Promoting Diversity in Affluent White America

Vivien Grace
5 min readOct 4, 2019

How One Word Sparked a Crisis

A poorly chosen word recently sparked a social media war in an affluent East Coast town. A local yoga studio owner wrote a Social Media post in which she used the word “chinky” to self-effacingly describe her eye shape. She is, to the best of my knowledge, a white woman, and not of Asian heritage.

The subtext that “chinky” aka Asian features were undesirable came across as tone-deaf and insulting, and her Social Media followers attacked her for the word choice. Rather than delete the post and humbly apologize, she then doubled down by posting a video defending herself.

She talked about being teased and bullied as a child for these features, and her self-pity did not play well.

Photo by Kayle Kaupanger on Unsplash

Another local woman was offended on a personal level by the word choice and proceeded to publicly shame her on Social Media, calling her out by name as a racist. She reportedly approached members of the yoga community to rally against the studio owner in what looked an awful lot like a smear campaign.

Subsequent Social Media bullying followed, leading the studio owner to delete her accounts and effectively go into hiding. These “armchair liberals” vented their anger in a torrent of posts and comments, and the level of vitriol was stunning and disheartening.



Vivien Grace

Solo Female Traveler & Writer Wellness Junkie | Allergy Queen 🌎🛍️✈️ 5-Star taste on a 2-Star Budget.