It’s as easy as that!
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
Onlookers applauded last Saturday when Becky Simmons appointed herself “basically brown.”
After living most of her life as a white, Anglo-Saxon woman, Simmons shed the oppressive weight of being white to shoulder a new burden—being a Person of Colour (POC).
How did she come to this conclusion?
“I got a tan and I’m sooo dark now,” Simmons said.
Bystanders said Simmons held her arm up to her friend Jessa Bituin, who is Filipino, and declared their skin tones “almost the same.”
“They’re not,” Bituin told reporters.
Simmons attributes her change in identity to “spending a lot of time in my parents’ backyard, going to the beach, and going to a tanning bed for 20 minutes every three to four days.”
Simmons, who has blonde hair and blue eyes, is ready for her new, innovative life as a woman of colour.
“I think that so many people are hung up on the fact that my parents are upper-middle-class white people,” Simmons said. “But if there’s one thing I know about different cultures, it’s that they’re so much more open and accepting than your traditional white mindset. For example, my parents wouldn’t let my third-grade best friend Julia Chang come over after school. But I was allowed to go to her house, even though I didn’t really like it because they kept giving me really weird food.”
Many people, like Simmons’ friend Chang, felt that Simmons was co-opting an identity while ignoring the social and political hardships faced by POCs all over the world.
“I face hardships too!” Simmons said in response to the criticism. “What about when I wanted to get dreadlocks, but everybody said I couldn’t? I just know they would look great on my face shape.”
Other Press reporters spoke to Simmons’ parents, who are both blonde and blue-eyed as well.
“Obviously we were a bit taken aback when Becky announced to us that she no longer identifies as a WASP,” Simmons’ father John said. “My first question was: How will this affect her chances of getting into a good university to find a husband?”
“It was no surprise to me,” Simmons’ mother Jane said. “When I tan I go a nice olive colour. See, look at this!”
Here she held her distinctly pink arm up to the light.
“People always ask me where I’m from during the summer,” she said with great satisfaction. “Maybe from somewhere in the Mediterranean? Or Italy?”
What’s next on the agenda for Simmons?
“Well, it’s time to live the life I’ve always known I deserve,” she told local press. “When people ask me for restaurant suggestions, I’ll know really good hole-in-the-wall ones. I’m also going to start watching foreign films and telling people they’re the only films that really matter, even though I only speak English and can’t understand them. This tan will really only last for a couple more months, so I’m really going to have to milk it for all it’s worth. Just really enjoy my time.”