Saturday, April 6, 2013

Asian American self image through a short film

I was watching "Mirror,Mirror" a fantasy film starring Julia Roberts this morning, and I have to say the actors with dwarfism were the funniest part to me.

I realize that there are many terms that perhaps a person of small stature would prefer, but to be honest I wiki-ed the term dwarfism and it deemed it appropriate.

Any who, I was a bit surprised at the actor whom played "Chuckles" as he was clearly an American of Asian descent. I know this may sound ignorant, but in my entire life, I've seen "LP" of African descent, European and Mulatto(Hispanic or Latino origin, the more common look) but have never encountered an Asian "LP". One of my favorite actors Warwick Davis is a person who has made a successful career and not let dwarfism hold him back, so I want to make it clear that I love all looks and talent isnt restricted over something as simple as height.

But seeing this character made me want to wiki him(which is often something I do whenever I watch a movie that features a Person of Color-"POC" character I didnt know about). I found him on IMDB and learned his name was Ronald Lee Clark.

After looking at his work experience, I noticed a film title that caught my interest. "No Asians, Fats or Fems."

I ended up youtubing the short film(it was about 13-15 minutes)and watched as a white guy sat at his computer typing what he wanted in a mate.

The short film was interesting and it was dialogue free but got it's message across involving 4 Asian Americans struggling with body image. It was a film that was perhaps inspired from the trend in the gay community over gay men being very specific on dating profiles and hook up site what they didnt seem to like very much.

I dont want to give away the film, but it's interesting all this stemmed from watching "Mirror,Mirror." This film touched several points of multiculturalism for me, including homosexuality, weight, body condition, transgender, and of course race.

Dont get me wrong, I love my gays, but why are gay white men becoming so picky? I mean the dating pool is already so small as it is? I know men are more prone to falling in love with what they see as opposed to women who go by feelings and at times how they're treated, but come on? Do you expect every guy you date to have a 6 pack when your 60? Looks go! If being attracted to men is what you're attracted to, that will not. You will have to be able to find someone you are willing to spend your life with, and it may not always be a white,21 year old male with washboard abs.

But getting back to the Asian American view of self image, I was disappointed that all this stems from,of course, white media. We condition ourselves to fit a standard we havent created, and we are destroying ourselves because of it. I'll be the first person to admit that our media highlights the standard of beauty as white. And while there are forms of beauty that fall into that category, it shouldn't be the only category! We are all forms of beauty, but we convince ourselves we aren't, whether it be due to race, religion, condition, mental illness, size, gender, sexual identity or orientation, or any other standard in which we judge a person for not being able to fit into, and it just has to change. Even if it's only a little bit at a time, we need to be the confidence in ourselves if were not being given it. We need to find role models that know our journey if our American history fails to teach us. All it takes is knowledge. You can pay for it,or get it for free. But as long as you seek it, you're already  on a journey to your own self worth!


  1. good article.
    I'm not from the States, it's only recently I'm noticed some articles about white media. And casting issues like with the Dragon Balls movie or the Last Aibender. I initially though is was a good thing because they're mixing things up, I didn't think it had a discriminatory aspect.

  2. I guess the issue i had with it is how they chose to cast the minorities. With The Last Airbender it kinda furthered the American stereotype as brown people are the bad people and light people are most likely always the good guys. There was this study done with little kids of all different cultures and colors.When they were asked to point out bad people almost all the kids pointed to brown people, so American media really molds the way children and adults for that matter how people should see the minorities that make of the USA.

    It doesn't seem like it affects people when they're young but as they get older, they have this idea in their heads that some things aren't possible for them because they are not caucasian.

    I like that they try to add diversity in movies but sometimes it's just the way they go at it.

  3. well a lot of fans of Avatar and DBZ were angry that they cast white people to play characters that we're originally colored. In these cases they chose to leave the minorities out on purpose (I think). There are good shows out there with minorities in good roles and one colored audiences can look up to: sister sister, smart guy, my wife and kids, the Cosby show, modern family ( bit), Hawaii 5o, and movies like rush hour, life of pi. akela and the spelling bee.

    I think it's ironic that these shows I grew up watching can have such a different affect on the people from the US and the rest of the world


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