Kumi Taguchi, the Australian presenter of ABC’s Instagram Live show “Cuppa with Kumi,” opened up about her fears of racism amid COVID-19 and her “lowest point” during the pandemic.
The 45-year-old host HuffPost Australia
on Monday that “honesty and vulnerability”
were the driving reasons that pushed her to upload a selfie of herself crying last week.
“I have always had these kind of mixed feelings about the perfect world we tend to emulate on social media,” Taguchi told the publication. “And I thought, well I think this is a time that honesty and vulnerability should be shown and hopefully it encourages other people to feel like what they’re feeling is normal or ok.”
“That’s probably my lowest point in this whole change of life,” Taguchi added. “I’m doing better and I think it was a build up [of emotions].”
While Taguchi understood the logic of why the government placed social distancing measures and travel bans, she said it was pushing away the emotions that led to her “sobbing” in the photo.
“Normal things I used to kind of get semi-ok pleasure from, everything was becoming a stress,” she said. “Since then I feel calmer because I’ve been able to say my truth if that makes sense. I think so much stress comes from feeling you can’t say what’s going on.”
Even though she has not experienced it first hand, Taguchi also expressed her fears about the growing amount of racism related to the coronavirus.
“A couple of weeks ago I started thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, will I get targeted?’ I had anxiety about how I looked and if I’m in the supermarket buying toilet paper, am I going to get targeted?” she said.
“I definitely had that anxiety, especially if I had a face mask on. I felt like I could be the target of something.”
“I’ve got to say, I think it would be quite frightening for people and then it doesn’t help that ‘leadership’ in the US stirs up this rhetoric of the Chinese virus and stuff like that,” Taguchi said.
“My rational brain knows that racism is hopefully a small section of society and we can say ignorance or all that kind of stuff,” she said.
“But the emotional side of it is still as a 44 year old – and I’m quite comfortable in my skin and confident in who I am – there will still be situations where I just go, ‘I wonder if I would be treated this way if I wasn’t Asian-looking or if I was white?’”
“Cuppa With Kumi” will premiere on Monday on ABC’s social media account.