Guaranteed to make you thirsty

A blog post for Week 3, of AS AM 1118 at UCSB by Erika Martinez

I want to bring this Buzzfeed photo stream as the reasoning for my title click here.

I am going to break down this article and bring up the importance of media literacy in a time where Buzzfeed has taken the internet by storm, and now serves as the new “CNN” for the common Facebook user. Let’s start with the title. This photo stream shows how these men are being displayed as exotic figures, as the title is “21 gorgeous Asian men” and not just “21 gorgeous men” thus it is catering to a specific audience. Next if you click on the author, you will see that he is a Buzzfeed hired reporter that produces many other pieces such as “Which Disney Ginger are you?” and “Which foreign actor is your soulmate?” Not to be judgmental of his other work, but I think it is important to look at these pieces as evidence that this author is also viewing these Asian men as objects of desire, as many of the audience comments on the article prove that the thirst (need/desire) for these men is real.

While it is fun to view these pictures of half-naked men, I do think it is important to take a step back every now and then and utilize ones media literacy in order to really break down what is in front of us. This takes me back to the film we watched in class “Forbidden City U.S.A.” This film was a documentary that gave these Asian American performers a chance to tell their stories in a way that they were not able to in the days when they were performing. It was really inspiring to watch the performers who battled the traditional Asian stereotypes as they tried to make it in an industry that was not always welcoming to them.

I enjoy seeing this, as I think it also demonstrates the struggle of dealing with parents who do not share the same world-view as their offspring. I saw myself in these performers, because I too face the identity struggle of feeling that I am “not from here or from there.” Its a borderland (la frontera) as Gloria Anzaldua teaches the formation of an identity within first-generation American people with parents from another nationality. Therefore, I am inspired by the stories of these dancers and singers who followed their dreams and broke barriers. They served as role models to younger generations who would grow up seeing these Asian-American performers on screen. Serving as a new norm.

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