Immigration, Assimilation, Ethnicity and All That Jazz

New Asian Girl on Gossip Girl vs Asian Girls at my Alma Mater

Posted by chinesecanuck on May 1, 2008

Racialicious has a post about a new character on the CW show, Gossip Girl. I have to admit that I DO NOT watch the show, but I DO know schools like the one on the show. And people like that too. I WENT to a snotty school! I admit it! (but the Mean Girls do kind of mellow out as they mature…if they mature….the kids at these schools are a lot more snobby and spoiled today then they were 10 years ago).

Anyway, the new girl is Asian and is pretty much a walking stereotype: violin lugging, SAT-studying, etc. Interesting that the post says she had (at one time) a boyfriend, because most nerdy Asian girls I knew growing up DID NOT HAVE BOYFRIENDS (they weren’t total bookworms either. Most played a musical instrument and were members of an ensemble and participated in athletics too (usually badminton)). No, that was for the bad girls. You know, helicopter kids – the kids who live with a grandparent or a university-aged sibling while the parents are working in the old country. And you know what happens when you’re 15 years old and the only adult in the house is 20! Let the booze flow and the party begin. These are also girls who never hung out with people who didn’t speak Cantonese (the overwhelming majority of Asian students at my high school were from Hong Kong) and started wearing make-up long before everyone else did. Even the white Mean Girls wore less make-up than the Asian Mean Girls (though the hair dyeing rate was about the same). They were also more likely to be interested in high-end brands (the white girls didn’t catch on until after I graduated). In high school, I was actually CRITICIZED at one point because I came back from Hong Kong wearing “only” a typical “mall brand” and not something DESIGNER. Like, who cares? It fit, it looked great (at least to my 15 year old self) and it wasn’t made up of very crappy material. It wasn’t even all that cheap, either! Why, because it isn’t oh, I don’t know, Prada (or whoever was “in” back in the mid 90s…..I wasn’t fashionista back then), it’s no good? (I was actually out shopping a few months ago and overheard a Cantonese speaking woman saying something about never buying Tory Burch because it’s “not a well-known brand” and therefore not worth the money. WTF? Was she living in a cave? The Reva ballet flat was pretty much an IT shoe last year!) I’m not saying that most of the Asian students at this school were Mean Girls/Bad Girls, but they certainly stood out (back then, anyway)!

***I want to add that the Gossip Girl books is apparently on the reading list (or at least WAS a couple of years ago) of at least one Toronto area private school.  What are they trying to do, compare IRL cases with fiction?***

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3 Responses to “New Asian Girl on Gossip Girl vs Asian Girls at my Alma Mater”

  1. Scapegoat said

    “…if they mature…”

    I’ve actually had “grown-up” Chinese women heckle me over an old cell phone.

    People who criticize things like that are just insecure. They try to use material goods to fill a void. Then they project their own insecurities on others.

  2. Actually the woman who said that the shoes weren’t worth the buy was probably in her mid-40s. No 20-something “kid” here.

  3. ***I want to add that the Gossip Girl books is apparently on the reading list (or at least WAS a couple of years ago) of at least one Toronto area private school. What are they trying to do, compare IRL cases with fiction?***

    LOL

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