We have a real sweetie in our new line up for the month of August for our Hmoodle Beauty. Unlike anyone before this, she’s quite the peculiar one with some dorky eccentric traits as well as exhibiting behaviors of a boy, being tomboyish, in engaging in games and physical activities that are considered to be in the domain of boys only, but yet she can glam doll and bling it out with all the other pretty girls in town. Already divulging too much information, read on to learn a little more about our Hmoodle Beauty for the month of August, Miss Susan Xiong.
Hmoodle: Give us an introduction.
Susan: My full name is Susan Bee Xiong. I reside in Merced, CA. Born and raised! I’m the 4th child out of 6 kids. Always been a Cali girl and will always be one. I waitress part time but I’m working to be something bigger and better. I don’t exactly know what yet, but it’ll be big. Been playing sports all my life. I’ve played soccer for 9 years, and flag football for 2 years. I’m pretty much a tomboy, even though I don’t look it; it’s how I’ll always see myself. I love to cook, but I love to eat even more. Yes, I’m a great cook, ask my boyfriend and my friends. I’m even thinking about opening up a mini restaurant. Maybe? I’m a big book worm. I love, love, love books! I’m actually a big nerd too. I’m a big romanticist and appreciates all the big hearts, big flowers, and all that good ooey gooey lovey dovey stuff, but no balloons though. I’m terrified of balloons. I love to dance. I’m not big on choreography or even slightly good at it. But I love to go out with my girls, feel the music and just dance. I gogo dance as a side job and I love it! It’s so much fun! Especially when you have a great crowd of people, the vibe is infectious when you’re around a bunch of people who just want to have fun. If you get to know me, I’m actually very weird, dorky, awkward, and hilarious. I promise I am a funny person. I love acting stupid and making people laugh.
Hmoodle: Hey I’m terrified of balloons too! Really it’s a phobia of blowing the balloon too big as it may explode in my face. Can you elaborate on why you’re terrified of balloons?
Susan: My reason is just the same as yours. But mine is mainly because of the noise. It terrifies me. I dont know why, but one time, during high school, I was heading to the locker room to change for my soccer game and one of my teammates purposely popped a balloon next to me and I balled like a baby.
Hmoodle: If you were to venture into this mini restaurant idea, branding a restaurant comes with a little finesse but the bigger scheme of it all is creating a brand that will help market your business, what would you call it, and why?
Susan: With the whole restaurant thing, I don’t know about branding anything yet but I know enough people to be able to promote it through word of mouth if I were to do it. The naming of it is a little difficult for me to come up with at the moment, but if I were to come up with a name it would have to be something that means something to me and not just any random name.
Hmoodle: What kind of cuisine would you serve at this restaurant?
Susan: I would have to serve straight up Asian-Hmong-Laos-Thai food. Like mainly things I grew up on. Pho, kapoon, egg rolls, spring rolls, pepper kapoon, lang fien and of course some bomb ass pepper! Excuse my language. You can’t have Asian food if it ain’t kick in your mouth spicy! I’m all about Asian food. Rice, noodles, peppers, chicken wings, and all that good fatty food. No talk of good nutrition because food that’s bad for you is always what taste the best. That’s my opinion anyways.
Hmoodle: You’ve spoken about being a tomboy your whole life, were you not comfortable with yourself growing up as a girl?
Susan: Yes and no. I was comfortable growing up as a girl. I never wanted to become an actual boy. I was just always comfortable playing in the dirt and playing sports with the boys, but it was uncomfortable for me to dress up like a girl. I liked big shirts and baggy pants. When I was younger I would wear skirts and dresses, but it just made me feel like I was trying too hard to be something I wasn’t. It took time for me to actual become comfortable wearing girly things. I actually still feel like a tomboy now.
Hmoodle: Are you a modeled citizen of what’s expected of being a traditional Hmong girl while in the presence of Hmong elders?
Susan: Model citizen? Truthfully, i don’t know. I act how I want to, whenever I want to. Life’s too short to be anything other than yourself. I believe I’m a good person, but I can be a bad person too. Just like everyone else in this world. With the whole traditional Hmong girl thing, no I’m not. Well, I don’t believe I am. I mean, I’m Hmong, I believe in my religion [shamanism], I believe in our culture & beliefs, I believe in our ways, I try my best to follow the ones that I feel are right, and justified. I cook and clean too, but I go out, I party, I stay out late, and I drink. It’s the truth and I try to speak the truth as much and as often as possible. In front of Hmong elders I try to be as much myself as possible. I don’t like putting up a front like I’m a good, stay at home Hmong girl, goes by all the rules because it’s not true. When I’m around my elders, I act the same way I do when I’m around my friends. I joke, I cuss, I tell the truth. It’s not me being rude or disrespectful towards my elders, it’s me being me and the elders know I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful because of the way I go about doing it. For example, during Sea Games in Sacramento, Ca, my friends and I showed up around 3pm. As we were walking through the parking lot, an older Hmong man with his wife stopped and asked us why we were at the tournament so late. I told him that we were having too much fun last night being “pub laib”. So we slept late and woke up late. He just laughed and said, “Os los? Ua caag yuab has khws ua luab les.” I just speak to my elders in a way that I can tell them the truth while joking around and making them laugh.
Hmoodle: So you said you want to make it big, but is unsure of what it is that you want to pursue or what this next “big thing” would be; so what if you were in a perfect world that gave you the opportunities to do whatever you want and grant you whatever you wish, what would that be and why?
Susan: If I could do anything I wanted? I would sit at home, read my books and cook all day. Because in a perfect world I wouldn’t have to worry about getting fat, paying bills, or making money. Right? I would stay home, cook all day and just invite everyone to come eat with me, so I won’t be a lonely Hmong girl who cooks and eats at home all by herself, all the time.
Hmoodle: Finish the sentence: I am proud to be Hmong because…
Susan: I am proud to be Hmong because it makes me beautiful. It makes me who I am. Because we were a small tribe of people that made it big enough to be known in the history books and to be in a Clint Eastwood movie. But I’m sorry questions like this are hard to answer because it’s not something I can put into words. It’s something I feel in my heart.
Hmoodle: Would you like to give any last parting words to our Hmoodlers? Or you can give a shout out to friends and family? Go ahead it’s a free for all as in divulging other miscellaneous personal items that we had forgotten to discuss about or simply just your parting words of wisdom to our Hmoodlers.
Susan: Well, I might as well shout out my family, my second family who are my good friends, my Merced Sizzler family, and everyone else that has been there for me and helped shape me, pushed me to be who I am and nothing more. I can’t name everyone because it would be way too much. The only ones I will name are my parents: Shong Fue Xiong and Cindy Pang Vang from Merced. Hmong Moos Pheeb. If you know the villages or clans then you’ll know the one my parents came from.
Thank you to everyone who’s been there for me; whether it was from day 1, day 20, or day 4,000. As long as you supported me, guided me, stood by me and loved me at some point in the time you’ve known me then the thanks is for you. You all know who you are. Everyone who walks into your life helps make and shape who you are now. Only the good ones stay and I believe I have the best.
My words of wisdom? Live life the way you want to live it because it doesn’t matter what anyone else wants for you or what they push you to do, in the end you’ll be the one living it and you’ll be the one dealing with consequences; no one else. It’s your life!
We’re always loving the words of wisdom from our Hmoodle Beauties. “Live life the way you want to live it…It’s your Life.” You couldn’t have begin or end it any better than that! In the end, it’s how you live your life because no one is going to live it but yourself. Parents lecture you because they care for you, but once you find your path to be a person that is honest and respectful regardless of how you spent it in the beginning making the mistakes to get you there, it’s still your life. Life’s too short, make the best of it!
We want to wish you the best of luck in your journey in finding what you’ve said you’re not sure yet, but you’re, “working on something bigger and better.” We hope to see you accomplish that to fruition! So best of luck from the Hmoodle crew.