Reality Shows and Japan (and Other Asian Things)

September 10, 2008

Seriously, what is up with reality shows and this whole need to try and conquer Japan? Or Asia I should say, since Miss New York can't tell Asians apart?

A while ago "America's Next Top Model" had its girls do a Japanese Campbell's soup commercial for a challenge (yes, I remember). And please, allow me to say that they made them look like freaks. What the hell is up with the whole pink on the eyes and cheek look? Is this the new Asian look?
Then, just a few weeks ago while I was catching up on my trashy television shows, I noticed that "New York Goes to Hollywood" did pretty much the same thing. Of course, they just have to put her in a geisha wig, with a karate outfit. And seriously, when speaking about Koreans, New York said, "Is that the same as being Japanese, or, like, not at all?" Damn. 

Oh, and we absolutely cannot overlook "G's to Gents'" episode 7 (scroll down to the video clip), where sushi was eaten off of a live human being, female at that. Is anyone else noticing this? Or to quote Will Ferrell in Zoolander, "I feel like I am taking crazy pills!"

Honestly, I am just so sick of reality shows always making contestants eat Japanese food, or do Japanese whatever, as a challenge. Please, find something new. We get it, it's weird. Ew. Raw fish. Need to spit this out. Japanese language. Weird, and hard. Bow. Bow. Bow. Why can't there be a commercial in German and make that the challenge? Go eat some snails, or guinea pigs. This whole getting Japanese people on the show (and of course none of them EVER speak English) and doing all kinds of Japanese crap is getting out of hand. 
It's just pathetically old.

Stop obsessing over Japan. STOP IT!


Lisa Lee


Lisa Lee works in User Operations at Facebook, and has more than five years of nonprofit experience in marketing and communications for multicultural arts and cultural organizations.



If anything. that "G's to Gents'" episode with those clowns eating off of a *naked Asian woman* is the most f*ckd up thing of them all--much more so than those models making fools out of themselves.With this show, MTV has smeared itself in its own filth and sports a sh*tlicking grin, congratulating themselves on how "edgy" they think they are.It is even worse than the case of this Fusion restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island: for the broader American pimping of Japanese and Asisn culture in general. This is called Orientalism.Orientalism is a proud American tradition of racist/sexist denigration of Asia.It's pervasive in American pop culture because it is *normalized* and has become an unquestioned part of US society--like the air you breathe or the water you drink.The question is, what are conscious Asian people going to do about it?
I. Can't. Look. Away. from ANTM. Damn Tyra Banks and her trainwrek of girls.Seriously though, this is one of my most hated stereotypes: Asians as the perpetual exotic foreigner. I felt that some of the coverage of the Beijing Olympics was in the same tone. Oh, let's send a Westerner to eat something weird! Hee hee. Now, let's send a Westerner to haggle in a market with the locals. Hee hee. Aren't these Chinese people funny and exotic?People refuse to see what's going on in these countries; which is Asia is on the rise and going to kick your ass. They prefer to have some nostalgic idea of the mysterious Far East.
that is a really interesting point sam. because i would think that by making us making our ignorance so public (asking if there really is a difference between ppl from korea vs. japan vs. vietnam), that they're telling the rest of the world just how backwards we are. i don't really think it shows the rest of the nation how powerful we are, but maybe it does send the message that we're so awesome that we don't really care who's who because we can just invade your home and bomb you anyway?as for taking my tv away... hyphen doesn't even own a tv y'all! we wish we had one! donate donate donate!
I think all of this is America's subliminal way of saying, that yeah Japan is a First world country like the US and Europe. And Japan is maybe far more better than us with technology and some fashion trends, however, they still do weird, backward sh!t (american view) and overall America still kicks a$$ and we are still overall superior. yeah miss new york is ignorant about it, but how many other americans are the same way and could care less. Having all those stereotypes replay to the US audience is just a remainder that yes USA is still the the top nation in the entire world. I mean Asians as a whole only account for 4% of the US population, so overall why should most americans care whats totally factual. Its sad but true.
can i vote to have hyphen's tv taken away so she can stop watching America's Top Model? and in turn stop subjecting us to watch it.
I am feelin you!! I live in Japan now. I get so tired of my well-meaning friends in the States emailing me articles of the "freak show" variety re: Japan with the message header... "Can you believe this??" etc. Ad nauseum. Those stupid game shows aren't even popular in Japan anymore, ya'll!!There are just as many weirdos here as anywhere. Definitely fewer than in Los Agneles or Miami, just to name a few places. The whole inscrutable Japan thing is a few centuries out of date...