Soho, New York--amazing curves for an Asian girl. Source
Seattle--should I go into detail about the fantastic juxtaposition of plaid and wool, or can you figure it out for yourself? Source
Then, why is it that there is close to zero representation for Asian or females in American media? I bet I can name five African-American celebrities before anyone else can think of with one Asian celebrity. But then again, perhaps due to certain gross examples of Chinese actress Bai Ling, Americans' perceptions of Asian women are slightly misconstrued...
Patent leather leg warmers. Always a winner.
By my count so far, she's flashed her nipple probably... oh, 5 times now? There's a reason she's dubbed the Chinese Paris Hilton. She also claims she wants to die while having sex because she loves it so much. This is one classy broad. Source
Thank the pillars of Babylon that there's a plethora of classier Asian figures in the public to make up for her noxious but also hilarious attempts at dressing herself. Note the following; here's to betting a month's worth of shopping allowances that you haven't heard of them before, unless you're Asian or a diehard fan of la mode.
Ai Tominaga, a supermodel from Japan. 5'11" (a literal giant in Japan where girls are, on average, about 5'4"), walked all the major shows in Paris, Milan until she had a baby. Gorgeous face.
A more famous figure in the western world right now: Zhang Ziyi. Known for her roles in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, and Memoirs of a Geisha. (Stereotypical Asian roles though, I wonder if she can play anything other than a kung-fu master.) Currently the muse of Giorgio Armani.
Du Juan (left) and Hye Park (right), seen all over the runways in NY, Paris, Milan. Du was Miss China 2002, and Hye is actually a Korean-American from Salt Lake City. They're finding success all over the industry, with YSL and LV campaigns for Du, and a Roberto Cavalli ensemble ad for Hye. These two gave a running start these couple of years for rising Asian models.
Zhou Xun, one of the most famous actresses in China currently. Miuccia Prada featured her, with fellow Chinese actress Dong Jie, to star in Miu Miu's Fall/Winter '06 campaign. Also on my banner!
The point: with more Asian-Americans living in the U.S. and Europe, the pace with which Asian public figures are rising doesn't match the growing population. Girls are made to feel inadequate because what they see in Vogue doesn't fit with their body type and doesn't incorporate their heritage at all. Some can't wear eyeliner because some girls are born without eyelid creases (a very common characteristic on the other side of the Pacific), but every other page in the beauty section of American magazines teaches the fundamental principles of applying mascara, and you better follow those crucial directions step-by-step, lest you remain celibate the rest of your natural born life. Or move back to Asia.
Vogue China, Sept. 2006--Vogue China, Nippon, and Korea are making progress by actually starting to feature Asian models on their covers, but still insist on complying with western standards of beauty (as repped by Gemma and Sasha). Maybe Du can have her own cover one day?
When a magazine proclaims a pectorially well-endowed model on the cover, Asian girls--who have naturally slender frames, and therefore, no curves--can spend their time agonizing over their "shortcomings" (although I hope we're smarter than that). Beauty can be blue-eyed, curvaceous, yellow, biracial, alien. It's daunting, because African-American women are still struggling to appeal to American society, so as an even lesser thought-of minority, the Asian community is even more obscure. But still, I don't think it's too hard to ask for equal representation when there are 12,500,000++ Asians currently living in the U.S. alone, not counting Europe. Casting directors, Hollywood agents, Anna Wintour... take note.