Tales of Wonderlost

I'm a Korean-American adoptee living in Seoul, just finished my MA in Anthropology (yes, i took all of my classes in Korean TT). In my spare time, I volunteer at two great organizations: Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association (KUMFA) and the Women's Global Solidarity Action Network (WGSAN) - a group that works on various issues, including with the survivors of military sexual slavery during WWII ("Comfort Women"). I also love cooking and baking and going to the noraebang ^^ To make a monthly donation to the Korean Unwed Mothers' Families Association, please click below!!
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Sorry, folks, I’ve never dressed in a way that compromised my true self. The fuck? 

The question is literally asking me to make shit up. 

i think this is an interesting prompt and one that actually gives minorities a chance to talk about the everyday ways that society is oppressive to them. 

society asks us to dress in certain ways in order to be taken seriously or become successful all the time, these standards are based on middle-class, white, hetereosexual, binary-gendered norms. people who fall outside that norm are forced all the time to compromise their “true selves.” having been raised in a white, middle-class environment (although i’m asian) and being a cis-woman, i have picked up the social dress code necessary for success with little to no conflict. it is a privilege that i, as a relatively small, asian, cis-woman, have rarely felt forced to wear something i felt uncomfortable with in order to meet social expectations (though i was forced to wear a hanbok for a HS graduation photo by my white mother, but that’s a whole other story). the few times that i have felt uncomfortable about what i felt expected to wear was when i had to wear something more “feminine” (and i actually enjoy dresses and skirts - typically seen as feminine - but i don’t necessarily want to wear one in any and all situations). the few limitations i have felt on my style have been due to the fetishization of asian women - purposefully steering clear of anything that i felt might exacerbate that, though ideally i shouldn’t have to give a fuck about that. 

not only do i have the luxury of what i feel comfortable wearing generally always being deemed as “acceptable” and “appropriate” by society, even in times when i want to look “hip” or fashionable, as a relatively small, middle-class-coded, asian cis-woman, i can do so without ever having to worry about looking dangerous or suspicious. that is, i can wear the exact same clothes that someone of another race, gender, economic class, gender identification can not wear without the fear of looking dangerous or suspicious, or the fear of harassment by others (including police). we see this all the time and this is why the appropriation of other cultures is not ok. miley cyrus, kei$ha, etc etc have the luxury of appropriating “black” culture in order to look “edgy,” without having to face any of the negative images of “poor,” “ghetto,” “gang member,” “drug dealer,” “criminal,” etc. that actual members of the black community face everyday. same for people who appropriate styles from immigrant cultures. a white woman can wear a bindi and people think she’s “cultured” or “worldly”… while an actual indian woman who wears a bindi looks “backwards.”

in short, it is a privilege to never or rarely be forced to compromise your style in order to be accepted by society. and it is a privilege to be able to appropriate “subversive” styles in order to look “hip” without feeling any of the negative effects. 

(via aelised-deactivated20130821)

  1. thereblogg reblogged this from lostintrafficlights
  2. danananas reblogged this from hennahikki
  3. wellwhenigrew reblogged this from lostintrafficlights
  4. admiralmackbar reblogged this from enseoulment
  5. hennahikki reblogged this from lifesdiversities and added:
  6. lifesdiversities reblogged this from peaceshannon
  7. midnightblackscience reblogged this from shisno
  8. shisno reblogged this from amoebaing
  9. syther reblogged this from lostintrafficlights
  10. clandestinejoys said: Ahh, nevermind. It was just my sick brain misreading the question. I understand what it’s possibly going for now.
  11. harukami reblogged this from voreyeur
  12. salamander-wang reblogged this from lostintrafficlights
  13. voreyeur reblogged this from peaceshannon and added:
    society asks us to dress in certain ways in order to be taken seriously or become successful all the time, these...
  14. baritonepats reblogged this from ricegongjunim and added:
    This commentary is fabulous
  15. iaskforpleasurefirst reblogged this from ragingpeacock
  16. ragingpeacock reblogged this from lostintrafficlights and added:
    I get annoyed when people act like because THEY have never experienced something, then it is frivolous (and gets angry...
  17. littlegoldseoul said: "Well, one time in high school, I tried to dress like I was a cool kid. This was unethical because I wasn’t being honest. In reality, I wasn’t a cool kid and by dressing like one, I was deceiving my classmates."
  18. aehselzgueg reblogged this from lostintrafficlights
  19. lostintrafficlights reblogged this from enseoulment
  20. enseoulment reblogged this from peaceshannon and added:
    Bolded because especially relevant now that the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin is starting up....
  21. the-voyage-never-ends said: Never? Wow. You’re lucky! I have dyed my hair normal colours, removed my jewellery, worn plain coloured clothes.. all for interviews.