asian. Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about my place in the world and how my race often relates to it.

Specifically, I became even more appreciative of all the Asian girls (or, girls like me) in my life and the community I found within them. There’s a really special bond that exists between us and we may not come from the same places, but we see each other.

Since last month, I’ve been taking portraits of them. When I took the photos we hung out and talked about stuff we always talk about: racist things men on the street yell at us, roommate drama, plans we have for winter break, and other stuff.

When I’m with them I feel safe knowing I can be myself. And that’s a pretty rare feeling.

Thanks to Vee, Thana, Fania, Sydney, Taryn, Audrey, and Claire for letting me photograph you.


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