Glamour's Close, But No Ceegar

March 4, 2009

While the spread shows a number of African American women (including first lady Michelle Obama -- played by Alicia Keys -- Billie Holiday, and tennis star Althea Gibson), and one (ONE!) Latina (Dolores Huerta played by, who else, American Ferrera), there are no Asian American women. None. (Note to the world: Camilla Belle, who plays Mary Tyler Moore, is half-Brazilian. She couldn't have played Rita Hayworth, or something?)

Why? It's not because Asian American women have contributed nothing to US history and achievements. Maya Lin, Anna May Wong, Vera Wang, Connie Chung, Michiko Kakutani, Patsy Mink, Thelma Buchholdt, Michelle Kwan, and Kristi Yamaguchi were not merely pioneering Asian Americans, but groundbreakers in their own fields of design, entertainment, journalism, criticism, politics, and sports.

And it's not like there are no Asian American actresses to play them. I'd love to see Vanessa Hudgens do Anna May Wong, or Grace Park posing before the Vietnam Memorial as Maya Lin.

So, for Women's History Month, I'm going to do a few profiles of Asian American women. PLEASE HELP ME by suggesting women you'd like me to profile. (And you can even profile them yourselves and put the links in comments here. If there are enough, I'll do a links post.)

I'm going to start here with our very own Yuri Kochiyama in my next post, longtime activist and godmother to Asian American social justice workers everywhere. You can see a video of her above, which will give you some little idea of her placement in history. Which actress/model do you think should play her in a Glamour photo shoot in a perfect world?




Yes...I would love to see someone do a profile on Michelle Kwan!!! You could even do Michelle and Vera Wang together since Vera designed Michelle's skating dresses.
Sounds like a popularity contest to me, which these type of things usually are
Journalist, activist and scholar Helen Zia. Former editor of Ms. Magazine. Would be nice to have some GLBTQ representation -- Zia came out nationally on C-SPAN in the early 90s, like a badass. Portrayed by...Lucy Liu! Just kidding.
Don't you love how haters are always anonymous on the internet?Who else should we be profiling?
I TOTALLY want to put Lucy Liu in a mullet wig for the eighties portion of that movie!
Claire: you miss understood my point. The reason I said it was a popularity contest was because the michelle Obama and Alicia keys are super mainstream. Kristi YAmaguchi is yester year. Who is hot and who is not? That is always the question. I'm sorry for the bad grammar, but I wouldn't call it hatin or prove me wrong
asian american women writersQueen Liliuokalani
3 points:So, beautiful photos (I love America Ferrara as Dolores Huerta) and totally yes on the absence of Asian Am women here.But also, I get what's being said here about popularity, but not re: who is now and who is yesterday. For example, my Pinay icons, women like Sugar Pie DeSanto, or Victoria Manalo Draves, Jessica Hagedorn, other API's would think too obscure to place alongside other API women, with API becoming synonymous with Chinese American and Japanese American women.Finally, why not include Lucy Liu - dressed as YOKO ONO, who is mega-recognizable, and a hell of an artist.
While i do appreciate that these things end up honoring the best known people at the expense of lesser known, but equally worthy, folks, we DO honor communities by honoring individuals. And by picking individuals, we'll leave others out, necessarily. I think one of the best things about top ten lists or profiles and highlights of people from a particular community is that it leads to discussion over who has been left out, and often those discussions bring more attention to the whole community than the original inclusion.But my whole reason for asking people to suggest folks for me to profile (or to profile folks themselves) was to avoid the popularity (or more accurately, the visibility) contest. So, Barb, which of these would you like me to profile? Or whom are you going to profile yourself?
Indeed Claire, you did ask for suggestions of folks to profile. Sorry for forgetting that part, and thank you again for asking.I'd suggest Sugar Pie DeSanto. As for myself, I will be writing about different API women and women of color writers as I read and revisit their work. I should do a quickie archive of these on my blog. I've recently done write up's on Marianne Villanueva, and Linda Hogan (the Native American writer, not Hulk Hogan's ex-wife). Soon forthcoming: M. Evelina Galang.
cool, thanks! i'll check those out!
Sandra Oh as Yuri Kochiyama...oh wait, it's already been done:
Ming Na as Maxine Hong Kingston or Amy Tan