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Yuna: "I've faced more racism from my own race than from Americans"

The Malaysian singer shuts down haters once and for all

By Andrea Tim | Published: 22 Jul 2016

Yuna on racism
Photo: Yuna

Following the criticism that she recently faced for hugging fellow performer Usher onstage at a concert, Yuna has spoken up against all the discrimination and outrageous comments that have been thrown at her. These include "perempuan sampah" which literally means female trash in Malay.

Posting a photo of a 2014 Barney's campaign in which she starred alongside another half-Malaysian model and a Punjabi couple, Yuna wrote that she had been worried that certain fans back home would launch into a fit upon seeing her pose with her neck exposed. However, she asserted that the stylists from Barney's respected her religious practices and so let her wear a gorgeous shirt dress.

 

A photo posted by Yuna (@yunamusic) on

 

The singer then shed some light on the irony of racist comments she has received: "Isn't it weird, the biggest racism and discrimination that I've ever faced, was never from the Americans – it was from my own race. There I've said it. They call me 'perempuan sampah' and tell me to 'might as well go naked'. The worst, hurtful & sexist things I've ever had thrown to me, were from the lips of the Malays."

Reflecting on some advice she once received from her father – "You make your own decision. You can think. Why do you have to listen to other people?" – the 29-year-old confidently added that she was going to keep it real and that what she wears is entirely her choice, as is how she shows her appreciation to her friends. Yes, meaning that she'll hug who she chooses, too.

Rant over, moving on, Yuna even got a giggle out of us with her closing line: "Lepas ni [after this].. no filter! Yay!!"

Here's her entire statement in full.

Throwback from when I was on Barney's campaign 2014 celebrating cultural differences, shot by Bruce Weber. I remember when this first came out I was so scared of posting it because I knew the extremely rude conservative Malays (mind you I'm conservative too) would attack me for revealing my neck. Honestly. At this moment I was comfortable. The stylists from Barney's were kind and respectful of my beliefs and let me wear this beautiful shirt dress. I get to pose with this lovely Punjabi couple along with a fellow half Malaysian model who later became my friend. People ask me what ethnicity I am I tell them I am Malay. Why can't you wear a short dress? I tell them I am Muslim.

Someone once told me my experience is mine. No one else is living it. No one has lived it. Outsiders have the illusion that they can tell you how to live your life because- they have lived theirs letting OTHER people tell them how to live. My father always told me 'You make your own decision. You can think. Why do you have to listen to other people?' Isn't it weird, the biggest racism and discrimination that I've ever faced, was never from the Americans- it was from my own race. There I've said it. They call me 'perempuan sampah' and tell me to ''might as well go naked'. The worst, hurtful & sexist things I've ever had thrown to me, were from the lips of the Malays. All I can do is be patient. Allah is great. And Alhamdulillah for everything. So this is me. I will wear whatever I want. I will show my appreciation whether it's a handshake, or a hug, to my friends, this is me. Save your mediocre downgrading religious preach to yourself, they have no meaning to me.

I have some Americans telling me to take my hijab off, and I tell them no. I have some Malays tell me to take my hijab off because 'from wearing a turban might as well take off your hijab', I tell them no too. I am me. Tada! Expect more candidness from your fun, happy, Yuna. May it inspire you to be yourself too without letting the toxic people around you define you or how you should be. No regrets, no hard feelings I will continue to empower women and men everywhere as long as I live inshaAllah. Lepas ni.. no filter! Yay!!

Related: Yuna can hug whoever she wants, thanks
Related: Yuna's sultry voice is now on Waze
Related: The sad reason Leslie Jones quit Twitter


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