Post 1: Who Do You Think You Are? – Tammy Lo

Blonde hair, blue eyes, slim body, and tallness – this is what I grew up watching on television, and admired as the beauty standard. I still hear my mother repeatedly say, as Caucasian male or female appears on the television screen, “They are extremely handsome and beautiful with perfect features and zero flaws.” She never once told me I was beautiful, she only picked out my flaws. I am a super-americanized Chinese-American. I can’t comprehend all aspects of my Chinese culture, but I can at least use chopsticks and speak (terrible) Cantonese. What I mean by “americanized” is what appears to be traditionally American, which most influences derived from other parts of the world. Media is definitely influential, especially because it is a square frame (T.V., computer, phones, print, etc.) where a specific forced image is projected. We can’t see behind the scenes of editing and all stages of production that make something artificially flawless or exaggerated.

I’m very disappointed that there are few Asian actors because of the limitations in the media industry. Asians would be primarily inclined to play stereotypical roles of the submissive/dragon lady, genius/nerd, kung fu master, bad driver, and or ninja. They can’t just play a man or a woman without stereotypes. I still love media – I love watching everything that comes on television and listening to all genres of music. It is the media that convinced the public that Asians are geniuses – a prime example is shown in the 1987 cover issue of the Time magazine. As I’m older and wiser, I critique and pay attention to subliminal messages, rather than believing in everything I hear and see when I was young and naive.

This a link about the Asian character, Glenn in The Walking Dead. It talks about the anti-Asian stereotyping scene between Merle and Daryl:

http://thenerdsofcolor.org/2013/10/11/glenn-of-the-walking-dead-is-the-best-response-to-anti-asian-stereotyping-on-television/

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