"It was so amazing growing up with two different cultures and environments"
Snowboarder Chloe Kim has opened up about her Asian American experience.
In an interview with Refinery, Chloe Kim discussed being an Asian American icon and her Korean heritage.
Born in Long Beach, California to South Korean parents, Kim grew up as an Asian American. For Kim, staying loyal to her Korean roots is important.
When asked why she partnered with South Korean beauty brand Laneige, Kim explained that her mom first introduced her to their products.
“I was looking at all the BB creams in Target, because [Laneige was sold] at Target at the time, and my mom was like, ‘oh my gosh Laneige, they’re pretty big in Korea,” Kim said. “You should try that. Since they’re a Korean brand, and you have Korean skin, maybe it’ll work a lot better.”
“I don’t even know if that makes sense, but it kind of does,” she continued. “So I got that, and I was hooked on it. And then a year or two later, they hit me up [for a partnership] and I was like, ‘yo, yes. I spent a lot of money on your BB cushions, hook me up.'”
When Kim won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics at the age of 17, she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal. She has since become an icon and inspiration for the Asian American community.
She also recently won an ESPY Award for the Best Female Athlete.
“I love that people look up to me,” the 18-year-old athlete said. “I think that’s really amazing and something I never thought would happen to me. But honestly, I’ve always just been about spreading love and positivity, and for being a good person and having a good heart. And if you’re helping others out, that’s the best person you could be.”
Kim went on to explain that she enjoyed growing up in a Korean household.
“I mean, my parents both came from South Korea in the 90s and they love it here, they’ve had so much fun here,” Kim reflected. “For me, growing up, it was so amazing growing up with two different cultures and environments.”
“When I went home, it was a very Korean environment, very Korean space, Korean food, speaking Korean. And when I walked out the front door, it was very American. And I think it was really good for me, a good space for me to grow up in, very open-minded, non-judgmental of other cultures and religions.”
Kim is famously close with her parents. Earlier this year, she wrote an emotional letter to her mother Boran Yun Kim for Mother’s Day, which broke the internet. Kim explained that she spends a lot of time with them travelling.
“Well, my parents actually travel with me all the time,” she said. “But I don’t think they’re going to anymore. I think they’re going on vacation. So I’m actually going to Switzerland and they’re coming with me, and then I think they’re just going to travel while I’m there.”