Thursday, January 29, 2009

Buy tickets for Kollaboration, support MANAA!

Every ticket you buy through this link helps to support your favorite Asian American media advocacy organization, MANAA! This year's lineup at Kollaboration is AMAZING, with performances by Jo Koy from Comedy Central, Kaba Modern and Fanny Pak from America's Best Dance Crew, and a brilliant lineup of competitors. Judges include James Kyson Lee from Heroes and Moon Bloodgood from Terminator 4.

Kollaboration is an annual event and movement created by a small group of professional young Asian Americans, volunteering their time and skills to celebrate the vast talents of their community and hopefully bring them into the mainstream.

It is evident that Asian Americans are often categorized into a certain image. Asian Americans may find it increasingly difficult to get jobs outside the "model minority" or "foreigner" role. Such barriers often result in the lack of Asian Americans in mainstream entertainment industries. Thus, Asian Americans are not only unfairly portrayed but also disproportionately underrepresented in the mainstream media. Our youth are left with few visible role models and a narrowed pool of aspirations.

Through generous sponsorship, Kollaboration endeavors to bring about a paradigm shift of perceptions and to pave the way for future Asian Americans to accomplish their goals and dreams that may be entertainment related.

Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009
Time: 7PM
Venue: Shrine Auditorium
665 W Jefferson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3626

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bowl cut = Asian = tasty fast food?

Is it just me, or is the bowl cut back? Okay, maybe just back enough to poke some more fun at Asians. First there's Jack in the Box using the ugliness of the bowl cut (man those dweeby Asians, always behind the times!) to sell their new teriyaki bowls (get it? Bad Asian hair, good Asian dish...soooo funny).

Then there's Wendy's and their "3conomics" commercials with this Asian actor -- also sporting a killer bowl cut. Coincidence? I think it's safe to say that in our post-ironic times, the use of the "nerdy" bowl cut is actually signalling something awesomely on trend, some sort of "geek chic," eh? Or maybe not...

Pacific islanders on "The Biggest Loser"

For reality tv fans, it has been refreshing to see Tongan cousins Filipe and Sione competing together on The Biggest Loser: Couples. Reality tv rarely casts minorities except as tokens, and even more rarely do we get to see Pacific Islanders in any capacity.

In their introductory video montage, the cousins explain that in Tonga, "It's accepted to be overweight, and actually, the bigger the better...If you're skinny, you're kind of frowned upon." There's even some cute video footage from back home of their family members. Sione explains that his father is recovering from a stroke, and that was part of what motivated the two of them to come on the show. Their goal is to change the mentality of Polynesian people to the idea that "it's not ok to be big." I don't know how often race is addressed on the show since this is my first season tuning in, but it seems cool that they are addressing the racial aspects of size and body images. Certainly body images means different things in different cultures.

The brothers are among the most lovable on the whole show (admittedly, I love nearly everyone on the show -- it is just so admirable to see them all fighting so hard to achieve their goals), and they are hanging in so far. Filipe also has the best celebratory dance during the weigh-ins, it can't help but leave your cheering for them. So two big cheers for the Tongans, and here's to more healthy discussions of body image!