Kimono aren’t cosplay

Don’t do it y’all, just don’t do it.

In about two weeks it’s Anime Boston, one of my favorite things ever in the city. Anime fans from all over are spotted across the city in different styles of cosplay, earning weird (almost scared) looks from normal people everywhere. I love cosplay, both wearing it and photographing it. But there’s one trend, specifically in the anime community, that needs to stop: wearing a kimono as a costume. AKA: cultural appropriation. Continue reading

I love “Mulan” more as an adult than I ever did as a kid

A while back I was browsing through the YA section at Barnes and Noble and a bright red cover featuring Disney’s Mulan caught my eye. The book was Reflection, one of the special Disney-official fan fiction series Twisted Tale that includes spins on Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and my girl Mulan. I didn’t end up buying it that day, but I checked it out from the library recently and it was as much fun as I could have hoped Mulan fan fiction––written by a Chinese American, Elizabeth Lim––to be. Continue reading

All my social media thoughts after seeing “Crazy Rich Asians”

I saw an early screening and it totally convinced me the hype is valid.

So hardly a week or so ago, I wrote a big think-piece essay blog type thing about how skeptical I am about my expectations for the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians movie. Looking back, I’ve written a lot about this movie: a satirical dream cast, a presentation about the pressure it’s under, and that last post about hyping it on blind faith. Continue reading

Hyping “Crazy Rich Asians” on blind faith

I’m looking forward to this movie, right?

Every time I see the movie poster for the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians movie, I have to stop and take a photo of it for the ‘gram. I’ve seen the trailer so many times I know when all the claps happen. While waiting for a flight, I wandered around LAX looking for the special Entertainment Weekly cover with Constance Wu and Henry Golding. I bought the book a second time just for the paperback copy with the movie cover on it.

And I didn’t even like the book. Continue reading

The most empowering Olympics

The Asian American Athletes at Pyeongchang give me life.

(This was originally posted on the editorial blog of the East Coast Asian American Student Union, read it here.)

I live for the Olympic games every two to four years, ever since the 2008 Beijing opening ceremony changed my life. The pomp and circumstance of the ceremonies, athlete profiles, and feats of human strength always draw me in and rule my life for the next two and a half weeks. This year’s winter games in PyeongChang are no different. In fact my obsession has only been heightened by the amazing Asian American athletes competing this year. Continue reading

“Crazy Rich Asians” y’all

A presentation on the upcoming movie, and the intense pressure around it.

A while back, my friend asked me to give a presentation on anything, as long as it had something to do with books. I had 0 ideas, but got inspired by the special Entertainment Weekly edition of Crazy Rich Asians, so I decided to talk about every reader’s favorite topic: book to movie adaptations.

It went pretty well, and I ended up having a lot of fun making my slides. So for fun, and because I have a lot of thoughts about the upcoming movie, I’ll share them and my speaking notes here.
(I should note that the event was hosted by one of my school’s publishing clubs, hence the literary event references.)

Continue reading

This is journalism goals with Lisa Ling

Exploring America with one of my favorite journalists.

I’d heard about the Taiwanese American journalist Lisa Ling, and in high school I read the book she co-wrote with her sister Laura — Somewhere Inside — about Laura’s captivity in North Korea. Both the sisters became huge inspirations and role models to me as journalists, women, and Asian Americans. So when I saw CNN put all of Lisa Ling’s series This is Life on Hulu, I knew how I was spending my weekend. Continue reading

We Own the 8th: Where Fandom Meets Community

The place for Asian American artists to meet and collaborate.

New media changed the divide between creators and fans, as the ease to create content and give it a home online started a generation of artists with the ability to connect with fans on a more accessible level. New media also opens more opportunities to give voice to communities not represented in the mainstream, seen notably in Lost Angeles, Asian American artists. In this sprawling city, creators meet to network within the community at a number of different professional organizations, but one unique place encourages Asian American artists to come together as a community. Continue reading

Pride and Prejudice: I don’t want to share my princess

As Disney and Sony begin the casting process for their live-action “Mulan,” I worry that 1) She’ll be white or 2) She won’t be Chinese.

Today Disney announced the release date for its live-action Mulan, based loosely off the classic Chinese ballad and the truly classic 1998 animated movie. They announced the movie’s development late 2015, and immediately faced heavy expectations to cast the lead roles as Asian Americans — because of course the heroine of China should be Asian. But I also contend that Mulan should be Chinese. Continue reading

Anna May Wong’s life and legacy

As a film crew sets up shop in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, a little girl watches with rapt attention. Pestering the crew with questions about the movies and hoping to end up in one, she earned herself the nickname C.C.C., Curious Chinese Child. Years later, her loitering around would pay off when a casting agent in need of Chinese extras put her on screen and launched the career of one of the most successful silent actresses and one of the first Chinese American actresses in Hollywood: Anna May Wong. Continue reading