Creating Complexity

Chapter 9 of the Kent Ono text revolved around the new media practices, the internet, that Asian Americans have utilized in “resisting dominant media representations” and “redefining Asian American identity.” The internet is where Asian Americans can represent themselves and showcase who they are because they cannot in the other dominant forms due to how they lack opportunities in those realms to be represented. Thus, to still have visibility they go to social media. Through Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so and so forth, Asian Americans are taking control of the images made by those in power and showing that they are more than their stereotypes.

I wanted to connect this chapter back to our “unsung hero” projects that we just wrapped up. Our projects demonstrated Asian Americans who deserved recognition but could not attain the recognition they deserved due to the fact that they were Asian American. These Asian Americans showcased who they were through this social media medium. With that, not only showcasing who they are, but also offering “possibilities for activism.” Just by making these accounts and spreading the messages that they are spreading, they are being activists. They are forming new “identities” and “representations” that again, are not typically seen in the dominant media; and that is powerful because they are challenging a structure that completely invalidates their lives and mere existence in the media.

A couple of examples of such Asian Americans that are engaging in this activism are AngryAsianMan and KimChiMamas. These websites bring visibility to issues that are not readily seen and much less discussed in dominant media. They dismantle certain images of Asian Americans by providing real stories of folks who are actually, real.

Asian Americans simply showcasing their regular lives, is creating change. By showing real stories of their real lives, they are providing complexity to stereotypes of Asian Americans that lack it. And through new forms of media, they are providing avenues in which other Asian Americans can come together and show that they are not what they are portrayed to be in the media, and are much much more than those images.

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