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British Company Trying To Convince Not-Hairy Chinese Women They’re Actually Hairy So They’ll Buy Stuff

October 26th, 2012 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I can still remember that day in sixth grade P.E. when a classmate casually pointed out to me that I had leg hair–a fact I hadn’t noticed before–while every other girl in gym class grades sixth through eighth did not, due to their early induction into some Pre-Adolescent Depilation Illuminati group that no one, up to that point, had bothered to clue the immigrants’ kid in on.

While this sent me into a sudden shame spiral from which I’ve never quite recovered, my near-hairless mother failed to grasp the epicness of the knowledge that had just been dropped on me, and refused to buy me a razor.

“If you shave, the hair will only grow back thicker,” she said. “Besides, Chinese girls don’t have leg hair.”

Fortuitously, a year after that, my older brother started growing peach fuzz on his face, and when he got a razor, I got one to steal. After he cut his face a couple times on its dullness, he figured out what was happening and reported me to my parents, and I was finally given a razor of my own, mostly to prevent a sibling war.

I was reminded of all of this when I read that a British personal-care products company, Reckitt Benckiser Group, has been aggressively marketing hair-removal products to Chinese women by doing exactly what my gym classmate did to me all those years ago–appealing to their sense of shame. Businessweek reports that when Reckitt Benckiser first introduced the hair-removal product “Veet” to China in 2005, sales were slow because most Chinese women “don’t have much body hair, and those who do didn’t worry about it.” So Reckitt Benckiser began constructing a marketing plan to create a need for their product by…creating the worry. Aditya Sehgal, who heads up the company in China, describes their marketing strategy this way: Continue reading British Company Trying To Convince Not-Hairy Chinese Women They’re Actually Hairy So They’ll Buy Stuff

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The End of July Is Only The Beginning Of Mental Health Awareness

July 31st, 2012 | 8 comments | Posted by Jen

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Across the board among minority groups in the US, stigmas surrounding mental health and treatment are much greater than they are for whites. So while July is almost over, I hope this is only the beginning of the Asian American community and other minority communities championing a shame-free discussion about our mental health.

To kick off this month, my friend, Nigerian American poet and mental health advocate Bassey Ikpi, who started The Siwe Project to raise awareness of mental health issues in the African diaspora, declared July 2 “No Shame Day.” No Shame Day was designed to encourage people to share their stories and struggles with mental illness openly via social media. I’ve talked about my depression in the past–though upon reflection, not nearly enough given how much I care about destigmatizing mental illness–so I of course had to participate. (Plus, I want to be more like Bassey when I grow up. You would too if you knew her.)

It occurred to me, though, as I was participating in No Shame Day, how much shame still colors my view and my experience of my own depression, much as I’ve tried to rid myself of it. Even after 15 years of treatment. Even after 15 years of being honest and open about it with my family, my friends, NPR listeners even, and, most importantly, myself. I’m a depressive? I live with depression? I suffer from depression? I struggle with depression? Sometimes the hardest part was simply finding the right shorthand with which to describe it when I brought it up, which was not infrequently.

And yet, for all the time I’ve spent trying to own it, I still catch myself trying to disown it, too. I only ever do this with one person–myself. But man, do I try. When I feel better, I like to pretend that depressed person never existed. Ding dong, the witch is dead. I think I’ve eulogized her at least a dozen times. When I start to feel worse, I immediately go for the quick fix. Do I need more sleep? Do I need more exercise? Should I drink less coffee? More coffee? Do I need to start yoga again? Should I eat more kale? Should I eat more cake? All perfectly valid questions, but a defensive smoke screen I put up nevertheless in order to not ask the question I really need to be asking myself: am I depressed (again)?

Continue reading The End of July Is Only The Beginning Of Mental Health Awareness

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Later, Lakers

May 11th, 2011 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

Today, the great Phil Jackson announced that he has completed his final season at the helm of the Lakers. In a press conference held so that the man who has won 2 NBA championships as a player and 11 as a coach could properly bid farewell to LA fakers fans, he talked about pursuing adventures outside the NBA:

“That’s always something to get over. But one of the things I watch in my days with my coaches was there was a point, and I’m about at that point, where you either move on or stay in it, you never break away from it and it becomes the rest of your life. I always kind of thought that I’d like to do something beyond just the basketball coaching.”

For those of you how don’t speak bball, I offer you this translasian:

“I am so EFFIN SICK of sneaker squeak and 7-foot-tall children and buzzers and fluorescent lights. I’m tall. I’m rich. I rule. Time to kick it in Lake Cuomo with Clooney, know what I mean?”

He also talked briefly about his less-than-ideal swan song with the team, a second-round shutout by the Dallas Mavs:

“I’m always relieved when a season’s over,” he said. “This team just had an ability to get in a funk and not be able to resurge and find a common thread and turn things around. I never really had a team like that that couldn’t make adjustments and learn from mistakes.”

TRANSLASIAN:

“We got SWEPT by DALLAS, dude. WT fuckin F! I can’t deal with these dicks or this kind of shame ever again.”

[ESPN: No plans to return for Phil Jackson]

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Did Somebody Mention Super Bowl XLV?

January 24th, 2011 | 10 comments | Posted by Diana

Guys, I’m gonna be honest. I’ve been a quieter football fan this year.

Err, umm, I’ve had my reasons.

But…

HOLYSHITOHMYGAWWHATTHEFUDGEISTHIS
REALLYTRUEISTHISREALLYHAPPENINGARE
WEREALLYHEREAGAINMYSTEELERSARE
GOINGTOSUPERBOWL45TOFACETHEMUTHA
FUZZINPACKERSINDALLASCOULDWEPOSSIBLY
BETHEWORLDCHAMPIONSYETAGAINOMGOMG
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!?!?!?

I am so friggin’ elated. So excited. So proud. So…

Just keep that mouth shut, Jerklisberger

…preoccupied by the shame I feel about one turd guy. UGH. How does he ruin EVERYTHING?

[National Football League: Super Bowl XLV]

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Lisa Ling: Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing

December 10th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

On the day of my grandma’s funeral, I found out that she had miscarried four times in her life. She ultimately gave birth to eight healthy, wacky, Hardass children (one of them, my mother), but the news of her failed pregnancies remained secret until after she had passed away from cancer. Afterwards, I never went to my own mom to ask what happened, how the miscarriages affected her mom. I just didn’t really feel like I should.

But since then, I have been quietly fascinated, or maybe the word is troubled, by the secrecy of miscarriage.



As you may know, Lisa Ling appeared on her TV alma mater, The View, today and shared an intimate story of disappointment from having miscarried a 2-month pregnancy six months ago. Watching the segment, I was saddened–though not surprised–to learn about her reaction to the news:

“It was so shocking for me, as someone who is a very ambitious and–in my own head–competent person to have had this happen. I just felt like such an incredible failure.

It seems like such a double curse that a woman who experiences a loss of this nature (I use the term “nature” purposefully, since in the end, she’s the woman really responsible for how the story goes) must also feel a kind of personal accountability for the bitter outcome. And the emotional corridor hardly ends there–choose from Door #2–shame, Door #3–loneliness, Door #4–fear that it will happen again. That’s a lot for one person to handle on their own. And the sad fact is, most people in this situation–like my grandma–do go it alone.

But this is why Ling decided to share her story in the public arena, an attempt to destigmatize talk of miscarriage. And, perhaps with an understanding that not all ladies have her balls of steel–or confidence to put all her cards out on the table, she and friend/partner Sophia Kim have taken this action a step further by creating a site called Secret Society Of Women. On the site, women sign in anonymously and unearth secrets: confessions of unsatisfying sex lives to shame about STDs to guilt about affairs Continue reading Lisa Ling: Some Secrets Are Worth Sharing

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Photography Exhibit

November 15th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

On Friday of last week, the day after Veterans Day, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to lift the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, even though a lower court had ruled that the law which bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military is unconstitutional. It’s estimated that 66,000 gays and lesbians–or 2 percent of all U.S. military personnel–are currently serving our country. That’s 66,000 people who are making sacrifices, sometimes leaving their loved ones, and often risking their lives for a country that continues to tell them that their sexual orientation is a problem.

L.A.-based photographer Jeff Sheng has spent two years making portraits of a few of these 66,000 good men and women. His “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” photos were on display last week at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, and they’re also available in book form.

Because of DADT, however, Sheng’s portraits are portraits where his subject’s faces have been blurred, obscured, shadowed, and hidden.

“If this person got outed, they would lose their pension, their retirement benefits — their 20 years of service in the military would be gone,” Sheng said.

By hiding their faces, his subjects assume the posture of shame. The real shame isn’t in Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Jeff Sheng’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Photography Exhibit

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Asher Brown’s Suicide Hits Home

September 30th, 2010 | 16 comments | Posted by Jen

13 year-old Asher Brown was an 8th grader at Hamilton Middle School in Cypress, TX who killed himself last Thursday because, according to his parents, he was bullied at school. The Houston Chronicle reports that Asher was bullied for being small and for not wearing designer clothes; MSNBC reports that he was also singled out for being Buddhist and having a lisp. Most of all, his stepfather David Truong and mother Amy Truong believe, Asher Brown was bullied for being gay.

The Truongs now say that they had complained to Hamilton Middle School officials repeatedly over the last 18 months about the harassment Asher experienced, but their phone calls went unanswered and their visits to the school failed to stop the bullying. The school district of which Hamilton is a part, Cy-Fair I.S.D., is denying that they ever received complaints from the Truongs, other students, or school employees.

This story hits home for me because that’s exactly where it takes place. I grew up in Cypress, TX. I graduated from the Cy-Fair school district, attending both middle and high school there. The house that I grew up in is 2.5 miles away from Hamilton Middle School, which is listed on its website as a “2010 Texas Exemplary School.” I actually would have gone to Hamilton had it existed when I was that age.

It’s been many, many years since I’ve lived in Cypress, and it has changed considerably from the small town on the outskirts of northwest Houston that it once was. The woods I used to play in behind my subdivision and the ones surrounding so many homes in the area are mostly gone, built-up with more subdivisions, box stores, gas stations, grocery stores, mini-malls, and malls.

The demographics have changed, too. Of the 1620 students enrolled at Hamilton Middle School this year, 7.3% are Asian. I’d have to dig up my old yearbooks to figure out what the percentage was back when I was in middle school, but I’m guessing it was less than half that number. I wasn’t the only Asian kid in school, but it sometimes felt that way. Back then, I was teased and bullied for being different; I was called “chink,” “gook,” “jap,” “snake eyes”; the very first high school football game I ever went to, an older kid ching-chonged me in front of hundreds of other spectators; people screamed from their cars at me and my family to “Go back to where you came from”; even my so-called “friends” told me one year at church camp that I could never date outside my race because the Bible said it was wrong. Still I feel like I had it easier than others because I was a girl–only once did someone threaten to kick my ass out by the school buses. Twice, if you count the time I voted for the Democratic candidate in a 7th grade mock election Continue reading Asher Brown’s Suicide Hits Home

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Taking A Summer Hating Break

August 2nd, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen & Diana

It’s August. It’s hot. And by golly, we’re kinda tired from bitchily bitching out all of the year’s most disgraceful sonsofbitches. That shit wears on a lady, yo!

And so, dear friends, we’re taking a one-month hating break. Call it a vacasian, call us lazian, but for the month of August you will not be reading politics and pop culture highlights through our foul-mouthed, yellow-tinted lenses of shame and disgrace. Instead, in our daily posts we’ll be sharing some stuff we actually like, and introducing y’all to a few of our pals.

And then we’re gonna hit the beach!

But fear not, haters! Come September, when all the kids are going back to school, we’ll be back to blog, shaming people with youthful fervor once more.

xoxo!
Diana and Jen

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China To End Public Shaming

July 27th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

After much public outcry, the Chinese government wants to put an end to its longstanding tradition of publicly shaming criminal suspects. Which basically means the Chinese are becoming less Chinese. Because Chinese people love them some public shaming. (I mean, Me = Chinese, DISGRASIAN = A Public Shaming Site, hello?)

The NY Times reports that the demand for the end to public shaming arose out of sympathy for prostitution suspects:

The new regulations are thought to be a response to the public outcry over a recent spate of “shame parades,” in which those suspected of being prostitutes are shackled and forced to walk in public.

Last October, the police in Henan Province took to the Internet, posting photographs of women suspected of being prostitutes. Other cities have been publishing the names and addresses of convicted sex workers and those of their clients. The most widely circulated images, taken this month in the southern city of Dongguan, included young women roped together and paraded barefoot through crowded city streets.

The police later said they were not punishing the women, only seeking their help in the pursuit of an investigation.

The public response, at least on the Internet, has tended toward outrage, with many postings expressing sympathy for the women. “Why aren’t corrupt officials dragged through the streets?” read one posting. “These women are only trying to feed themselves.”

This expressed sympathy for prostitutes is consistent with an online survey conducted last year in China which found that people considered prostitutes more trustworthy than government officials, putting them third in trustworthiness behind farmers and religious workers(!). That prostitution and the Chinese government could be construed as binary Continue reading China To End Public Shaming

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I’m With Terry Bradshaw

April 13th, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Hey Ben, you big, dumb, fucking dog. Thanks for today’s apology.

For your sake and mine, I am glad that you will not be criminally charged for rough-banging that college chick in a dingy bar bathroom. No evidence + you’re a rich celebrity athlete = BIG PHEW! At least for this season (Ed note–Ladies, don’t hate. I need football to live and this is a humor blog).

Don’t tell me what really happened. I don’t know, I don’t want to know, I don’t really care. Shut up. Just shut up.

You and I have already been through a rough patch. Remember that leetle moto accident in ’06, when you were all, “WhatEVA! I’m 24! I’ve won a Super Bowl! I don’t CARE about no stinkin’ helmet! I don’t CARE about my HEAD! I don’t CARE about some goddamn professional football team and our legacy of gritty honor, don’t care about my coveted starting QB position, don’t care about my teammates or the Rooneys, or the hopes and dreams of Diana and her family and all of the wonderful Pittsburgh fans around the world! I’m a big, dumb, fucking dog! I look like a human Clifford! Weeeee! Let’s ride!” And then you broke your stupid face? Yeah, me too. That wasn’t cool.

BUT I FORGAVE YOU. Yes, it took another Super Bowl ring for me to do it, but I still sorta did.

This is different.  Dude, you’ve been accused of sexual assault twice in the last year. I realize we’re talking about accusations, not charges, but dude: TWICE. ONE YEAR. Even your derelict former teammates Santonio and Plaxico are thinking, “Damn, homey! Slow down!”

How hard is it to think, Ben? Just think with your seemingly broken brain. Is, say, dinner Continue reading I’m With Terry Bradshaw

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Cheaters (Jesse James, et al.)

March 19th, 2010 | 8 comments | Posted by Diana

Beloved Singaporean film director Jack Neo was dubbed “Singapore’s Tiger Woods” this week after his girlfriend of two years–a 22-year-old model/actress that had played bit parts in some of his films–confronted his wife and spilled her story to tabloids. The mistress, Wendy Chong, is just five years younger than Neo’s marriage of 27 years.

For whatever reason, Neo’s wife, Irene, has decided to stay with her husband. She joined him at a press conference and tearfully made a statement about her decision, begging for forgiveness, support, and the public’s blessing. Neo had already stated, “Please give us a second chance.”

As she exited the room, Irene Neo collapsed in sobs and had to be carried out.

Meanwhile, the American Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, announced that he would be returning to professional golf to compete in the Masters. That’s big news, but not so big as the newly-posted sexts that his former porn star flame, Joslyn James (a woman who dances with the same sultry, poultry flourish as DISGRASIAN hall-of-shamer Bai Ling) has unveiled on an official promo website.

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Cheaters (Jesse James, et al.)

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Toyota

February 5th, 2010 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

Often when we award the distinctive honor of DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK, the offender’s biggest problem is that they are shameless about whatever shitty thing they’ve done.

This week, however, we recognize disgrace that has been acknowledged and loaded with a truckful of shame. As you may know, Toyota recently recalled eight auto models with brake pedal sticking problems, after a widely-publicized car crash took the lives of a CHP officer and his family.

Today, Toyota CEO of three months Akio Toyoda stood before the Japan National Press Club to deliver a most ashamed, sprawling, grief-laden public apology.

All Apologies

NYT reports:

A little more than three months after assuming his post, the president of Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, recited a long list of mea culpas to astonished reporters at the Japan National Press Club.

Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Toyota

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