I am biracial, borne of a Taiwanese mother and American father. My features are decidedly not Caucasian, but hard to pin down to one specific category, a tiny frustration that gets at the heart of humans, because subconsciously, we all live to categorize. I deal with a host of questions pertaining to my background from “What you mixed with, girl?” to the timid “What … background are you?” I will entertain these questions, my response varying on the scale from begrudging to enthusiastic. It’s a conversation that I have a lot, and I’ve come to just suck it up and deal because people do not deal well with ambiguity. To categorize, to separate, to push things into clearly labeled boxes soothes the mind. It sets expectations, dictates how to behave, and prevents you from making statements like the ones I’m about to discuss. Keep reading »
As a kid, I was used to standing out for lots of reasons, like my “Star Wars” obsession or the black eyeliner and vampire chic that made up my high school wardrobe.
I never expected my race to be one of those reasons.
I grew up as an Asian-American among Asian-Americans, so I certainly wasn’t used to being viewed as what we English Lit majors call “the exotic other.” Even when I went to college in St. Louis, it wasn’t that much of a problem. I did go on a date with a guy who went on about his trip to Japan and the extreme “femininity” of its women, but that was about it.
It wasn’t until I moved to the UK that it kicked in: men – and it was always men – shouting “NEE HOW MA” or “KOH-NEE-CHEE-WAAAH” or even “Me love you long time!” as I walked down the street; starting conversations with “Soooo … are you from … China?” before they’d even asked my name; playing up their supposed interest in Asian culture while going on about how “feminine” and beautiful Asian women are. Keep reading »
It was a workday of minor annoyances. Everything at my temp job had gone normally, except for a snippy email from IT and a laminator malfunction that forced me to dig out a half-laminated page with a fork.
So why was I crouched in a bathroom stall, hyperventilating, sobbing, and trying not to scream?
A coworker insisted I see a doctor, who said my meltdown was probably due to anxiety and depression. I was shaken – but not entirely surprised.
I was born and raised in a majority-Asian community in Hawaii, where mental health issues are not discussed. Granted, since most of the people in that community are second- to fourth-generation Asians, there are some exceptions, although these exceptions are determined by an unspoken code. (It has to be an unspoken code. If you can’t discuss mental health, you can’t discuss discussing mental health, either.) As far as I can figure, you get a pass if you’ve tried to kill yourself or at least been hospitalized. Anything else is something that you just get over eventually. Don’t dwell on your emotions all the time. We must endure. That was the message. Keep reading »
CBS’s new fall show “Elementary” has not even premiered yet, but already nerds everywhere are boycotting it. Why would people write off this modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes story starring Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller so soon?
There are a bunch of (not very good) reasons. Keep reading »
Last month, the world imploded (for a little while anyway) when ESPN writer Anthony Frederico penned a headline about Asian-American basketball player Jeremy Lin with the phrase “chink in the armor.” He said he simply meant that Lin had screwed up his winning streak for the Knicks, but was promptly fired amid cries of racism. Federico said he didn’t realize “chink” was a racist slur, certainly didn’t intend to use it that way, and had used the phrase “chink in the armor” a bunch of other times when referring to non-Asian players messing up their game. If you missed the giant-ass kerfluffle in the media, you must have been in a coma.
This Tuesday, Jeremy Lin took Frederico out to lunch to chat. ”It went incredible,” Federico told Newsday. “The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule … He’s just a wonderful, humble person. He didn’t have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.” Keep reading »
Jeremy Lin is not just the basketball player who has launched a thousand bad “Lin” puns — and prompted a refresher course on why the word “chink” is unacceptable for an ESPN headline.
His sudden emergence in pop culture has also underscored how strangely acceptable it is in America to make make racial comments about Asians, whether they are considered complimentary (like “all Asians are good at math” or “all Asian women are hot”) or insulting (like “Asian men are not sexy.”)
The thing is, if you’ve never seen an attractive, sexy Asian man, you probably ought to check either your eyes or your prejudices — like all hot men, they’ve been all around us all along.
Keep reading »
Earlier this week, xoJane’s sports blogger Daisy Barringer wrote a piece called “Do We Really Think That ESPN Headline Was Intentionally Racist?” In it, Daisy argued that the ESPN headline writer who penned the “Chink In The Armor” headline — after the Knicks lost on Saturday night — might have made an honest mistake when he used a racial slur for Asian-Americans in a story about the player Jeremy Lin. The writer, Anthony Frederico, has since been fired from ESPN; he maintains that he didn’t know “chink” was a racist slur and the incident was completely unintentional. He also has used the phrase “chink in the armor” in other headlines before when he wasn’t referring to Asian-Americans, suggesting that’s just a phrase he likes to use in headlines. So, Daisy gives him the benefit of the doubt because she claims she didn’t know until well into her 20s that “chink” was a racist slur, either.
Keep reading »
The valuable “don’t be racist, especially not on video” lesson taught by the infamous UCLA “Asians need to learn American library manners” video has escaped at least one white chick with a webcam. The website World Star Hip Hop has posted a video of an unnamed girl who explains “how to be Asian” as a birthday present to her (Asian!) friend Jess. The girl smears mustard on her face and Scotch-tape her eyes shut to “get the look” and suggests you change your last name to “Ching Chong.” Oh dear. Bitch even splices in two seconds of porn for good measure. Congratulations, girl. You’re even more of an embarrassment to humanity than the UCLA library chick. [ColorLines] Keep reading »
When I first saw Wendi Deng Murdoch spike that foam-pie-throwing comedian-protestor’s head like a volleyball, I giggled with glee. Then I sighed with relief. Here, finally, was a portrayal of an Asian woman I could embrace. No timid China doll or obedient geisha, no mere trophy wife, Deng was the tiger wife, defending her assets – er, I mean husband – with a single, long-armed swipe.
But now I’m torn. While positive, tiger wife is still a stereotype, “a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals,” in this case Asian women of a certain age, and a tidy media invention banking on the popularity of Amy Chua’s tiger mother, and perhaps the Chinese phrase, lao hu, old tiger, said of ferocious older women. A stereotype with international appeal, and yet another one I’ll have to battle sooner or later. Keep reading »
How to Tan Asian Skin
Asian skin tones look great with a little bit of bronze on top. Luckily, you don’t have to submit yourself to the sun’s UV rays just to get little color. If you’ve been too nervous to self-tan, you’re in good hands. So take the chance and do it right with our steps to tanning Asian skin at home.
Always Cleanse Your Face Daily
Use a cleanser or exfoliater in the morning to get ris of any impurities that have collected over night.
Moisturize With SPF 30
Delicate skin needs an SPF of at least 30 included in a daily moisturizer. Try to find one that works for your skin with a high SPF protection.
Gradually Decrease Your SPF Number Over Time
To tan safely, begin with a sunscreen that is, let’s say, 30, and gradually decrease it to about 15. Moving down the SPF scale in small steps is crucial to not getting pulverized by Mr. Sunshine.
Tinted Moisturizer Can Do the Trick
Tinted moisturizers usually include SPF protection, and not only cover and moisturize your face, but also provide some extra coverage. It’ not as strong as concealer, but it doesn enough to add a shimmery glow and keep you face out of harm’s way.
Consider a Bronzer That Gives You a Natural Look
Self tanning gels tend to blend nicely with the skin. Do a patch test first incase the tanning color doesn’t work with your skin tone.
Wash Your Face Each Night
Washing your face before you hit the pillow is important. At night, your makeup will have hours to lock dirt and oil into your pores.
Remember to Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Without water, the face and skin can look dried out. If your body is properly hydrated, your face will have an added glow. Keep reading »