(Malicious) Mischief

March 3, 2005

I found out it was actually Successful Alpha Male. (I am stifling laughter.) I thought it was an interesting concept--I read Maxim from time to time. Scantily clad hotties on the cover of any magazine will fly off the newsstands, that's for sure. But what really bothered me is thinking how scantily clad, hot Asian babes on the cover of a magazine is such a lucrative thing to push--especially for those with the Asian Persuasion.

The thought made me sick to my stomach. I'm not being a "hater" or a hardcore femi-nazi, or anything. I'm just being honest.

The other day one of my best friends, S, emailed me the Friendster profile of a new South Asian male magazine, Masti magazine. Apparently February was the month to "make masti" ("masti" means mischief), as they had various East Coast launch parties to inaugurate their publication.

As someone who has an Asian American women's fashion magazine named after her (hahahaha!) and who has been involved with various independent publications, I am not knocking anyone who enters the field of publishing. It's a hard industry, especially since people seem to read less and less, or online is where it's at. I'm a firm believer in grassroots media, because there's always an audience, and we (those of us who don't see ourselves represented on the newsstands) need to create masti on the newsstands, malicious or not.




so if the mag's initials stand for 'single alpha male', do we assume that the 'alpha' deal is the standard personality profile definition - aggressive, assertive, hyper-worker, blah, blah, blah? if so, how is it an asian american male magazine? aren't there 'alpha males' in every group? are asian american alpha males different from other alpha males in their 'alpha-ness' or in their 'asian american-ness'? does the 'alpha hype' somewhat reinforce the model minority stereotype? except that alpha males kill their challengers, don't they. well there's a plus!on the 'babe cover' thing - if 'asian women on covers' were such a sure fire selling tool, don't you think the publishers of the existing slew of men's mags would already know this and have capitalized on it? especially since the existing mags are mostly owned by white males - the overwhelming sufferers of 'yellow fever'. maybe they are 'fighting their inner demons' with every blonde vixen they put on the cover.i guess one thing that i really question is the need for an 'asian male' version of the same sort of superficial stuff that is being dealt with by the likes of Maxim, Blender and their offshoots. those things are like airplane versions of r-rated movies - they leave out all the good parts.pulling together some info\articles on issues that are specific to asian males is good, but i don't think there is a decidely 'asian male' perspective on hottest new trail bike or MP3 player or on looking at scantily clad women.imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.....or a sign of a lack of original thinking. there are some 'representations' that don't really help in the long run - they just drain resources.but they certainly have the right to publish!!
If scantily clad asian women on magazine covers was such a sure fire selling tool, then Yolk magazine would still be around.You're right -- there is no Asian American male perspective on the hottest new gadgets. On the one hand, it's not as if we spend 100% of our time thinking about our Asian-ness. (When I wake up and brush my teeth for example, I'm just brushing my teeth, right? I'm not brushing my teeth in an Asian American way.) Guys are guys and they can read about all that guy stuff in mainstream magazines.From a publishing perspective, here's where an advertiser would say, why do I have to advertise in your ethnic-specific publicattion? I already reach plenty of Asian guys by advertising in Maxim. And from an editorial-content perspective too, it would also be pointless if it was not going to cover issues specific to Asian American men.Asian American women's mags spend a lot of time on the same fashion that can be found in mainstream women's publications, but they also test out beauty products that are better for Asian skin tone.I guess one could argue that lots of photos of Asian babes IS Asian male specific content.
Ms. Melissa, that is exactly my point. Unless there is something in the SAM mag that is asian american male specific, it seems simply redundant. and redundant in an arena that is not so 'high end' to begin with.you shouldn't think about your asian-ness each and every minute of the day. in fact, one could argue that the 'objective' is that you shouldn't have to 'confront' your asian-ness unless you want to. you shouldn't be reminded of it via insulting t-shirts or fake accents or people asking where you are 'really' from. the skin colour thing for cosmetics is a legit differentiator and so are other health/medical things that warrant special attention and it is a shame that mainstream media doesn't 'get it' enough to cover it.according to 'popular opinion' the biggest cover attraction might be asian babes on the cover of 'anglo dude' and the swedish bikini team on the cover of 'far east stud' - letting everybody drool over what they want.by the way, what is 'Yolk' magazine?? you're kidding right? who would want their 'demographic' targetted as a bunch of cracked eggs? that is just STUPID!i HOPE it failed!
Hey ?'er, you never heard of Yolk? It was an Asian American magazine that put celebrities and scantily clad hotgirls on its cover. Nowadays they're online, but different from what they used to be. They're sort of an online shop (Yolk Shop and Chop Block) that also features reviews on things (film, music, etc.). I always got a kick out the fact that they wanted to advertise being 'white on the outside, yellow in the inside.'To tell the truth, after meeting the publisher/creative director, I don't think Yolk really wanted to go in the direction they did in the end, that it was most likely investor (outside) money influence. But I also don't know that for sure. The Yolk guys seemed nice when I met them.
Well Ms. A, you got me there! "Yolk"???? These guys were serious? So was the 'white on the outside; yellow on the inside' thing for those 'feverish fellows' so often frowned upon in the Azn Blog world and beyond? Or were they just gamin'? How 'bout those free range, organic eggs? they come in beige and brown. Next will they have 'Dove Bar - add a little heat to melt that hard chocolate shell' (trademark problem, I guess) or 'Whigga - when you want to be down and still get over'? ^_^Yolk!! Nope, I missed that one! So who is the market demographic?
Audrey, SAM does not stand for Successful Alpha Male (even if it were i don't get your "stifling laughter." are you saying that Asian men have such a low self-esteem that they can't imagine themselves being the best?). Their pilot issue stated that on the cover but they were only testing the market with it and I believe they got rid of it when they published the first issue.Maybe you and a questioner do not really get the true mission behind SAM since it is not just about sexy models. I think SAM tries to undo many years of subliminal and subconsious effects of media stereotyping of Asians. this will be more evident after many years, if they survive that is.In my opinion, Asianweek.com (go to archives and read May 6 2004 issue "Sexy Asian Men Uncensored" and current issue (1/12/06) "Narrowcasting to the Asian American Male") gets the mission more than any other asian media thus far.