You are currently browsing posts tagged with Role Models
One of the hard things about growing up Asian in this country is finding some semblance of yourself reflected in pop culture. I think things may have gotten better, but how much? It still seems like Asian kids today end up settling for “whoever’s Asian” on TV or in the movies or in a band rather than that totally rad person who seems like them–and who also happens to be Asian–who’s on TV or in the movies or in a band.
When I was a kid, pop culture role model pickings were slim. In fact, I had to improvise a little when it came to my choices. Probably the earliest role model I can remember having was–are you ready for this?–Marie Osmond, in doll form:
Alright, alright. You can stop laughing now. But seriously. There was a little part of me that believed–wanted to believe anyway–that Marie Osmond in doll form was Asian. (I had enough sense to know that Marie Osmond IRL wasn’t, in fact, Asian.) With her jet black hair, she was certainly more Asian than my Barbie. And instead of just standing around on her tiptoes all day long, she also rocked the mic! Even as a young girl, I understood the value of cool points.
Jump ahead a few years, a few long, sad, dry-spell years of having no one to look up to Continue reading Illustrated Comic Shows Why Claudia Kishi Was *The* 90′s Role Model For Asian American Girls
Filed under: Asian American Girls, Asian American Role Models, Baby-sitters Club, Barbie Dolls, Claudia Kishi, Feeling Invisible, Karate Kid II, Marie Osmond, Pop Culture Role Models, Representation, Role Models, Tamlyn Tomita, Teen Role Models, The Wonder Years, Winnie Cooper
We know there’s more-a of Kimora than this ad for her new fragrance, Dare Me, would have you believe.
Should we have offered Baby Phat our own Photoshop services? (We would have at least attempted to get her head on straight.)
Or should Kimora continue to be, as she has said, “the type of woman to embrace [her] curves“–instead of the kind who cultivates a commercial image with somebody else’s lanky legs?
[via New York Magazine]
Filed under: Baby Phat, Being Real, Body Dysmorphia, Body Image, Dare Me, Fucked Up Shit, I Call Bullshit, In This Case, Kimora Lee, Kimora Lee New Fragrance, Lovely Curves, Loving Your Body, Photoshop, Photoshop Disasters, Role Models, Unfortunate Ads, We Much Prefer Truth To Dare
Hey look, a photo of Miley Cyrus doing something more offensive than giving the chink-eye:
Okay, not really. But her half-hearted, pedobait pole-dancing at last night’s Teen Choice Awards is definitely up there. Straddling a pole at 16 to entertain an audience of children? This chick has parents, right?
The Wired blog GeekDad posted the “10 Best Geek Characters in Mainstream Movies” today, and nary a one was Asian. I wish that had been an oversight, but, with the exception of Harold and Kumar, I can’t think of other great Asian geek-movie characters, which is weird, because, like, we own that shit. The Wired post also brings up the old hairsplitty topic of Geeks v. Nerds and goes a long way toward explaining why there aren’t Asian characters on this list–Asian outcasts and outsiders in movies tend to be nerds, not geeks. And if they’re not nerds or geeks, they’re villains, gangsters, or badasses.
Earlier this year, David Brooks wrote a Times op-ed piece about the evolution (and rise) of the geek in our culture, and he described the difference between a geek and a nerd this way:
Among adults, the words “geek” and “nerd” exchanged status positions. A nerd was still socially tainted, but geekdom acquired its own cool counterculture. A geek possessed a certain passion for specialized knowledge, but also a high degree of cultural awareness and poise that a nerd lacked.
A way to paraphrase what Brooks wrote? A GEEK GETS LAID. Most of the characters on Wired‘s list–which includes Indiana Jones and John Cusack’s boombox-toting Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything–end up getting the girl (or boy, in one instance). Their geeky attributes simply add another top note to their existing man-musk. Geeks are really studs in sheep’s clothing. Nerds, meanwhile, are loser virgins with squeaky, pre-pubescent voices and undescended testicles. They often live with their mothers. They not only pick their noses but, one suspects, they also eat their boogers. And they do not know how to talk to their desired sex, much less how to save them from the evil clutches of Nazis, controlling fathers, or oppressive high school pecking-orders.
Often, talk of Asian-American “identity” conflates with the representations of us in pop culture. The Asian Nerd character is such a sore subject, in part because what we really want is to be geeks, on the big screen and in our little lives. And how do we do that? If we look at the few good Asian geek-characters out there, this is the takeaway: smoke a bowl. Don’t go to med school, but have the grades to get in. Believe in unicorns. And, of course, fuck. Fuck a lot.
The Cowboys lost yesterday to the Redskins, putting a major damper on all the too-early-in-the-season-Super-Bowl-chatter. In related news, I learned this week that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Barbie only comes in three flavors: vanilla (“Caucasian”), chocolate (“African-American”), and coffee (“Hispanic”). Is the first Cowboys loss of the season and this doll-item related? Probably not. (Dallas’ bullshit-secondary is the more likely culprit.)
But what the F is up with that, Big D? What about all those little Asian girls who want to grow up to be fake-breasted, skimpy outfit-wearing, dirty dancing-hobags, risking disownment and alienasian from their families? Who will they model themselves after?
Barack Obama might be the first Asian-American president. Michelle Malkin responds by claiming she’s black. Robert Downey, Jr. is a white actor playing a white actor playing a black character in the soon-to-be-released comedy Tropic Thunder. He’s either in blackface, post-blackface, or wearing some kind of meta-blackface. Vanessa Hudgens–who is Chinese, Filipina, Latina, Irish, and Native American–tells Teen Vogue that she loves that her High School Musical character Gabriella is “Hispanic” because “it’s nice to be able to stand up for people who don’t have someone to look up to very often.” To paraphrase our Pinaysian Intern Jasmine, guess her Chinese, Filipina, and Native American fans are SOL when it comes to role models. Wait, Vanessa Hudgens is a role model??
In other news, I just looked in the mirror, and I’M STILL ASIAN. Phew.
Naomi Campbell told London’s Daily Mirror this week that she’s “not a bad person,” and all the negative press following her recent air-rage incident “hurts.”
“When people say all these negative things about me, I ignore them…I’m blessed to be able to do charitable work and good things but no one focuses on that because I don’t throw it in people’s faces. That’s why they focus on the negatives.”
As a matter of fact, Naomi is currently in Africa doing just that: good works that NO ONE is focusing on. Here she is in Abuja, Nigeria with fellow Blasian model Tyson Beckford at the Africa Rising concert (where Jay-Z and Rihanna performed), which raises global awareness of African issues:
And here’s another photo of Naomi in Abuja, helping to promote a green initiative:
And here, again, is Naomi quietly going about her charity work in Lagos at a children’s hospital:
And…one last photo! Here’s me playing the world’s smallest violin for Naomi:
My three older sisters are an Asian parent’s wet dream. All three went to medical school; two went on to become physicians and one dropped out (black sheep?) to become a lawyer (nope, just a sheep). All three have groomed dogs and house deeds and entertainment systems and cars with navigation systems. All three have board and bar certifications neatly framed in mahogany in their clean offices. They pay their taxes on time. One of my sisters accidentally overpays her credit cards. They’re great. Just great.
And then there’s me. The littlest sibling, the one with the English degree, the one everyone is hoping will stop writing and start studying for the bar already. I am the Lost Baby Sis, which is a post that by now I’ve grown used to and am actually rather proud of.
The Lost Baby Sis in me ached a little today when I saw this clip of Ali Lohan (aka Lohan Jr. aka The Lohan With the Less Wonderful Genes aka Perfect For Reality TV aka 14 Going On 40 aka Never Heard of Her) on David Letterman touting the new reality show she stars in with Mother-of-the-Year Dina:
In response I would love to tell her one very important observation:
GIRL, YOU DON’T WANT TO BE.
It didn’t take long for all kinds of celebutards to weigh in on the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair photo “controversy.” Everyone from Rosie O’Donnell to those rocket scientists on The Hills to DISGRASIAN’s favorite role model, Tila Tequila, had something to say on the matter.
Tila’s pearl necklace of wisdom is as follows:
“I think it’s hot. When I was 15, I was doing the same thing except I bared it all…”
Hear that, Miley? Feel better after that pep-up speech? We thought you would.
Jeez Louise, Mandy Moore. Your coif looks like a broke-ass weave. That leopard print makes you look like a drag queen. That little DJ you’re toting around… looks worried that you’re going to eat him. And you’re at disgrestaurant Mr. Chow. Who the hell are you taking fashion/lifestyle cues from??
I mean, we could speculate:
…but frankly, we’re not down with this. Maybe you envision this as your stand for “big girl solidarity,” but we believe that going down this path will only doom you to a lifetime of looking like a displaced tranny in wild prints. What next, public displays of violence?? Might we suggest other interesting role models, like… well, not Kimora?