Asian American women are biologically supposed to be thin, petite, and fair, right? Right? Oh, please.
Director Calvin Sun (with producers Aretha Choi and Marilla Li) address issues about Asian American standards of beauty in the documentary short ASIAN AMERICAN BEAUTY: A DISCOURSE ON FEMALE BODY IMAGE — the winner of the audience favorite at the 30th Annual Asian American International Film Festival in SF. According to the director’s note:
“It has been a phenomenon that issues such as eating disorders has been an extremely taboo subject among Asian Americans who come from more conservative backgrounds. We also must reveal the contradiction of how Asian American girls are pressured in this society to look both “western” and “Asian.” This includes pressures on how many Asian American girls are supposed to play up this well-known image of looking innocent, weak, and petite as “attractive”, but at the same time mainstream media depicts Asian American females as alluring, “exotic,” and sexy. We want to show that some are finally speaking out on the issue.”
Watch ASIAN AMERICAN BEAUTY: A DISCOURSE ON FEMALE BODY IMAGE (Part I & II) under the cut.
The film doesn’t intend to show that issues like anorexia and bulimia are specifically Asian American problems. Instead the film wants people to see that Asian Americans teenagers struggle with eating disorders just like any other American.
“Part 2 of 2 in a film discussing the Asian American opinion on female body image, beauty standards, eating disorders, and unspoken pressures to be thin in both American and Asian cultures.
This video does not aim to cover every single ground regarding the topic; instead it seeks to begin dialogue with a generalized approach to the problems as a first step. We want first to show that Asian Americans are like any other American struggling with issues of body image while at the same time facing pressures coming from their own respective cultures.
This video certainly focuses on the former point; We hope that the latter will be explored more in the future.
We also hope that the people in this video will inspire others around the world to undertake similar projects that would focus deeper into these issues regarding body image and perhaps more specifically Asian American body image.
Therefore, this is only the beginning.”
Want to say something to the director? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org