How to defy cultural stereotypes to be the worst Asian. Ever.

April 13, 2010

Writer Annette Lee  Illustrator Joseph To

YOU’VE NEVER REALLY FIT IN with the family. Your talents and values tend to veer off the path set forth by your sainted ancestors Yo-Yo Ma and spelling bee champ Kavya Shivashankar. You’ve failed at excellence. You’ve failed your parents. But it’s not too late. You can still excel at being … the Worst Asian. 


• Your mind

• 10 fingers

• A healthy amount of self-deprecating humor

• A list of every Asian stereotype the world has ever known

Suck at Math

Somehow the invention of the abacus led the Western world to believe that all Asians are good at math. Really — if that were true, why did we invent Kumon? In reality, you may be decent at math, but if you really want to achieve greatness as the Worst Asian, then you’ll need to suck at it. Forget those helpful acronyms; FOIL should refer only to the stuff your burger comes wrapped in. Lose the handy TI-83; the only T.I. you should be acquainted with is the rapper.

Be Awesome at Driving

Those who have witnessed rush hour in most parts of Asia can attest — it is insane, chaotic and at times lawless. Be that as it may, these drivers RARELY GET IN ACCIDENTS. But somehow the skill required to avoid a pedicab carrying a refrigerator in China is also blamed for numerous traffic violations in the United States. So drive boringly. Drive according to the nuances of local and state laws. Keep your nose clean, even while your counterparts in your ancestral motherland laugh and call you a pussy.

Develop Allergies

Every self-respecting Asian is known for their love of soy. But to be the Worst Asian, you’ll have to have a creative excuse on hand to get out of those tofu dinners. We recommend the soy allergy, which makes your mouth itch and your throat close up. When you’re offered that edamame at the next family dinner, remember these soy allergy symptoms — they will amaze and confound the curious. And they will be virtually impossible to refute.

Chuck the Chopsticks

It is true that some Asian cultures don’t use chopsticks. As one offended Filipino says, “Uh, we use forks.” Adopt this idea, but add some attitude. Nothing like a little condescending disdain as you make a huge production about asking for a fork during dim sum.

By following these easy steps you’ll be quickly on your way to claiming the title of Worst Asian (even if the reigning champ is that random blond guy in the Korean Student Association). Good luck.

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