The classic narrative of the Asian man in America. Yet, the supposed "positive" stereotype that Asians are born intelligent also traps Asian men (and women), who fail to achieve the pinnacle of STEM fields, into years of insecurity and shame. The "model minority" affirmation pushed by white America was never intended to recognize the hard work of Asian Americans, but instead is a back-handed slap to other communities of color. And then there is emasculation and fetishization. What better war propaganda to motivate young men to fight in Asia, than to advertise the men as weak, and the women as easy? My Asian brothers and sisters live with the consequences of this post-WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam BS. While the plight of Asian women has found some level of allyship among the feminist community, Asian men are still largely left to fend for themselves.
And it shows. We are expected to fulfill our stereotype in order to find acceptance in white male society. It is a generational pressure that our parents adhered to, so well in fact that they pass on their world view and strategy: think brilliantly, work tirelessly, be submissive. If we deviate, we fail at integration in their eyes and risk being endlessly questioned by society and family alike. And even when we achieve exactly what society expects of us... Asian men still cannot be leaders, cannot be assertive, and most certainly cannot be sexy.
This photoshoot is my rebellion against the limits placed upon myself and my Asian brothers. I am sexy, all the way through. I am sexy when I’m caring and affectionate, and sexy when I’m powerful and charismatic. I am sexy when I’m owning my profession, and sexy when I’m relaxing with my friends. To my Asian brothers: you are not a stereotype. You ARE sexy, creative, charismatic, or whatever the hell you choose. Let's destroy this narrative together. Today, I'm choosing to do it one photo at a time.
️Oh and my name is Eric.
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