Shame On You

Saving face with the ladies behind Disgrasian, the year’s hottest Asian American blog.

April 13, 2010

Photographer Derek Liu

OUR COVER GIRLS, Diana Nguyen and Jen Wang of pay homage to an iconic image of a lone journalist: industrious behind a typewriter, accompanied by a tall bottle of whiskey and wheezing through a pack of cigarettes.

Though the two ladies are dressed in throwback attire and share a similar professional role as a voice to the public, their presence is entirely different. They are feminine, charmingly irreverent and unafraid to venture upon taboo issues of sensuality, fame, race and disgrace.

“[Disgrasian] is not primarily about celebrities or politics or things that are racist. [It is] a conversation between us,” Nguyen said. “We think through the same filter.”

Their cheeky conversations gave way to the concept of Disgrasian when Nguyen noticed a mousy girl at work, wearing slippers with socks and eating instant noodles for lunch.

“I was so frustrated, I needed to tell Jen,” Nguyen said, “Look, those people are threatening our cause; they’re a disgrace!”

Inspired by another salacious website, The Smoking Gun, the two launched “Our crime was going to be disgraceful behavior,” Wang said.

Since their first post in 2007, Wang and Nguyen have let loose on anything that comes to mind and interests them — from tabloid fodder to current events.

The bloggers admit that is sometimes difficult to classify. “[The blog] evolved the minute we started doing it,” Nguyen said.

Aside from coining the term “Disgrasian,” a mix of disgrace and Asian, the two have created puns on the word “Asian” in their Disgrasian dictionary. They also celebrate noteworthy individuals as “Amazians of the Week,” and raucously ostracize people or events as “Disgrasians of the Weak.”

The two acknowledge their unique position in the blogosphere, as Asian Americans and as women. “We have the benefit of a sense of ownership in that territory,” Nguyen said. “There is a freedom in that we can comment on [women] in a way that’s not complicated by our attraction.”


Jessica Lum is a Hyphen photo editor.

Magazine Section: