September 4, 2008

Next Top Model

I don't know where America's Next Top Model finds their Asian women. First, they had April, the hapa girl who said she didn't consider herself Asian. Then they had Gina, the girl who bragged about how proud she was of her Korean American heritage and then bragged that she didn't date Asian men. In all cases, Tyra set the Asian women straight.

Now we have Sheena, a woman who is from Hawaii, now lives in Harlem, and speaks like this. People from Hawaii don't talk like this. People from Harlem don't talk like this. I understand that maybe she wants to be black, but it doesn't sound cool, it doesn't attractive, and it doesn't sound black.

A reporter from Slate once pointed out that Tyra tries to eradicate contestants' African American cultural idiosyncrasies, especially when it comes to regional African American speaking styles. In the past, Tyra has only done this with African American contestants. The question is whether she'll try to eradicate an African American speaking style with a woman who isn't African American but intentionally tries to speak as if she is.

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