by tara nguyen
The first time I heard Olivia Rodrigo’s heart aching ballad Driver’s License, one verse etched into my brain: “you’re probably with that blonde girl, the one who always made me doubt, she’s so much older than me, she’s everything I’m insecure about.” Hearing it was like a punch in the gut; an almost “That’s So Raven” flashback of when I was deeply crushing over this guy only to have him say he didn’t want a relationship… but then a week or two later posted his blonde- haired, blue-eyed girlfriend, who – get this – was so much older than me on Instagram.
As someone who wasn’t particularly confident at fourteen, I was distraught. All of my friends reassured me that she was a hag, in an almost Knives Chau-esque manner. But what really broke me was that she was… a white girl, and I am not. As much as I hate to admit, being an Asian American woman has led me to compare myself to white women my entire life, whether that be role models or being upset that my body is structured a certain way. I will never be one of them.
Staring at the screen in the palm of my hand, I looked at her. She was pretty, and I’m sure she was kind and funny. But to me, in that enraged state, she was, that blonde girl, and everything I was insecure about.
However comforting it was to roast this poor girl at the time, I’ve come to realize that the way that other people perceive you isn’t always within your control. At the end of the day, my crush didn’t like me, and I had to collect myself and reassemble the parts of me that were shattered. Despite the harm of my insecurities, what got me through such an experience was the wonders of time healing all wounds and constantly reminding myself that what I was feeling was valid.
Photo of Olivia Rodrigo from “Driver’s License” music video.