Hyphen Online: Highlights From Hyphen's Website

October 31, 2011

Catherine Traywick
Most of the designers author Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu interviewed (including notables like Phillip Lim, Derek Lam and Doo-Ri Chung) were the children of garment producers. From an early age, the designers had assisted their parents with piecework, learning to cut, sew and assemble.

Guided by their intimate connections to garment workers and familial expectations about the nature of acceptable work, they are more inclined to view fashion design as chiefly a business rather than an art and tend to emphasize their close relationships with producers rather than eschew them.

— Excerpt from "The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion"

Saif Ansari
Limbaugh actually believes that he knows Chinese and that his rendering of Hu's speech constituted a "service." … Makes sense, actually, given Limbaugh's bigoted history. In 2007, Limbaugh purported to speak "Negro" by imitating Al Sharpton in a similarly racist segment on his show. In 2006, Limbaugh did a shameful impression of Michael J. Fox mocking the latter's Parkinson's. Limbaugh knows so many languages he should just become an official translator for the State Department.

— Excerpt from Limbaugh's Racist Rendition of Chinese President Speech Leads to Death Threats against California Senator

Ask a Model Minority Suicide
Not so many years ago, I spent a few long seconds on a railing of the Golden Gate Bridge, then a few long days in mandatory hold at the county hospital.

Unless you yourself were living the same puzzle, I doubt you'd have been able to tell. As a daughter of hardworking, upstanding Asian immigrants, I kept my nails clean and my shoes shined. Summa cum laude? Check. Top-ranked graduate program? Check. Fiscally responsible? Check. Smile and banter? Check.

This is not the profile of a suicide. Unless, that is, you are Asian American. Psychologists are finding that — unlike every other racial demographic — Asian American college students suffering from severe depression and suicidal ideation don’t necessarily "present" with falling grades or sub-par performance. Instead, if there's a correlation, it may be in the opposite direction: high-achievers, low resilience.

— Excerpt from Hello

Dianne Choie
"Let down" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about Manila Luzon's performance on RuPaul's Drag Race this week. The girls had to create morning news shows, and Manila was the entertainment reporter, interviewing The Hills' Kristin Cavallari — or should I say, "Klistin Cavarrari." Yeah. She went there.

It's ignorant elementary school mockery at best, and at worst it's an extremely dated and lazy means of comedy along the lines of 19th century minstrel shows. As fellow competitor Delta Work put it, "[Manila] was like Middle America's interpretation of Asian people, but when they call them 'Oriental.' "

— Excerpt from Hyphen TV: Are You Playing Angry Birds?

Sylvie Kim
This project is taking a comprehensive look at Asian American body image issues, both dismantling the persistent preconceived notions of Asian Americans and examining the cultural dynamics that stem from within Asian American communities. To outsiders, we were all born the same. We are who we are because of biology, whether it's as possessors of preternatural mathematic ability, tireless work ethic or frames so petite they might as well as be Lilliputian. From the inner circles of our families, ethnic communities, peers and friends, the value of our appearance may be overinflated to a point where it becomes synonymous with success, and the bar for which we gauge attractiveness is set at an impossible standard. From one direction the message reads: "If you are Asian, you are thin." From the other direction: "If you are Asian, you better be thin."

— Excerpt from Lisa Lee and Lynn Chen Launch Body-Image Blog ‘Thick Dumpling Skin’

Dexter Lee Thomas
You will otherwise be a paragon of citizenry, however — you will never spit out your gum, skateboard on public property or jaywalk. And your car? Perfectly maintained, lest you attract attention to yourself with a dim headlight.

This law is going to make you resent and be suspicious of other ethnicities who don't seem to be getting harassed as much as "your people"; this law is going to make you feel victimized, and this law is going to make you feel scared.

And that's really what this law is about — keeping us divided, keeping us in our places and keeping us afraid.

— Excerpt from What It’s Going to Be Like Under AZ’s SB 1070

Victoria Yue
Jeremy Lin: Yeah, it's like two cheeseburger patties on a foot-long sub with lettuce, tomatoes and, you know, everything. I love getting them at Pinocchio's at Harvard Square. It's the best.

Victoria Yue: That sounds like a tasty heart attack.

— NBA point guard Jeremy Lin on his favorite foods, excerpt from Meet Jeremy Lin, Golden State Warrior

Magazine Section: 

Sylvie Kim

contributing editor & blogger

Sylvie Kim is a contributing editor at Hyphen. She previously served as Hyphen's blog coeditor with erin Khue Ninh, film editor, and blog columnist.

She writes about gender, race, class and privilege in pop culture and media (fun fun fun!) at www.sylvie-kim.com and at SF Weekly's The Exhibitionist blog. Her work has also appeared on Racialicious and Salon.