We’re celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander (API) heritage month with stories from the API community. We met up with and spoke to a few Lush team members, including Alex, who were kind enough to reminisce about their childhoods, share their stories, and give us all an intimate look into their lives.
This is Alex’s story.
Tell me about an item that’s important to who you are.
I was probably barely a first grader when I got this Little Mermaid jewelry case [pictured in top banner] where I kept all my jewelry from the clip-ons I was given as a little girl, to the cheap earrings I'd buy from my first paychecks as a teen, the earrings my mother passed down to me but I've since then lost (sorry mom!) and the jewelry I buy now. For something so insignificant, it's held so many important memories from my childhood, my teen years and now as an adult that I can always look back on. It carries so much more meaning than what it is!
What's something about your culture or heritage that brings you joy?
Food, definitely food and the culture around it. I love how across all cultures, sharing food and experiencing food with others really brings you closer to them. It may seem simple, but I get excited when I share my favorite dishes with friends and new people I meet. When their eyes widen, their eyebrows raise and they're trying to tell you how good the food is while having their mouths full—that's fun!
When was the first time you saw yourself or someone like you in the media? How did it make you feel?
Growing up, my family often watched Filipino media, so I always saw a lot of representation through that. However, that wasn't necessarily my media or the media I consumed. Thankfully, with the way media can be shared so easily and quickly throughout the globe, I have all this access to a lot of music made by Filipino artists. That feeling of finding out that the artist who produced or recorded a really good song sticks with you!
Can you share a memory that’s shaped who you are and why?
I cherish any memory that involves having my entire family together. Since we've all grown up and have separated, we barely see each other. But when we do get together, that same rowdy and fun energy is always present. And when I think back on those times, it makes me really treasure the memories I make with my family and friends and hold my relationships close to my heart.
What does Asian and Pacific Islander pride mean to you?
Right now, it means a lot of learning and discovery. Although I grew up in a Filipino household and in a diverse community with a lot of Filipino peers, teachers, and mentors, I realize I don't know too much about my culture other than how great the food is! Luckily, learning is life long and I can take the time to learn more about my roots, my family and our ancestors.
How do you think your experience of your culture has differed from your parents or grandparents?
My grandparents and parents grew up in the Philippines, so they were obviously immersed in culture, they experienced it everyday and it's pretty much ingrained into who they are. For me, my experience with my culture wasn't as rich. But now that I have autonomy and access to so many resources and welcoming communities, I can find ways to enrich my experience and change it for the better.
What makes you feel safe and supported?
Creating more spaces and opportunities for our community to get together and learn more about each other and how we experience our culture and heritage through our unique perspectives on the world.
For more stories and ways in which you can support the API community, check out our other resources.
A very special thanks and credit to:
- Photographer - Jennilee Marigomen
- Hair & Makeup Artist - Min-Jee Mowat
- Prop Stylist - Marta Sanderson
- Production Assistant - Brigitte May