Theresa Celebran Jones was born and raised in Connecticut and has moved cross-country four times. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young daughters. She works full-time as a technical writer and is an MFA dropout. Her only other hobbies are reading, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and listening to hip hop. Clearly she has no social life.
Theresa Celebran Jones
Baby Cobra: A New Totem for Motherhood
In my kids' earliest years, the TV mom I think I most often tried to channel was Claire Huxtable. Claire had long served as my totem for motherhood — she was loving but firm, intelligent and strong, and not terribly cutesy or sentimental about motherhood. Minus the healthy, loving relationship (and recent revelations about Bill Cosby aside), she was the only TV mom who reminded me of my own mom and aunts, as both a professional and a present parent. Yes, she cared deeply about her kids, but never allowed herself to be a martyr to motherhood.
Tough Conversations: When The Political Gets Personal
Two topics have blown up my feed over the past couple weeks in equal measure (from people I actually do follow): the protests surrounding NYPD Officer Peter Liang's conviction, and the police brutality episode of Black-ish.
Representation Matters: the Growing Asian American Presence in Children's Programming
Since the birth of my older daughter, I've given myself the healthy challenge of finding books and toys and programming that reflect positive images of intelligent, adventurous, three-dimensional girls. Racially diverse characters on television were a plus, but mixed-race or Asian American characters were the holy grail for me.
Bows That Bind: Our Collective, Undying Love for Hello Kitty
How I paid homage to a girlhood icon on her 40th birthday, and passed down the love to the next generation.
The Importance of Teaching Kids Solidarity
Hyphen columnist Theresa Celebran Jones considers how to help her children recognize injustice and stand in solidarity with others.
Where Do Asian Americans Fit in Fitness?
Hyphen columnist Theresa Celebran Jones writes about her attempts to adapt her lifestyle for healthier living.
Lifting the Barbie Ban: The Weird Ways We Help Our Kids Navigate Race
As race and racism-conscious parents, is there a right way to freak out about how our children grapple with issues of racial identity?
Bringing Diversity to TV: Whose Job Is It?
It's always a victory to see more of our stories being told on television. So who should we rely on to bring more of those stories into the fold?
Defining Myself For Myself: Helping Our Children Not Get Eaten Alive
How do we give our children the tools to define themselves before the rest of the world does it for them?
Melissa Shang Leads the Charge for an American Girl with a Disability
Just as it's important to me that my kids know that their stories and experiences are worth sharing, it's important to me that they are interested in hearing the stories of those they may not think they're immediately able to relate to.
Breaking the Cycle of Hardass Asian Parenting
Now that we're a few years out, the Tiger Mom meme has been talked to death. Many of us who lived those experiences have long ago decided we wouldn't do the same to our kids. But what do you do when those tendencies creep up on you?
Ways You Can Find and Help Fam in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
There Really Is Strength in Numbers: Chops' New Project to Boost AAPIs in Hip-Hop
Haters Gonna Hate: The Hollow Victory of an Asian American Miss America
While Nina Davuluri may be the very first Indian American to be crowned Miss America, her win just confirms all the awful things we already knew about humanity.
The Baggage of Racial Bullying
Unicorn Chasers: Hope in Dark Times
Sanjay and Craig: Nickelodeon's Hilarious New Mixed-Race Hero
Giving It Up: Immigrant Parents and Sacrifice
The Kindergarten Conundrum
Apparently we could choose between a racially diverse school or a school that met the performance test goal, but not both.
Hot Asian American Guys Are Taking Over My TV (Finally)
Vice Goes To North Korea Again
Dolls Like Us: The Changing Face of Toys
Dr. Mindy Lahiri: A TV Role Model for the Rest of Us
Not My Struggle: Motherhood, Feminism, and Women of Color
Modern feminism's worst mistake wasn't making women believe they could have it all; it was ignoring those of us who already knew we couldn't.
A Primer on K-Drama Feminism
If your college years are long behind you and you've been aching for some Women's Studies practice, try watching Korean dramas.
The Debut of K-Town: Come And Get Your Cousins
Well, the day of reckoning has come. Two years after its first announcement, K-Town has been unleashed on the masses. And to quote T.S. Eliot: "This is the way the world ends; Not with a bang but a whimper."
Our Heroes are Only Human: Manny Pacquiao and Gay Marriage
The South Korean Ad So Controversial, Americans Got Mad About It.
A South Korean ad featuring a baby feeding on a naked breast recently had the internet up in arms. Is the ad actually sexy or are we just projecting?
A Blogosphere Where Nobody Looks Like You
'She's YOUR Kid?' and Other Annoying Questions for Multiracial Families
The Angry Therapist: Not Your Average Shrink
'Tis the Season for Bad Customer Service
Resisting the Charm of Harajuku Mini
Badass Pinays are Alive and Well in 'Death of a Player'
One of the minor pitfalls of being a parent of young kids is seeing these awesome events and wishing my daughter were older so we could share the experience.
Kamsahamnida for the Memories, Seoul
Our family vacation to Seoul wasn't just a fun jaunt through an exciting and friendly city; it was a walk across my husband's own history.
September 11: Lessons of Love and Loss
My family was rocked by the loss of my cousin, Carl Allen Peralta, on September 11. For the past ten years, I've struggled to keep his memory alive respectfully, while arguing with my family about the political consequences of 9/11.
What's in an Asian American Name?
Thought about giving your (future) children ethnic names? Have qualms about naming your child something that sounds "too white"? Let's discuss.
Multi-Culti Summer Reading for Your Little Ones
Beat the heat and keep your little ones reading throughout the summer with these API-friendly picture books.
Grace Chon's Shine: Pet Photography
Grace Chon has the kind of job we all fantasize about, one that sounds awesomely simple and loads of fun. She takes pictures of pets. While many of us toil away at boring 9-5 gigs, she spends the week marrying her two biggest passions: photography and animals.
Itsy Bitsy Shorts: LAAPFF for Kids!
Parents of little ones in the Los Angeles area -- if you’ve been aching to go to the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival but have had some trouble finding a babysitter, I have the perfect event for you. Playing this Saturday is Itsy Bitsy Shorts, a program for the youngest festivalgoers, about "the joys of traveling with others, and the need to sometimes fly solo."
Lily Bee and Her Lovely Ukelele
There’s only one type of music I love more than hip hop: downtempo love songs by female vocalists. It has been my life’s work to get everyone I know obsessed with my favorite singer of all time, Esthero. I tend to act like an annoying hipster about my love for Amy Winehouse (I got Frank when it was released and liked her before anybody in the US knew who she was!). I tried to keep my love for Corinne Bailey Rae on the low, but cried for two hours when I first heard “I’d Do It All Again,” and then cried for another half hour when I first saw the video. And now I have a new singer to gush about.
Bambu Speaks on Domestic Violence on His New Cut
Yesterday, 2DopeBoyz posted a cut from Filipino American rapper Bambu, called “Something.” The song samples Adele’s “Someone Like You,” and because I like both Bambu and Adele, I would’ve been talking about this song anyway. But this one is special.
Flourish In Progress: New Years Resolution Tips from Elizabeth Jayne Liu
Elizabeth Jayne Liu has been at her resolution for four months already. On her birthday in September, she decided she would go against all pleas to stimulate the economy and take a stand against consumerism. She would stop shopping for one year. "This past summer, right before I turned 30, I realized that my material gains weren't going to be the answer to my fulfillment or my happiness," she explains. "I wanted to find out what would make my life richer and fuller, so I needed to take away my biggest distraction."
Hip Hop Roundup: Far East Movement for Starters
If you're hooked up to Hyphen on Facebook, you already know that Far East Movement is covering the next issue. These guys were my first professional interview in 2006; they have a special place in my heart and I'm proud to see them completely killing it in 2010. "Like a G6" bangs so hard it went double platinum this year, and even 50 Cent did a remix.
Manny Pacquiao: Our Hero, Ourselves
The husband, the dun, and I were strolling around the new shops at Santa Monica Place two weekends ago, and the new Nike store had four displays full of the sun of my parents' flag. Right in the entrance, on a platform closed off by ropes, was a mannequin wearing his robe, his shorts, and boxing boots with the Filipino flag. And the storefront was emblazoned with Manny Pacquiao, the largest cardboard cutout of a Filipino I had ever seen.
Did I ever think this day would come?
Flipping the Cultural Script
I'm not that big into personal finance blogs, but I love Ramit Sethi's I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Last week he had a great post about the invisible scripts that guide our lives, and specifically, the invisible scripts embedded in him through Indian culture. The comments section is an enlightening look at red-blooded American ideals, but a few in there talk about the experience of coming up under two or more cultures (and some of the commenters don't live in America, which adds another great layer) and how these values sometimes stand in opposition to each other.
This got me thinking about the invisible scripts I grew up with, some uniquely Filipino values, and some values specific to the immigrant experience that affected my cousins and me and set us on our paths. Some were helpful, others not so much. Some scripts I came up with:
Banksy's Asian Sweatshop on The Simpsons
My Facebook was ablaze last night with the Simpsons opening sequence as reimagined by UK street artist, Banksy. At the time of this posting, Fox has already shut down all the versions on YouTube, but in case you got out of bed really late today, I'll quote you an entire play-by-play from Feministe:
The Other Side to Mail Order Brides
Recently I got a friend request on Facebook from somebody I didn't immediately recognize. Our mutual friends listed my mom, aunt, and a cousin from the Philippines, and I realized the friend request was from a cousin whom I hadn't seen since I was ten. She had moved to Staten Island a couple of years ago after she'd married somebody from a penpal list.
Coming Home to FPAC 2010
This weekend we went to the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (commonly known as FPAC). We went as a family on Saturday, but being that this was essentially the event I moved back to Los Angeles for, I took my daughter on Sunday as well.
Me, You, and Your Mama Too.
In December of 2008, a study was released that showed married women in Japan who live with their in-laws are at higher risk of suffering a heart attack. Another study released last year confirmed that in-laws were one of the leading cause of divorce among Indian, Chinese, and Malay couples in Malaysia. But I'm sure this idea has a wider reach and can be applicable to many married Asian American women who have close contact with their in-laws.