Archive for December 11, 2019

Third Blog Post: Amy Wong of Futurama by Kristine

The satirical cartoon Futurama was on air from 1999-2013. Noted for their witty quips and political commentary, Futurama for many remains a hilarious adult cartoon for many. It follows primarily Phillip J. Fry, a dim-witted man from the year 1999 who is cryogenically preserved and wakes up a thousand years later in the year 3000, where he befriends a criminal robot and a one-eyed purple-haired woman named Leela.

In Futurama, there are a few side characters, one of them in particular Amy Wong. What is so interesting about Amy Wong is that she does not actually encompass a typical Asian American stereotype, but is actually the embodiment of a rich white Valley girl in an Asian body. She speaks with a distinctive airhead voice, has a very sexually-alluring body, and is very wealthy and promiscuous.

Image result for futurama amy wong

Her immigrant parents, however, are physical portrayals of common stereotypes of Asian immigrants. It is a very interesting choice of the writers to align Amy Wong with a stereotypical white girl instead of the traditional “Dragon Lady.” She instead is not perceived as a model minority and is barely ever taken seriously, especially in cases of academics. She is now the hyperfeminine woman who must rely on her sexuality to get her places.

She however is still hypersexualized like many Asian women in media, but her case is a little different. Amy presents herself as the basic white girl, and the only case she seems saliently Asian is when she curses in Cantonese. Considering that Futurama is a very satirical cartoon, and their commentary on Amy Wong’s character development can be a critique of society.

December 11, 2019 at 5:41 am Leave a comment

The Perpetuation of Asian Stereotypes on Disney Channel- Isha Singh

Throughout the semester, we have discussed how in many films produced in both early and present day Hollywood, the representation of Asian Americans often aligns itself with perpetuating stereotypes targeted at such minority groups.

Growing up, I watched Disney Channel daily. Little did I realize just how offensive and stereotypical the Asian characters featured in the white dominated series were shown. Looking back on it now, I recognize how this false representation causes the younger generation to often view young Asian people as being different or “nerdy” in the derogatory manner. Disney Channel’s failure to show a young Asian character as being similar to their white counterparts then perpetuates the division between white children and children of color.

Three such examples of this perpetuation of stereotypes can be found in the following series, “Jessie”, “Bunk’d” and “Phineas and Ferb”. In both “Jessie” and “Phineas and Ferb” the South Asian characters have extremely ethnic names that are often mispronounced and made fun of throughout the show as a running joke. Even worse, both characters have Indian accents despite both of them being children growing up in American cities. Even though it doesn’t geographically make sense, to children viewing the shows it makes it seem as if all South Asian children solely talk about mathematics with an Indian accent. The characters had best friends of lizards and calculators rather than actual human beings, which further pushed the stereotypes of South Asian children being nerdy and “loners”.

Lastly, in “Bunk’d”, the character Tiffany who is a young East Asian woman attending summer camp is often found discussing her studies and how she cannot afford to have any fun because it would distract from her getting into Harvard. More so, when talking about her parents, she often says how her mother would get angry if she were to do something other than homework or cleaning which then also reinforces the tiger mom stereotype of Asian immigrant parents.

These perpetuations are problematic because they offer a false presentation of Asian American children and families that show them as traditional in a negative way, and holding limiting beliefs.

 

 

December 11, 2019 at 1:48 am Leave a comment

BestDressed Youtube Influencer- Isha Singh

As a recent graduate of UCLA’s film program, Ashley, a young 21 year old beauty and lifestyle influencer has taken the social media world by storm in recent years.

I first started watching Ashley’s YouTube channel titled “BestDressed” around a year and a half ago when her videos started appearing on my recommend for you page. Right away I noticed how much I enjoyed watching her videos, alongside many other enthusiastic commenters stating how amazing it was to see such a real and authentic person on such a public platform.

Even more specifically, it was evident how much of her fan base was rooted in people belonging to minority groups, all incredibly excited to see someone who looked similar to them making beauty videos.

But what truly set Ashley apart and drove her to rack up more than a million followers in the span of around six months was her recognition of her ethnicity. Making genuine videos that discussed periods, her sex life, fashion, school, her experiences with bullying and body image growing up as a young Asian woman in America allowed for her to connect with her viewers in a way that many other YouTubers had failed to do so.

Ashley’s rise to fame in the past year is something that everyone within the YouTube community seems to be excited about considering her humility throughout this very sudden process. It it important to recognize how her presence on social media can positively affect young women of color because they are able to observe a successful and driven woman who embraces her culture while also still establishing a unique identity for herself that doesn’t particularly align itself with being “Asian” or “American”, but rather just Ashley.

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December 11, 2019 at 1:30 am Leave a comment


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