Yellow Fever is a serious matter.
Yellow Fever is a serious matter.
I never really imagined reading a document about a childhood memory that everyone and their mothers seemed to adore. That is the Hello Kitty of course. After reading the document, I don’t even know how to address Hello Kitty. I grew out of the Hello Kitty phase late elementary school, but I definitely still adore the other characters that are part of the Sanrio collection. One of the interesting things I read in the article is how Sanrio had created another cat figure that actually walks on all fours and looks more of a cat than Hello Kitty herself. They essentially are the same things, except Hello Kitty is well more of a thing than a cat.
Anyways, I also thought it was interesting with the dissection of coming up with the name Sanrio. In class today we went over all the many ways that Hello Kitty has globalized herself, and it is quite frightening. Professor brought up some really good points about why marketing her on guns is a questionable tactic. What are the companies really trying to impose on their customers? Most of the things that were shown, I haven’t really seen before, but after the reading I wouldn’t be surprised to find Hello Kitty grass. I know that I will never really be able to look at Hello Kitty the same especially after reading about that pink wink.
I had the pleasure of watching this last Dr. Ken episode with my sister and we laughed at the similarities that we’ve dealt with at thanksgiving. The main feud of this episode was the split between Allison’s Japanese culture and Ken’s Korean culture. It all started with Molly’s Japanese tattoo being discovered, and the fact that it was a Japanese tattoo that bothered Ken. This was something my sister and I laugh at because our mom would have reacted the same way. Anyways, it soon escalated to a culture argument between the two parents, and who was implementing their culture better.
Side note, I would like to point out how Ken’s boss intruded on his Thanksgiving dinner, almost like how the pilgrims came over unannounced and took what they could from the Native Americans. Also, in the episode, they kept using the term faded Asian, or something of that sort, and I felt that it had the same context as white-washed. I know for a fact that I grew up white-washed in my culture. I don’t speak Tagalog nor do I know much about the Filipino traditions. But what I do know is I can’t learn all about my culture in one day. And I have taken the initiative to slowly learn more about my Filipino culture by joining clubs. At the end of the episode, Ken has a small heart to heart talk with his father and goes to fix Thanksgiving dinner. I think this was a great episode to show the differences in cultures and how they can act together as one instead of two separate entities.
It’s not everyday you get to talk about porn in class. Unless you’ve taken Human Sexuality with the Baldwins, then that is a different story. Though what you don’t learn in that class is how Asian women are portrayed in porn. Porn is an industry made by males for male pleasure. This provides an even harder time for women to seek agency. In the porn industry, Asian women are portrayed almost as if the same on the big screen. Asian women are hyper sexualized along with not even being truly portrayed as Asian. Most of the porn was played through yellow face and had certain distinctions that was supposed to deem the women as Asian. These characteristics were along the lines of chopsticks in the hair, the mysterious fan, the gong sound, and accentuated Asian eyes. But of course we are all too familiar with this, as we see it in the movies like Charlie’s Angels with Lucy Liu. The extreme exoticism with Asian women is still seen even in the porn industry. The funny thing is, the main focus of these stag films were not the Asian woman’s genitals, but what makes up this Asian woman. So how do we go about solving this exoticism problem?
Today was another video viewing, which to my surprise, showed many of the Asian YouTubers I used to watch. Ono and Pham’s chapters meshed well with the video that we had watched today. In the chapters, the discussions about the use of an independent platform to present their talents is key to their successes.
The differences between an independent platform and mainstream platform are who is presenting, what audience they are performing to and why the category even exists. Independent representation usually meant that the artist themselves, or with the help of some friends, had to deal with their own advertising of themselves. Mainstream is when you are able to sell yourself to a higher power that manages your fame, at the cost of you losing your originality and money of course. The audience also differs, Hollywood usually appeals to the white population while independents appeal to everyone and anyone who is willing to watch. Lastly, the category of being an independent would not have even existed if Asians had equal or better representation on major mainstream platforms.
One of the point’s in the book that really resonated with me was that independent media exists because of a shared universal struggle in politics and culture. Before this course I was really unaware to how much Asian Americans were not represented in the media. But, I was an avid YouTube viewer and most of the people I watched were Asians such as Nigahiga, Kevjumba, and Wong Fu Productions. And the reason why I liked watching these YouTubers were because I could relate to them and it felt like they were approachable. Even with millions and millions of views, they way they each connected with their fans just truly showed that they were just like us. Which is why having these figures in the media are crucial because before mainstream platforms, they already have a strong fan base. So just like in the documentary, if you bring one of these public figures onto the big screens, you will get millions of more viewers because of their appeal from their fans.
My meme features Eugene Lee Yang who is an actor, producer, and editor for Buzzfeed videos. You know, those popular videos that are sometimes purely comedic and other times political? Many Asians in the media gain attention in their acting because of the way they play up their stereotypes. Eugene’s video on racial micro aggressions goes to show what it feels like to be misrepresented.
I was very impressed with this episode in how they talked about Asian American agency on live television. Of course, with bringing up subjects like that, the episode must be balanced out with a type of humor. That humor consisted of Eddie’s group of friends encountering that awkward stage in life where girls can actually become girlfriends yet the whole process being foreign. Anyways, Louis had an amazing opportunity to be interviewed on a daily morning show. When he goes to appear, a majority of the time was spent laughing at his impressions instead of talking about his successes. At home, Jessica lectures Louis about the importance of airtime with Asians and how he needs to be a better representation instead of a Long Duk Dong. Now I couldn’t help but smile like a goober this entire time because 1.) this is exactly what we need on TV and 2.) this is also exactly what we have been talking about in class. The need for positive representation.
In the episode, the news anchors had the time of their lives laughing at Louis’ impression but when it came to talking politics, everything became uncomfortable and they went straight to commercials. This episode brings out conversations of how Asian Americans are represented. I think it’s also very important to understand when the appropriate time is to talk about these things or how it is presented. Jessica did continue to lecture him at home for being too serious on TV the second time, which led Louis to say he just can’t do everything. That reminded me today of someone’s presentation on a comedian who said he just wants to be a person who tells funny joke that just happens to be Chinese instead of being a Chinese comedian. So overall, this was a wonderful episode that covers the Asian struggles on being represented fairly on the media and I hope there are more episodes like this one.