Not to make a big deal about the fact that there’s finally another Korean on Big Brother, but I’m going to make a big deal about Helen Kim anyway. Most of you won’t mind considering “most of you” are white people, and you get to watch your fellow white people on Big Brother all the time. So I’m just going to go on about the significance of there finally being another Korean woman in the house after 10 years have passed since I won my season, and this particular Korean Helen happens to be exactly my age and a married mom.
I thanked Robyn Kass for kassting Helen…
…knowing full-well I’m not the reason Helen was cast. I’m not delusional, just dramatic, but I love being able to say “It’s been 10 years since…”
I can’t help but think back to the “kind” of Korean I was 10 years ago, both in life and in the Big Brother house. I was a horrible Korean, actually. There were so many things I disliked about “being Korean” growing up in America, that when I got older I pulled away from my heritage. I remember telling Big Brother producers how I didn’t date Asian men and how my Korean ex had turned me off to Korean men forever, and the like. I look back and I shake my head at how I did nothing consciously to uplift the my Korean community. I was an obnoxious girl who wanted to be more American-Korean than Korean-American. After being raised to assimilate into the American culture, I’d tried to abandon parts of my Korean one.
I didn’t go on the show to be mentor or a shining example of anything, let alone a Korean, because I was deliberately selfish. That summer was all about me because I wanted it to be. I can’t say I regret being so selfish, but…
It wasn’t until I married and had a child that I embraced warmly what “kind” of Korean I’ve become, and the very things I resented 10 years ago I’ve now come to appreciate and instill in my little Noah. I’m not saying I’d wear the Korean flag on my chest or declare some sudden lust for Asian men if I was in the Big Brother house now, but I would be more thoughtful about how I represented a population of people. So although I don’t know what Helen will turn out to be like, once the footage starts rolling, I hope I don’t find her to be a horrible Korean.
No pressure Helen. Just be yourself and look back in 10 years and laugh and reflect.
I’m not defined by how Korean I am, but what kind of Korean I am now…in addition to being everything else.