Breaking The Asian Myth: Why Asians CAN Wear Yellow
  • by Ethel Navales
  • July 7, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.07.22 PM

We’re no stranger to Asian myths — they’ve been thrown at us our entire lives. They’re ridiculous over-generalizations about Asians that assume we’re all exactly alike. Some Asian myths are dangerous, like the idea that Asians don’t get fat or don’t get breast cancer — both of these hinder our community from taking necessary health precautions. Other Asian myths are much less harmful (unless you count the dangers of all the eye-rolling it causes us), like the belief that all Asians have the same kind of hair.

Well, we’re here to add another eye-roll myth to the list: Asians shouldn’t wear yellow.

I was shocked to discover just how many Asian women were told that they shouldn’t wear yellow because it clashes with Asian skin. I don’t know about you, but when I look in the mirror, I certainly don’t think my skin shows signs of jaundice. It may have a yellow undertone, but all sorts of ethnicities have yellow undertones, so why are we forbidden from wearing yellow?

As it turns out, there’s no valid reason for the myth at all. One-time fashion dictators simply thought it made us look sallow and was not flattering on our skin tone. (It’s the same thinking behind why redheads should not wear red or pink.)

Yes, now is the time to sigh. But who can blame these color-blind fashionistas of the past. After all, this video from the ’80s highlights just how early we’re taught that Asian=Yellow.

The reality? No, Asians are not literally yellow. We simply have to blame a German professor from the 19th century who came up with the five color typology for humans that categorized Asians under the term “yellow.”

Luckily for us, this means that we can wear yellow without disappearing into our clothes. And as it turns out, we do a damn good job of it, too. Don’t believe me? Check out the following Asian celebs rocking yellow outfits. You’ll be sure to include this color in your wardrobe after you get a load of them.

Chinese actress Li Bingbing at the Shanghai International Film Festival

Chinese actress Li Bingbing at the Shanghai International Film Festival

Olivia Munn at this year's Met Gala

Olivia Munn at this year’s Met Gala

 

Actress Jamie Chung

Actress Jamie Chung

 

Actress Mindy Kaling

Actress Mindy Kaling

Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

Japanese Model Kiko Mizuhara

 

Brenda Song at Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards 2009

Brenda Song at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards 2009

Sandra Oh on the cover of Audrey Magazine Summer 2014

Sandra Oh on the cover of Audrey Magazine Summer 2014

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