Asian men shouldn’t need to meet Western masculinity standards to be considered “hot”

In doing so, we’re reinforcing the basic premise of critics: that adherence to Western masculinity should be the yardstick by which manhood and sexual appeal are universally measured. Instead of rejecting objectification and fetishization—realities that Asian women face every day—Asian men are aspiring to such circumstances.

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Bruce Lee’s family calls ‘Once Upon a Time’ ‘a mockery.’ Is it insult or homage?

“There’s nothing else to call him but the butt of the joke, because everything that makes him powerful is the very thing that makes him laughable in the film,” said Yuen, who found the depiction and her theater’s reaction to it insulting. “His kung fu becomes a joke, and his philosophizing becomes a fortune cookie, and the sounds that he makes as he does kung fu are literally made fun of by Cliff. They made his arrogance look like he was a fraud.”

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Hollywood Doesn't Fully Represent Asian Americans Yet

But while the current wave of movies makes the necessary first steps of representation, we must interrogate whose stories are being told. Judging by the roster of what's hitting theaters, Hollywood—and the people talking about its successes—seem stuck in the problematic loop of conflating "Asian" with "East Asian," boiling down the "Asian American experience" to one phrase that doesn't actually suit all.

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“I needed to do this movie”: Awkwafina on her star-making role in The Farewell

Oh, yeah. It was a full-body experience. It’s a unique experience, to leave America and go to where you are “from.” Your whole life, you’re being told that you don’t belong here [in America]. Then you go there [to China] and really realize that you don’t belong there. But then you think about how this is your history too, and you can’t forget that part about yourself. That’s what happened to me.

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The Stories We Tell, and Don’t Tell, About Asian-American Lives

Identity isn’t a prescriptive solution. But when you’re uncertain of your place within society, it can help to have ready-made categories or narratives, even if you choose to reject them. There’s a power in being able to recognize our struggles as the result of paradoxes we live within rather than seeing them as purely private failings. It’s a step toward imagining lives that we might be the authors of, with endings that we write ourselves.

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Fights Over 'Authentic' Chinese Food Have a Long and Complicated History. Now They're Tearing the Culinary World Apart

As Chinese food rises in stature and price, a new wave of white restaurateurs are realizing there’s money to be made in the field, just as Starr and Tepperberg did decades ago. But unlike then, Chinese communities in the U.S. or the U.K. now have the ability to critique the work of these chefs, thanks in part to social media.

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