Wow, Very Cheeky

photo from here
During puberty, hormones in an adolescent’s mind cause great mood swings, and in some cases, anxiety. This causes a teenager to feel the need to be “cool”. This is a big characterization in Amy Tan’s story “Fish Cheeks” with the main character, Amy, expressing shame of her Chinese inheritance and feeling the need to look cool in front of her crush, Robert. Even so, her mother has great hope for her and gives her great advice. 

Like me, the main character is sometimes ashamed and embarrassed about her Chinese Inheritance. Because Chinese customs are very different from those of Americans, some people will view them as “weird” and therefore “uncool”. In the story, Amy “prayed for… a slim new American nose” (Tan 1). This means that she wants an American nose, so she does not think that the Chinese nose that she has and inherited by her parents is “cool” and would impress Robert, her crush.  

I, sometimes, am also embarrassed by my Chinese inheritance and customs. Recently, I told my friends about how I ate Pigs’ intestines. It, called 肥肠 (Fei Chang) is a popular Chinese dish and I quite like it. But, my friends were (rightfully) disgusted. I tried explaining that it was very good, but in American culture, even the thought of eating intestines is revolting. After that, I never told my friends about it, and had doubts whenever I encountered the dish again.