Disney Princesses Re-Imagined with Different Ethnicities

For years, we have hoped for more variation in ethnicity when it comes to Disney Princesses. Don’t get me wrong– we love the current Princesses, but who doesn’t want a Princess they can connect with on a cultural level?

This may be the reason that Tumblr artist lettherebedoodles created a series depicting famous Disney Princesses with different ethnicities.

“I honestly just did this for fun. No political agenda, no ulterior motives,” the artist, who goes by TT, explained. “I just love Disney and chose a few of my favorite characters to alter. I feel like there’s beauty in every racial background, and this is honestly nothing more then an exploration of different races from a technical and artistic standpoint.”

“Fairy tales are constantly being taken out of their cultural context. Most of the fairy tales that we know now were taken out of their original cultural context and altered,” TT continues. “Aladdin was originally set in China. The Frog Prince was Latin, and was altered over and over again in several countries. The stories have been and can be altered in many ways.”

TT also says that the race-bending art was created in hopes of seeing more diversity in our media. Of course, we whole-heartedly agree. Check out the thought-provoking art below:

 


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Wong Fu Shines Light on “Accidental Racism”

Last year in May, a video called “What kind of Asian are you?” made its way into viral fame. With over 6 million views, this video portrayed something that many of us have had to experience.

In the video, an Asian woman is approached by a White male who comments on her perfect English and asks where she’s from. After telling him that she’s from San Diego, he responds, “Oh no. Where are you from?”

Truth be told, we’ve all probably gone through this. Admittedly, many of us aren’t actually bothered when someone inquires about our culture, but there’s definitely reason to be peeved with statements about English being “so good” even if English is a person’s first language. Let’s not even get into some of the obviously insulting statements that many of us have received such as “It’s great that you’re not like other Asians. You’re so American.” Right. Because that doesn’t sound like an insult at all.

 

While it’s easy for us to roll our eyes at some of the insensitive statements thrown at Asians, we have to remember that Asians and other people of color are certainly capable of making ignorant statements as well.

Wong Fu Productions has decided to highlight this with their new short “Accidental Racism.” The short is able to remind us of two things: everyone can work on being more culturally aware and sometimes, though they may need to work on the way they phrase their statements, some people are just genuinely curious about a culture.

 

Golden Globes 2014: Where are all the Asian People?

Story by Taylor Weik. 

As 5 p.m. drew closer and closer this past Sunday, my Tumblr dashboard began filling up with red. High-resolution photos of glamorous celebrities posing in their designer gowns and tuxedos on the red carpet were already making their way to the Internet, and the Golden Globes hadn’t even started.

 

I eagerly browsed the #gg14 tag on Tumblr while simultaneously searching online for a link to stream the red carpet event and the awards show itself. As someone who has spent more money on movie tickets than she’d care to admit and had at one point considered declaring film and media studies as a major, awards season is for me what the Superbowl is for my tailgate party-attending football fanatic friends. For a few hours on those special Sunday nights –– though I may be watching from a dimly lit computer screen and in pajama pants –– I couldn’t be happier.

 

I indulged in red carpet hour as always and watched as the ever-so-chic Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest made their interview rounds. Bradley Cooper. Jennifer Lawrence. Julia Roberts. Bryan Cranston. They came by limo, paused for questions and were swept away for photos. So many familiar faces from my favorite TV shows and movies flashed on the screen, but there were plenty more faces I didn’t see.

 

I could count the number of Asian people I saw on one hand. Little Aubrey Anderson-Emmons from Modern Family pranced around and comedian-actor Aziz Ansari attended (he also was one of three actors who announced the Golden Globe nominees back in December), but otherwise the turnout was discouraging. Phil Yu, founder of the popular Angry Asian Man blog, tweeted “Playing “Asian Spotting” while watching the Golden Globes is like the most boring game ever.”

The lack of Asian American actors, directors and crew members in the entertainment industry is nothing new to us. Browse the list of big movies set to release in 2014 and you won’t see any Asian American actors credited until almost half of the year is over, in May, when Ken Watanabe’s name appears in the new Godzilla reboot.

 

But at least last year at the Golden Globes, we had some representation in the form of successful actors like Lucy Liu, who wowed viewers in her long side braid and iconic floral Carolina Herrera gown on the red carpet. At least last year, Life of Pi was nominated for multiple awards, including Ang Lee for Best Director of a Motion Picture.

 

No one of Asian descent was nominated in the Golden Globes this year –– again, not a big surprise –– but the fact that I didn’t see many Asian people in the red carpet coverage says a lot about who is represented in Hollywood and who is continued to be left out of it.

 

Granted, some Asian Americans were represented in the form of dazzling dresses and six-inch heels. Kerry Washington flaunted her baby bump in a creamy Balenciaga number designed by Alexander Wang, and Jimmy Choo was a popular choice for pumps (Sandra Bullock) and clutches (Taylor Swift). But future awards shows better start recognizing the Rinko Kikuchis and Ken Watanabes out there –– I’m not sure how much longer I can stand having Hollywood equate “Asian American” with only designer bags and shoes.

 

(photo source)

Can You Spot The Difference? Unnecessary Edits For Mindy Kaling’s ELLE Magazine Cover

February 2014 is Elle’s annual Women in TV issue. They’ve decided to feature four of television’s top celebrities: Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler, Allison Williams and Audrey Magazine Winter 2011-12  covergirl, Mindy Kaling. The four actresses all received their very own cover. This is reason to rejoice, right? An Asian American actress is finally being ranked equally in mainstream media!

But wait. Is she?

It doesn’t take much effort to spot the blatant difference between Kaling’s cover compared to the others. Many upset readers have pointed out the very obvious difference that Kaling’s cover is the only one black and white. Sure, the actress still looks stunning, but why are the other women not also in black and white? Why did they feel the need to take away the color of the one woman who was not Caucasian?

Other readers have pointed out that while the other three actresses received full-body covers, Kaling’s cover is a cropped close up.

Is it a coincidence? Is it just chance that Kaling (who happens to not fit the stereotypical body size of American actresses) is the only one who doesn’t receive a full body cover? Is it mere coincidence that the one person of color gets the black and white photo? Did they simply fail to notice that the other three photos are consistent and similar while Kaling’s is not?

Tell us what you think.

 

CONTROVERSY ALERT: Tiger Mom Claims “Some Races Are Superior”

Amy Chua is no stranger to controversy. In 2011, she gained the nickname “Tiger Mom” through her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother which advocated for a strict “Chinese” parenting style as well her belief that Chinese mothers are superior.

Now, she’s making headlines once again by taking that belief one step further.

Chua, a Chinese American law professor at Yale, joins forces with husband Jed Rubenfeld to write The Triple Package. The point of this book? To prove that certain groups of people are superior because they have innate qualities that make them more likely to succeed in life.

The Triple Package lists these groups as most likely to succeed in America: Jewish, Indian, Chinese, Iranian, Lebanese-Americans, Nigerians, Cuban exiles and Mormons. As the title indicates, the duo believe that these cultural groups have three traits in common which make them inherently more superior than others: a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.

“Mormons have recently risen to astonishing business success,” the authors write. “Cubans in Miami climbed from poverty to prosperity in a generation. Nigerians earn doctorates at stunningly high rates. Indian and Chinese Americans have much higher incomes than other Americans; Jews may have the highest of all.”

According to NYDailyNews, the book also explains why some cultural groups, including African Americans, “might not have what it takes to reach the top.”

The authors seem to recognize that they are making rather controversial claims, but are standing by their work. The books publisher, Penguin Press, released a statement yesterday in support of The Triple Package.

“We are proud to be publishing ‘The Triple Package’ in February and we look forward to a thoughtful discussion about the book and success in America,” the statement read.

Although the book will not hit shelves until February, it has already gathered a handful of criticism (for obvious reasons) from critics and public alike.

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(Source 1, 2, 3)

The REAL Reason Asian Women Are Most Preferred in The Online Dating World

AYI, one of the largest online dating applications on Facebook, decided to do some research to determine if race is taken into consideration while online dating. They analyzed over 2.4 million interactions in the US to determine the likelihood a user would respond to a message based on race.

The results showed that Asian women are the most preferred by all male users with the exception of one group: Asian men. According to the data, Asian men are most likely to respond to Hispanic women and Asian women are most likely to respond to Caucasian men.

USA Today found that another online dating site, OkCupid, had users who generally dated within their own race, but only because of preconceived notions.

“It’s not that people’s levels of prejudice are changing,” says Sociologist Kevin Lewis. “People are avoiding others from a different racial background because they think those other people won’t be interested.”

This suggestion is supported by The Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences. They report that although people tend to date within their own race, everyone is more likely to reciprocate to interracial exchanges rather than initiate interracial exchanges.

“Our own behavior can, in fact, impact the prejudices of others, even if it is a short-term effect,” Lewis said. “It says some degree of the biases we display are based on a false premise.”

By acknowledging that prejudices hinder or encourage dating a particular race, Lewis has hit an even larger issue. If data from AYI reports that Asian women are the most sought after on their site, why is that so?

Time and time again, Asian women are told that they are lucky because “all races of men like Asian women.” Upon further inspection, we discover that this “compliment” may be laced with negatives. The public responses to Jezebel may have the unfortunate reason behind the popularity of Asian women.

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So is the popularity of Asian Women in the online dating world based on a stereotype? Are Asian women sought after simply because of the belief that they will be submissive partners and good house keepers?

While we know Asian women have much more substance than these stereotypes, it turns out that this popularity in the online world may not be something to boast about after all.

 

(photo source)

Asian American Indie Band Swears Their Name Isn’t Racist

Story by Young Rae Kim.

The Asian American band, The Slants, have been unsuccessful in trying to trademark their name. For four years, the six-member rock band hailing from Portland, Ore., has been fighting with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), which has denied approval, saying the name is disparaging for people of Asian descent.

Simon Tam, the founder and bassist of The Slants, responded by saying that the PTO has rejected their request on the basis of their ethnicity, while a Caucasian band would not be denied this name, NPR reported.

The group, which describes its sound as “Chinatown dance rock,” have already had several attempts shot down by the PTO.

In 2009, the group attempted to “reclaim” the racist term and applied for a trademark with the patent office. However, they were denied approval, to which the band responded by saying that the term holds multiple meanings. For instance, they argued that in their case The Slants referred to musical chords.

However, the PTO ruled that the “The intent of an applicant to disparage the referenced group is not necessary to find that the mark does, in fact, disparage that group.”

The band tried again in 2011, but with a different approach. This time they claimed the name has nothing to with anything Asian.  However, it was refused for the second time.

 

Yet again, the band a now trying another tactic and are now preparing to take the case to federal circuit court, where they are claiming that their right to free speech has been violated. It will be another tough battle because the PTO does not forbid the band to call themselves The Slants, it just does not allow them to trademark the name.

The band is hoping the courts see it differently, and if not, the national attention from the legal battle won’t hurt them.

 

This story was originally published in KoreAm Journal

Hasan Minhaj’s Hilarious Comeback to Miss America Haters

After spending a week talking about the controversy surrounding Miss America Nina Davuluri, we said NO MORE. As much as we support her, continuously talking about her haters will only draw more attention to them. As Kunal Nayyar pointed out, there’s no need to “empower them by giving them importance.”

But then we came across this jewel and we couldn’t pass it up. How could we not post something this funny?

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Featured in our Fall 2013 issue, comedian Hasan Minhaj is a favorite here at Audrey Magazine. Clearly, he is maintaining his spot there. Minhaj sends comeback after comeback to the various racist tweets. And unlike the racists out there, he actually uses logic. The inner kid in us can’t help but use the phrase “burnnnn.” Trust us, you don’t wanna miss this.

Oh and Hasan, we agree with your mom — you should totally talk to her.

 

Forever 21 Tweets Their Clothes Are “Straight Outta Compton,” Triggers (Another) Controversy

Popular fast-fashion clothing chain Forever 21 has once again found itself in hot water for tweeting out a photo that some claim is another case of cultural appropriation. On Thursday, the L.A.-based retailer tweeted “straight outta Compton” with a a photo of a white model wearing three different T-shirts referencing the City of Compton as well as hip-hop/rap artists Ice Cube and N.W.A.

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Though the tweet was quickly deleted, it wasn’t long before the image made its way around the Web, eliciting an array of responses. Some were interested in purchasing the clothes:

“(@Kariinaxo) Forever 21 has all these cute WuTang and NWA shirts omg I want them all”

“(@It_Aint__ME) Ooo i want that compton shirt”

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However, such comments were greatly outnumbered by those expressing disappointment and frustration over the new line, being very critical of what they viewed as the inappropriate commodification of African American culture for the sake of business and trend.

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The “Statement Making Compton Tee” and “N.W.A Muscle Tee” are now unavailable on Forever 21′s online retail site, though it is not certain if the controversy surrounding the T-shirts is the reason for their removal.

This is not the first time that the mega-retailer has been accused of cultural appropriation. In 2011, their “Oriental Girl” necklaces sparked a firestorm of criticism.

 

New York Fashion Week: Less Than 10% Asian Models

With New York Fashion Week behind us, Jezebel decided to conduct a study on the diversity of the models, or lack thereof, who walked down the runway at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014.

In previous years, people have commented on the lack of representation of models of color. In fact, the Fall/Winter 2013 collections were subject to heavy criticism due to an alarming number of companies — Araks, Assembly, Belstaff, Calvin Klein, Elizabeth & James, Gregory Parkinson, J Brand, Jenni Kayne, Juicy Couture, Louise Goldin, Lyn Devon, Threeasfour, and Whit — 13 in all, that featured only white models.

So naturally, we were eager to see what would happen this past Fashion Week. Companies had to try and remedy this diversity gap, right? And there were nearly 5,000 looks. That’s plenty of opportunity for models of color to take on the runway.

The results? Almost 80 percent of those 5,000 looks were modeled by white women, a number that has pretty much remained static since 2008.

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This is not to say that all designers completely ignored the criticism of previous years. Anna Sui, Pamella Roland, Jeremy Scott, Dennis Basso, Vivienne Tam, KaufmanFranco, Rachel Comey, Alice + Olivia, Ohne Titel, Tracy Reese, Thom Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and Zac Posen are on the list of designers who featured at least 30 percent models of color. While this number may still seem rather low, it is unfortunately the best we’ve got.

Many of the designers who were critiqued for having no models of color tried to remedy this by adding three to five non-white models. (We know. We’re rolling our eyes, too.)

Some designers tried to trick the crowd and give the illusion of a more diverse set of models. While this season seemed to be more diverse, the same models of color were being booked and were simply walking the runway multiple times.

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From left: Liu Wen at Jason Wu; Ji Hye Park at Nicole Miller; Tian Yi at Monique Lhuillier; Yumi Lambert at Y-3.

The Asian models above prove this. Tian Yi walked 15, Yumi Lambert was seen in at least 13 and Ji Hye Park and Liu Wen walked 12 shows. Rather than book a variety of models of color, companies relied on the same faces.

Somali supermodel Iman Abdulmajid was part of the crowd watching this season’s New York Fashion Week and noticed the lack of diversity on the runway.

“I’ve always said runways and photos are important to shape our young girls,” Abdulmajid said in an interview last week. “To see models of color on the runway is important to the self-esteem of our young girls. To see otherwise makes them feel like they can be in or out.”

We can only cross our fingers that those in power in the fashion industry also begin to understand the importance of diversity on the runways.

(source 1, 2)