ASIAN AMERICAN ISSUES
A New Image for Asian Men?
he original flavor stereotype of Asian men may have its inspiration in Hollywood mockery of the first wave of Chinese immigrants in the Old West. Bonanza's gimpy Hop Sing was the only recurring image of Asian men for most of TV's formative decades. For variety's sake, Hollywood racked its brain and added the coolie, the waiter and the bucktoothed enemy soldier.
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 04:58:29 PM)
Corean soccer star Ahn Jung-hwan
Fortunately, Hollywood is no longer a one-stop outlet for depictions of Asian men.
Pro sports's $30 billion estimated annual U.S. rake rivals the $35 billion pocketed by Hollywood. Driven by athletic excellence, pro sports allow no room for image jiggering to satisfy racial biases. The exploits of dashing Ahn Jung-hwan in the World Cup wasn't scripted for white American mass audiences. The straight-sets drubbing that a tall young Thai named Paradorn Srichaphan gave Andre Agassi at Wimbledon can't be left on the cutting-room floor. Ichiro's leadoff-hitting and base-stealing can't be imitated with wires and special effects.
Hi-tech and bio-tech -- whose estimated $400 billion annual revenues dwarf the media -- have spawned another set of images that clash with Hollywood's. How do Americans reconcile premiere AIDS researcher David Ho or Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang with Hollywood's Hop Sings and Long Duck Dongs?
Questions arise. Doubts are engendered.
Even modern culture -- commonly tarred by association -- isn't entirely subject to Hollywood's reflexive Asian-male undercutting. Classical music lovers are nourished by Yo-Yo Ma's gourmet cello notes and thrill to the daring rifts of Japan's iron chefs. Younger Americans surrender racial identities to a no-holds-barred universe created by manga artists. Linguists and speed readers frequently abandon Hollywood's relentless quest for the lowest common denominator in favor of films made for Asian sensibilities.
To the extent sports, culture and business enjoy a tighter relationship with reality than does Hollywood, they offer Asian men a fairer, more compelling stage. And these spheres too pack big audiences that take note of the yawning abyss that separates Hollywood's "original flavor" Asian men from the crispier, spicier variety in the real world.
Is America seeing the emergence of a new, improved Asian male image? If so, is it making life easier for Asian American men? Or just stimulating a more determined effort at undercutting?
This interactive article is closed to new input.
Discussions posted during the past year remain available for browsing.
© 1996-2013 Asian Media Group Inc
No part of the contents of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission.
WHAT YOU SAY
[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
Hey Guys dont forget about Takuma Sato in this year's Formula 1 debut... He has what it takes to beat Schumacher!
Saddly is already signed as a testdriver for next year...
but but options to race in 2004 and 2005
Hey asian brothers you all should also that Formula 1 is going to race in China in 2004 at a new track at Shanghai...
Happy New Year to all the asians worldwide from here, from my homeland Panama, Republic of Panama...
Edison Eduardo Yap
Wednesday, January 01, 2003 at 01:03:55 (PST)
No one's stopping you.
Don't forget that there are laws over here to protect you, no matter how much you look like the enemy. Ever wonder why so many Americans (obviously with too much time on their hands) were concerned with the well-being of captured Taliban?
Saturday, December 28, 2002 at 10:35:52 (PST)
New Image for the Asian Man needs to come from the Asian Woman:
I believe that how the AW perceives the AM is everything. I for one think the Asians are as good as any other race. We just need to believe that ourselves. It matters not that others considers us sub-human as long as we do not believe it. The issue with AM/Asian image I think can be completed turned around ONLY by the way AW perceive AM. If AW perceive us AM in the same light as WW perceive WM or BW perceive BM or LW perceive LM, then we AM would be in paradise, well relative to what we current enjoy anyhow. :) That's my honest belief. "It matters not how others perceive you, as long as you are confident in your own being."
Well, I believe an improved AM image will make us more desirable as a whole, and hence AW may perceive us as equals to other men one day. Such will really help the confidence of AM. Asians have grown in population in the US, professional success and athletic success. I believe it's our current state of "inferiority complex" that keeps us down; our wide-spread "colonial mentality", especially the negative perception of AM from AW. In that I am referring to the "generally accepted attitude" by AW that AM are genetically less than WM and other non-AM. The problem is within the Asian race itself. Only Asians ourselves can truly fix this. But better media imagery certainly will not hurt.
Just a thought (an AM)
Saturday, December 28, 2002 at 00:38:37 (PST)
wake up people! You guys always talk about how our image is improving here in the white mans house.
We'll never be fully accepted. We get treated according to the US relationship with the mainlands. If we were to go to war with N.Korea. Korean Americans will be in a world of s***.
Look at what they're doing to the Iranians in S.cali. over 1000 jailed. for "imigration reasons" You guys think we have it good, but wait till something happens and everything changes. I wish there was a city in Asia for relocated Asian westerners...i'd be there in a hurry!
Thursday, December 26, 2002 at 14:38:04 (PST)
In the 80's there was a movement by many women to go for bad boys. Remember photographer punching, hotel fire setting dudes in those times? And of course good guys were seen as nerds.
Now it just seems women have come to their senses and now look for kindness, stability and financial security. When you live in a culture where women value those things, Asian men will benefit greatly.
Wednesday, December 25, 2002 at 06:18:22 (PST)
What do you think about my take on things. When ANY man excels at an art form, he's gay! (skating, dancing, painting, gay instruments)
Although Rick Yune was the bad guy and died in 007, atleast he was an ass-kicking Asian character in a somewhat serious movie. Soon, we'll be the ass-kicking good guys.
Monday, December 23, 2002 at 00:10:01 (PST)
weje[u9ew, speak for yourself
Saturday, December 21, 2002 at 18:25:10 (PST)
The way you can clearly see this Hollywood disparity is to watch a film that completely lacks any type of asian american misrepresentation. Once you see a movie like this you will realize how far off hollywood truely is and perhaps will always be. The film "The Debut" made its way across america over the last couple years. It was a coming of age film about an AAM and AAF. It was about asian kids today and lacked all of hollywoods distorted AAM imagery. To actually see a young asian guy as a romantic lead, able to get an asiam female, was a beautiful thing. You just have to see this movie to know what I mean. It stars Dante Basco as the lead. He isn't 6 foot tall. He isn't a buff kung foo dude with european like features. He's just your average looking, yet handsome asian male being, portrayed as a viable leading man.
I'm sorry if you haven't seen this film. Hopefully it will soon be out on DVD.
Friday, December 20, 2002 at 01:02:12 (PST)
Hey alot of it is moneyyy. I remember when (20 years ago) I was dating a white girl and felt weird (her parents gave us a hard time) cause I didn't know of any other similar couples
but recently I've seen more. And asian men are being seriously considered as mates for white women because we are now known for being high paid professionals and good guys too.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 05:56:13 (PST)
I think Asian men have had to fight distorted perceptions about us, brought on by outsiders for years. But I believe that much of the negativity about us comes from ourselves.
I don't believe our biggest problem is looking small or weak or good at math, but not good at sports, I think our biggest problem is in how we treat ourselves and other Asians. We don't stick together and support each other. Instead we're jealous of each other. Why should I try to undermine my Asian friend because he has a beautiful white girlfriend? So she could end up in the arms of some dumbass white guy? When Asian guys fantasize about having a lot of friends, they see themselves with whites, but not me, I like to hang around with Asian guys and we're the coolest group walking around and everybody including the white guys wanna be a part of our group. You see Asian guys that think whites are better should be shot!
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 04:29:24 (PST)
This is what movie director/producer Rebecca Miller, who is the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller (of 'The Crucible' fame) and the wife of actor Daniel Day-Lewis, had to say about inertia in changing society's perceptions:
"Still, raising money for films remains far tougher for women than men, she said.
"It's a little bit like if you're sitting in the airplane and you hear your pilot come on, and it's a woman. Some part of you thinks, uh-oh. Because you're so used to it being a guy, right?" Miller said. "You want a Midwestern, 50-year-old man to come on, quite honestly. So do I. It's a little bit the same with film directors. People feel a certain level of comfort. Someone's spending all this money, so here comes this man who looks like a film director.
"I don't look like a film director because I'm a woman. It's changing, but it's not that fast. There's a lot to break through, and you can't totally blame people for it. Certain things are deeply ingrained." "
I don't think I have to say any more. Her words perfectly encapsulate the plight of the Asian man in America, and I can respect her for that insightfulness. We are making progress, but in baby steps.
Let's keep going!
Thursday, November 28, 2002 at 03:31:25 (PST)
God, I hate how when a Asian man excel at an "art" field, he is a wuss and when a white man excel at an "art" field, he has talent.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE DOUBLE STANDARDS!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 27, 2002 at 11:19:25 (PST)
A New Image for Asian Men?
I believe, as an Asian man that grew up in America, and is near 30, that the Asian male image has and is greatly improving. I don‚t think that we will ever be able to shake the stigma attached to us (i.e. Charlie Chan, Iron Chef, the „slant-eyed geek in ITš, etc.). But the associated image is slowly being pushed aside with the rise of such stars as Ahn Jung Whan and Han Suk Yu. These men are showing the world that Asian men are just as marketable as men of the Caucasian, African, and Latino races∑ at least in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, in America, this trend is catching on a little slower, but it is catching on.
I believe that what we are seen in today‚s media is the emergence of an improved Asian male or the overdue acceptance of the Asian male that has been always been hidden. And this new image could be attributed to something as basic as diet. Today‚s Asian-American men are not as easily pushed around as they used to be. We are as big, strong, athletic, and good-looking as any other race. We can compete with anyone. So yes it is an emergence of an improved Asian Male.
I watch my brother-in-law and my friends younger brothers who are still in Jr. High and high school, and I see that they have a much easier time being accepted now than they would have been had they attended when my friends or I did.
As a Korean, I am extremely proud of Ahn Jung Whan and look forward to seeing him become a pivotal role in the continued evolution of the Asian (American) male image.
Monday, November 18, 2002 at 08:49:41 (PST)
NEWEST COMMENTS |