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Daily Share: Awkwafina and Margaret Cho Call Out Asian Objectification “Green Tea”

Awkwafina and Margaret Cho.

Awkwafina and Margaret Cho.

To close Asian American Pacific Islander Month, Awkwafina and Margaret Cho released a new song, “Green Tea,” together. Awkwafina and Cho are not without faults, but damn … “Green Tea” is making me thirsty.

Awkwafina is the stage name for Nora Lum, a second-generation Asian American emcee. Her parents were both first-generation Americans; her father’s family came from China and her mother’s from Korea. Awkwafina grew up in Queens — a lot of her work is New York-centric. A true millennial, she learned how to rap and produced her own music using Garage Band on her computer when she was 17.

Awkwafina doesn’t just make music; she also has a satellite radio talk show called Tawk and has been in a few films. Most recently, she appeared in Neighbors 2: Sorority, which centers on a sorority wreaking havoc. It was hailed as feminist, but sadly it just reads as a bunch of (mostly) white girls reciting White Feminist 101 rhetoric, which makes sense given that it was written by a bunch of white dudes. It was a nice try, but maybe the next time they write a “feminist” movie, they can bring in actual women to write it — like the incredibly funny Awkwafina.

“Green Tea” reclaims the objectification so many Asian women experience. However, the emcee is not without fault. Lines in some of her other songs are ablelist and fatphobic, which I hope she outgrows. Awkwafina is a brilliant young artist that has so much going on for her. She doesn’t shy away from topics about objectification and oppression — why continue the cycle by oppressing others?


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Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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