Re: Jon Gosselin, Asian American Stereotypes, And Now I Have To Do Research?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


First just let me say that if this was a wordsmithing contest you'd win hands down simply because of your use of the words "mantrampish" and "douchenugget" in your last response - however - as much as I greatly respect the compounding, it still doesn't change the fact that you're actually making me do research because now I have to backup what I said about JG in a picture where he kinda looks badass and while this isn't really your fault, somehow I'd still like to blame you for making me spend time having to type the words "Jon Gosselin + badass" into search engines versus "Roman Shower+Kimchi" (however if you're curious, I still took the time to type that last phrase in and got the picture below):

But this isn't what you were looking for - you want a pic of the JG looking unlike the first picture you posted of him (although let's be honest - we all have our bad picture days). All of that being said - I would just like to put out there that I was actually referring to a cover of a magazine that I don't remember the name of, and that I kind of just glanced at - but this task that you have given me shouldn't be too hard.

I give you exhibit A.

I'm not saying he's Mustang Tuff - I just said kinda badass - and c'mon - you gotta admit, at least compared to this picture he's looking respectable - and a little badass (or at least not with his gut hanging out).

Exhibit B

That's two separate pictures now where he's wearing a sport coat, and he's also wearing a shirt with buttons on the second pic you posted of him too, so I don't think we can necessarily say anymore that he's strictly a t-shirt guy - although I can't really say anything about that fake tanner issue you've brought up...

On being a man - I definitely agree - and even more so when you have eight kids - you need to watch out for their future or it begs the question of why you even had kids in the first place.

But isn't he kind of doing that in trying to setup his next reality t.v. gig (which might be "Divorced Dads Club")? Shouldn't he by trying to cash in on his t.v. fame with endorsements and hiring on people to help manage these deals if for nothing else just so he might be able to give his kids a little more so down the road? I think if he wasn't trying to hustle, it might speak more to your point - but I think since he is, it might actually run contrary to what you're saying - but - you do see a lot of people that put themselves before their kids.

So the next part might be a tangent, but just kinda go with me on this one.

To me JG is definitely Asian American and I think people see him as Asian American. In that way, I don't see how anyone could not see him as anything else but Asian American. He doesn't necessarily need to be selling hanboks on the side of the road to prove he's Korean American - does he?. On the show itself I actually have only watched a few episodes myself - but like you, can't help escaping the news (at least for this convo) - although from what I understand, he has tried to teach his kids about their Korean heritage through cooking and I guess in at least that episode, the kids were also talking about who's the most Asian (and I guess grandma cooks Korean all the time for them). I would suspect too that as they get older, that topic is going to come up even more.

Here's a question for you which is kind of a larger topic, but let's say he does enforce negative stereotypes of Asian American males (or just Asian Americans in general), like you said, it's his fundamental right as an individual to be who he wants to be, and deep down, isn't that kind of what we all strive for in some way - to simply be who we are and not have anyone pigeon hole us - all asking the question of who's actually to blame for negative Asian American stereotypes?

Should we be chastising JG if his dating habits and divorce feed into this image that some people might have of the Asian American male (domineering, womanizing, and family-abandoning) or does that blame sometimes lay somewhere else? I guess it probably depends on the situation and the person, or people, and it might not always be easy to discern (although sometimes I think it is).

I guess I think of it kind of like film roles. I don't have a problem with Asian Americans playing any type of role (for the most part), but what I do have an issue with, is the lack of roles, the way that we're sometimes cast as only this, or only that, and by the lack of roles, it just magnifies those roles that we're in a sense "allowed" to play and there becomes this frustration at times even though it's not always under anyone's control. And while you gotta call out what you gotta call out - because sometimes people just ask for it - I do wonder when on a whole we'll see a shift in perception, both inside and outside of the community, when a few people won't seem to be the only image of the API community.

O.K. - that's my thought. Hit me back when you feel like it.

This is a blog conversation with Cbruhs from BicoastalBitchin where the dialogue will span both blogs (and following along should be easy as each reply will link back to the previous part of the conversation). Who knows what will be said, how coherent my thoughts will be, what topics will be hit, or how much of a beat down I might end up getting.