Posted on: February 7, 2022 Posted by: Ariel Tattum Comments: 0

In between designer outfits, fashion shows and celebrity cameos, you see images and videos of her kids. Three young children with colorful outfits, big personalities and lots of love surrounding them are the highlights of her Instagram.

Which makes sense in the life of fashion editor turned Instagram fashion partnerships director and children’s book author Eva Chen. Family is important to Chen, as evidenced by the snapshots of Ren, 7, Tao, 5, and newborn River, whom she shares with husband Tom Bannister, and of her parents smiling and laughing alongside their grandkids.

Families are the connective tissue that makes people who they are, shaping each other through generational constellations, these bright clusters that provide a guiding light for the next era. Chen explores that through the eyes of Mei, the young girl learning to love herself at the center of “I Am Golden” (Feiwel & Friends, 40 pp., out Tuesday). Chen emphasizes that who you are, and where you come from is something not just to be tolerated but celebrated and showcased.

"I Am Golden," written by Eva Chen and illustrated by Sophie Diao, tells Mei's story of finding self-acceptance.

“People talk a lot about self-acceptance and self-awareness. And I always felt like for kids that was such a neutral term, when really what we want kids to do is celebrate self-love and celebrate who they are,” Chen says.

Chen wants the joyfulness to leap off the pages which feature beautiful illustrations by Sophie Diao depicting Mei on her journey. She points to a moment where Mei is riding on a dragon “feeling uplifted and that she’s leaving behind all of that negativity to embrace who she is.”

There’s a similar bright sense of joy in Chen’s previous books, including “Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes,” “A Is for Awesome!” and “Roxy the Last Unisaurus Rex,” but there’s a thoughtfulness in its reflections on self-worth that sets “Golden” apart.

Eva Chen attends the 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards at The Grill Room on Nov. 10, 2021, in New York City.

Self-love is a timely message, specifically for Asian American communities across the country who have been profiled, harassed and killed in higher numbers as COVID-19 has raged for two years. For Chen, like for many others, the start of the pandemic was a major turning point.

“The first time I heard the term ‘China virus’ and just the dread that I felt trickling over me, I was like, ‘Oh God, this is not going to be good.’ And sure enough, within a few weeks there were some hate crimes against Asian elders in New York and there were a lot on the West Coast,” she says. 


https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/books/2022/02/01/eva-chen-celebrates-heritage-i-am-golden-author-childrens-book/9158871002/