Lucy Liu was at the Obie Awards the other day and her hair is now blonde. There’s a blonde Asian trend happening right now. The Cut did a piece about it in April. I’m not sure I’m feeling Lucy’s shade of blonde. I’m not sure it works with her skin. Which is why, if I did it, I would go all over platinum. I fantasise about this all the time but I don’t think I’ll ever get up the nerve. Because I work in television but mostly because my hair is really long, it would take forever to process, and then it would take forever to grow out the damage. It also seems like such a production for a look that would last, in its purest form, for a week at most because of grow-out at the root as my hair also grows pretty fast thanks to my ma’s weekly magic soup and tea deliveries: good for the skin, good for the hair. (Seriously, for all the crazy ass bullsh-t Gwyneth Paltrow sells, I sometimes consider starting a business for all my ma’s Chinese potions.)
Anyway, in other Asian hair news, this went down on Twitter a few days ago:
The observation here is that for an Asian woman in pop culture to be interesting, she has to have coloured streaks and if not, if her hair is “natural”, it means she’s docile. Some have argued that people dye their hair in all cultures to reflect a character’s sense of adventure and it’s not just Asians. See Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Some have argued back that:
Before you say "but I'm Asian and I love my colored hair!", that's great!— Alise Quynh (@zeezackczs) May 23, 2018
But we're here talking about how American media refuses to create complex Asian female characters and would rather just slap on a purple streak https://t.co/mRgLgzV8Jl
I used to work on etalk with Tanya Kim, who is Asian. And people used to always mix us up. We do not look alike. But we do have dark hair. It was an indication of how rare it was – and still is – to see Asians on television, and then when more than one Asian is on television, we begin to blur, because in North America, in pop culture, we haven’t had the luxury of being multiple and distinguishable. Which is what is at the heart of the original tweet that started this discussion – that western media, rather than exploring and writing and illuminating uniqueness, often just paints on a hair colour as a stand-in for personality and therefore has created a stereotype.
Agree or disagree?