A screenshot from the "Asian Girlz" video...which needs no introduction.
Before you go and hate me, hear me out first.As an Asian American woman, I was first alerted to this video because it got a big rise out of the Asian American Greek system. People were legitimately p*ssed. To be honest the only time I remember being legitimately offended was post creamy-yellow thighs, the "slanted eyes" part, I distinctly remember thinking "HEY!". But soon after, I didn't really think they we're being serious. It was so over the top and unrealistic, it was more satirical than anything. On top of that, if you catch the part at the end about Arcadia, Tasty Garden etc. these aren't things that someone who didn't have ties within the Asian community would be familiar with. This makes even more sense now learning they have a tattoo studio set up in Arcadia. If you're not familiar with Arcadia, Alhambra etc they're a part of 626. When you go there its like going back in time, and the stores with Asian signs far outnumber the Starbucks and Targets. I didn't, and still don't think anyone that savvy was being really serious. Do I understand people being offended? Is it sexist and racist? Sure. But I'm not really offended. Because I honestly took it as a joke. Maybe a poorly thought out one (I could have seen this coming), but not even a ill-intent one.
Personally, I felt like a lot of the men were even more upset than the women. Which is ironic because a good amount of Youtube videos Asian guys make have sexy Asian girls in them. Here's a truth 90% (made up statistic) of Asian guys I know are legitimately bothered when other races marry or date Asian girls- especially the ones who are a "catch". I have friends that have said they'd never date an Asian girl if she ever dated outside of Asians. Hell, we even have socioeconomic hierarchies within the Asian community itself. It was interesting to me to see the uproar of anger stirred in my own male acquaintances and that they felt compelled to come to the plight of us poor, hapless Asian women.
These are the same men, btw, who all "like" sexy Asian girl fan pages on Facebook and share Melanie Iglesias flip books the second a new one gets released. How ironic that they're upset at a video, with these Caucasian guys "objectifying" their women and "sisters" when they do the same thing all the time- albeit maybe not like this. As a culture we like to shame our women in to being compliant, which a lot of times means marrying a "good" Asian boy (btw, some of the sweetest and most loving guys I know are Caucasion men married to my Asian friends). This reminds me of the "small penis" phobia. Timothy de la ghetto once commented on this, the Asian man's fear of the "small penis" stereotype. You can watch that video here, to this day it still makes me laugh. In it he says, "this idea of a small penis joke is like our kryptonite", and I think the same goes to other races objectifying and dating "their" women.
Levy Tran- probably most well known for her import model career and of course, tattoos.
That being said, I'm not disappointed in Levy Tran either. If anything I'm bemused by how many messages I have seen from Asian men saying they've "lost all respect" for her for "taking Asian women back 50 years".
I think it was a business move for her. Why would you be in this video unless you're 1. Getting paid well and/or 2. It'd be good publicity. She's also a part of Guy Code, and pretty big in the import scene so she's no stranger to being popular for being sexy. I'm pretty sure she dances regularly as a go go dancer in similar style outfits, and now that she's done so in a video being the sexual object for *gasp* Caucasion men suddenly this is a problem. She's capitalized for years on her body and being sexy, this isn't anything new. And I think that's fine, because you know what? I think we also need more sexy Asian girls that own their bodies and sexuality. And I appreciate that she doesn't feel the need to conform to today's limiting ideas of Asian beauty. But if you want to find a girl who "lifts Asian women" from the catapults of "being objectified", you probably shouldn't be looking towards an import model. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the import model scene, but it normally consists of girls (overwhelmingly Asian) scantily clad spread eagled over a car. I never understood that part personally.
Don't believe me? Here's a screen shot of what you'd get if you searched, "import models".
But its not just a problem with Asian women.Now to me, this isn't an Asian problem either, it's a female problem. Men are rewarded for being successful, women are rewarded for being beautiful. Don't believe me? How many "sexy" girls can you think of? How many can you think of that became famous for actually bringing something to the table? Not so many. Here's an example: as many of you know, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg married a Chinese-American (Cantonese woop woop!) woman. This girl is a brilliant, a ivy league grad and UCSF educated doctor. You know what made headlines when they got married? How small her ring was, and how cheap it was. Like a Harvard-educated UCSF med school grad really needs a man to buy her something nice. And when you Google her name, "ugly" pops up as a prompted query because its so frequently searched. Despicable. It's sad to me that such an accomplished woman was brought down to that level by the media, of needing to be validated by a big ring and a pompous wedding.
But I'd be lying if I said I didn't follow some sexy girls myself (I used to be a big Steph Ly fan), and I will be the first one to admit this is especially ironic coming from someone who makes videos on Youtube talking about things like skin care and makeup. If you want a really inspiring woman to follow, I highly recommend Clara Shih.
But here is the real issue at hand-
If we can't celebrate female success within our own community, how can we expect other races to do the same?To be fair, a handful of my female friends are sincerely offended, and I think they have the right to be and I respect how they feel. But I thought this was a good opportunity to bring the hypocrisy of the whole thing to light. How many of us, within the Asian community celebrate women for their achievements? How many of these angry and upset people have a lengthy list of successful Asian women in their head? Who didn't become popular as a result of their appearance? Watching all the anger surrounding this video reminds me of Alexandra Wallace 2.0.
Asians (especially in social media) like to start these cyber witch hunts of people who offend us, but it fails to 1) actually bring any of us closer together 2) actually change or alter any negative stereotypes people may legitimately have. Instead everyone wastes their time and effort on people who legitimately DGAF (Alexandra Wallace) or people who (to me) were clearly not being serious. Personally I think these online witch hunts are more akin to cyber bullying than they are a championship of the Asian race. Respect is earned, not given. Being mean, angry and sometimes even violent doesn't make anyone take you any more seriously.
Break the mold with your actions and love, not with anger and malice.
Just my 2 cents.
Feel free to (respectfully) disagree below, I know I can't speak for everyone.Disclaimer: I've seen some psychiatrists saying this kind of stuff encourages things like violence towards Asian women, and as someone who has been repeatedly grabbed and groped at a lot of her life, I humbly disagree. They say the same thing about video game consumption, and if you look at the stats, countries with the highest video game consumption are actually, the safest. I don't think this video had ill intent and its not like they're pretending to hurt / are actually being violent with her, but again, that's only my opinion.
So were you guys upset? Or did you take it as a joke? I'd love to know.