One of an Eventual Many
I'm laying on my bed in my childhood room, the lights off and my keyboard backlit, a repose you can often find me in at night at my parents' house when I visit. In fact, I did this often when I was a teenager, too, before moving away for university, so it's a homey habit.
When I create something, it falls into one of two categories: I release it out into the world quickly, or I release it out into the world hesitantly. This blog, my second, falls into the latter. But, as is usually the case with the latter-category creations, I've been sitting on this blog for months now. Not necessarily creating content, but rather promising to, and never making much progress.
Then I was reminded of why I wanted to do this in the first place after watching one of my favourite bloggers' Instagram Stories. In one, she records her assistant speaking, and the assistant is recounting how Gigi Hadid will no longer be walking the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, speculatively after mass criticism regarding a video of her and a Buddha-faced cookie. In the video, her friend holds the cookie up to Gigi's face, and Gigi squints her eyes to match the Buddha. The assistant in the blogger's Instagram Story continues to say that people are "too sensitive" and that "this wasn't even a racist video."
What I hope to achieve with this blog, alongside fashion and lifestyle inspiration, is to bring different perspectives to the forefront of conversations. As a Vietnamese—and therefore Asian-identifying—person, I believe that there was cause for concern in Gigi's video. No, she may not have called anyone a ch*nk, but she is perpetuating stereotypes by manipulating and racializing her face to match the Buddha's Asian features, in what is clearly an act of jest.
Funny, as an Asian person, I don't like to be referred to in jest.
Yes, it's true, a majority of Asian people have slight and almond-shaped eyes, but that's exactly why it's not appropriate to make a joke of it. Make fun of a physical trait that people are naturally born with, a trait that is inherent in a specific race of people, and yeah—that will be considered offensive and racist.
The assistant in the Instagram Story doesn't seem to grasp this, and yes, she is non-Asian, and yes, she is white. Which is why it irked me that she so confidently and definitively declared the video not racist. How would you know, when you don't identify with those who are being ridiculed for simply and physically being their own selves?
This is why I started this. To speak up, to create diverse narratives, to make sure voices are represented. All alongside sharing my style and words. It's not so much about marrying fashion and conscience, but making sure fashion can come with a side of critical thought.
I hope you'll stick with me. It takes two to converse.