Hello everyone! My name is Kimberly Pham and I am currently a third year Economics/Accounting major. I am a very busy person and this summer is no exception. I currently intern for the Santa Barbara County Auditor-Controller’s Office in the Financial Accounting and Customer Support (FACS) Division, which basically means I work on “Accounts Payable.” On top of that, I am also an Economics tutor for CLAS, where I teach Econ 3A (Financial Accounting) as well as tutor students in lower-division Economics courses. In order to not be completely suffocated with Accounting/Economics, I am minoring in Asian American Studies. I took ASAM1 during my first quarter at UCSB and LOVED it, which is why I decided to pursue this minor. If y’all are reading this intro and thinking, “Gosh all she does is talk about school,” y’all are definitely and completely WRONG. Aside from my studies, I do enjoy little, girly things, such as make up, shoes, clothes, fashion, etc… Which leads me to my favorite form of Asian American pop culture – Asian American Youtube Beauty Gurus. An example of such would be: MichellePhan, Jen aka Frmheadtotoe, Hollyanneree, That’sHeart and BubzBeauty.
Pop culture is something that is consumed by the masses- which does not mean it is always liked by those who consume it. Pop culture can be a crowd favorite, a guilty pleasure or something that everyone HATES but just cannot stop talking about. An example of an unusual form of pop culture would be Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s baby- irrelevant celebrity gossip that we all just love to hate!
Asian American pop culture is different depending on who is in charge of the piece. An example of non-Asian-American-made pop culture would be Harold and Kumar, Asian characters who are portrayed as emasculated, un-athletic, weak, scrawny and of course, model minorities. However, these days, with the usage of technology and social media, Asian Americans are resisting against these stereotypes portrayed by the media through YouTube and their own videos. An example of such would be Wong Fu Productions or Ryan Higa- young Asian American YouTube stars who use their acting and editing talents to give their representations of the “real” Asian American experience.
Thus, studying ethnic pop culture enables us to understand how and why an ethnic group is represented the way they are and what actions are these ethnic-minority groups taking in order to break down these false representations.