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Asian Americans Marrying Other Asian Americans Is Fashionable And Stylish

April 2nd, 2012 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

Over the weekend, the front-page, top NY Times Fashion & Style story was one about the “trend” of Asian Americans marrying other Asian Americans, even while Asian Americans as a group still “trend” among the highest in intermarrying. Follow?

The reasons cited in the NYT for this so-called trend seemed to boil down to Asian Americans wanting to get back to our Asian-y Asianness. A few examples:

Continue reading Asian Americans Marrying Other Asian Americans Is Fashionable And Stylish

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Proof Positive Hipsters Will Buy Anything That Makes Them Look Like Assholes

July 29th, 2011 | 16 comments | Posted by Jen

I’ve been seeing white people wearing rice paddy hats around town lately and had begun to wonder if Los Angeles was making some sort of shift into an agrarian society?

But now I understand.

Presenting Rice Paddy Hats for Hipsters! For fifteen real dollars!

A reader tipped us off to this and wondered if this wasn’t some racist foolery and were we mad at it, but I say naw. The person who buys this hat is a victim. A victim of fashion, of no SPF being high enough to protect their melanin-challenged skin, of Dov Charney and his twisted sense of everything, and, most likely, a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome and its attendant lifelong impairment of judgment.

In other words, I pity the fool.

[American Apparel: Conical Asian Hat]

Thanks, Vincent!

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! British Vogue Isn’t Racist, It Just Thinks We All Look Alike

June 17th, 2011 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

In December, American Vogue decreed that Asian models are all the rage. Six months later, British Vogue is saying the same thing in its June 2011 issue with Alexa Chung on the cover. (See what they did there? Asians, Asians, everywhere!) This is great and all–that Asians have become the new It Bag–but in hailing the so-called “rise of the Asian model,” British Vogue incorrectly identified Liu Wen, first Asian model to walk in a Victoria’s Secret show and be a face for Estee Lauder, as her Chinese compatriot Du Juan, first Asian model to appear on the cover of French Vogue.

Jezebel pointed out that this case of Mistasian Identity was uncovered the same day that Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! British Vogue Isn’t Racist, It Just Thinks We All Look Alike

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Is There A Market For Respectful Asian Romance Novels?

January 21st, 2011 | 7 comments | Posted by Diana

A new TIME article comments on the recent boom of an unlikely literary genre: Amish romance novels.

With books that tug on heart and bonnet strings and tales characterized by “humility, plainness and no sex,” G-rated authors like Beverly Lewis (see her latest, The Secret, at right), Cindy Woodsmall and Wanda Brunstetter have quickly risen to the rank of bestseller–without so much as showing a little bit of leg.

Perhaps in a society like ours–one that has fallen south into a hole so shameless, explicit and oversexed that we recognize our pop stars by tampon string and teen moms write “abstinence advocate” on the occupation line of their tax forms–the only thing left to taboo is modesty.

This idea sends me into a small fit of inspiration. Maybe there’s room in this playing field for another new kid in town–the Repectful Asian romance novel!!! Could there be something to the kind of love that my Hardass Asian Mama always tells me about? The kind I’ve always assumed is simply too, er, storybook to actually exist in real life but clearly may make for a captivating literary tale?

You know it goes:

Girl studies hard. Boy studies hard. Girl concentrates on school, learns piano and violin very well, no room for boys. Boy and girl respect parents. Boy and Girl meet at school and do not talk because they are busy studying. She would think he is very handsome, but does not think about boys in order to concentrate on her studies. Boy and Girl finish school at the top of their respective classes and go on to become doctors. One day, after the last day of residency, Boy–now Man, walks over to Girl–now Woman. He says, “I have never met a woman with a family so honorable. And you do not want to become an old maid.” She giggles from beneath her surgical mask. In a true climax, they arrange a meeting with both sets of parents to discuss a proper marriage that honors both lineages. They also promise to have many sons that will bring honor to the family.

Oh, romance! DO WE HAVE A BEST-SELLER OR WHAT? I THINK SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[TIME: Amish Romance Novels - No Bonnet Rippers]

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Thanks, Micah!

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More Fodder For Forever 21 Haters

July 19th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Forever 21 Haters! Here’s more fuel for your Forever fire: The billion dollar clothing megachain for the youngs has recently debuted a maternity line, which has the company–accused in the past of sweatshop work conditions and stealing other people’s designs–facing new charges of encouraging TEEN PREGNANCY.

It’s a well-known fact that Forever 21′s owners, the Chang family, are hardcore Christians, so the whole teen pregnancy angle seems to clash with the John 3:16 message printed on the bottom of every Forever 21 bag.

Or does it? Because where I grew up, the girls who were the most religious and who brought their Bibles to school in floral covers trimmed in lace and spent their Saturday nights proselytizing at the mall were also the girls who got finger-banged in the church choir loft and lost their virginity first and got pregnant out of wedlock.

So, maybe this is a match made in, er, heaven?

[Forever 21: Introducing Love 21 Maternity]
[HuffPo: Forever 21 Maternity Line Launches In States With High Teen Pregnancy]

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Never Say Fever

January 23rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Intern Jasmine tells me that, according to some highly reliable sources, the First Lady has infected our favorite tarty celebrities with an epidemic of YELLOW FEVER!!!

Feeling Feverish

And here I thought the only people at risk were skinny indie rock guys, media moguls, ballers, icky MySpace sploogers, DISGRASIAN stalkers, and Nic Cage.

Hunh.

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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The Ethnically Unambiguous Are So Last Season

September 25th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen


For those of you unfamiliar with the makeover episode of America’s Next Top Model, know that it typically brings out tears, and I’m talking Niagara-like lacrimation. When Cycle 11′s aired last week, the person who did the most crying over her new look was Elina Ivanova, a 19 year-old originally from Ukraine, to whom the show inexplicably gave the hair of the creepy, ‘roided-out comic Carrot Top. Elina hated her fiery weave–which was heralded as a first in “Top Model History,” undoubtedly for its aggressive fugginess–but she managed to move past that and win the swimsuit photo shoot in the end anyway.

As a rule, the previous week’s winning shot goes up in the contestants’ house the following week to motivate the other girls. Elina’s photo was shown several times over the course of last night’s episode, with some flattering quotes from the judges captioning it, one of which was “ethnically ambiguous.” Tyra had told the aspiring model the week before that that was how the new hair made Elina look, and she meant it as a compliment.

The phrase “ethnically ambiguous,” however, strikes me as praise of the backhanded variety. Often, it’s really just a gentrified way of saying “not too ethnic.” Or “not too dark.” Or “not too slanty-eyed.” Or “not too flat-nosed.” In August, before New York Fashism Week, a top casting director for the shows told Models.com that one thing the fashion world is embracing right now is precisely that imprecise look:

Another thing this season is trying to discern from all the girls out there the ones that are ethnically ambiguous. Girls and boys that have faces that you can’t just put in a certain place or race or geography. I think it’s very helpful to see those types of faces in our conflicted world because you can see that we’re still evolving as humans and they are the results of people willing to go beyond the socially constructed notions around race…

And, you know, he may be onto something, in terms of “socially constructed notions around race,” but what about our socially constructed notions around beauty? Is this latest notion of beauty a reflection of globalization and the world getting smaller or is it spin on an old idea, that “ethnic” faces are beautiful so long as they still conform somewhat to Western standards of beauty (i.e. so long as they still look kinda white). If faces that can’t be put in a certain place, race, or geography are desirable right now, what about faces like mine that most certainly can? Are they yesterday’s news? Are they a bit played? Should I stow my face for a few seasons like all those smock dresses I wore in 2006 until ethnic specificity makes a comeback? This comment about ethnic ambiguity was cited as the second key fall trend; the first was “the tomboy look.” Now it’s easy to go out and get a bowl cut and boyfriend jeans and copy Katie Holmes, but it’s not quite so simple to change your ethnic makeup. And since ethnic ambiguity is considered a “trend,” that means it’s only a matter of time before people tire of it and it will be replaced by something else. What will the “ethnically ambiguous” do then? Make themselves “more ethnic”? Play up the racial drag–kink that hair, chink that make-up? Go into hiding?

I think I have some space for the ethnically ambiguous in the back of my closet when that time comes, somewhere alongside all of my pointy-toed flats, boot-cut jeans, knee-length A-line skirts, those smock dresses that made me look preggo, and that pair of purple McQueen corset boots that would look killer on a pirate moonlighting as a hooker. In the meantime, it’s here in the dark, cluttered recesses of my closet where you’ll find me and my ethnically unambiguous face, as we wait for everything old to become new again.

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