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Ask the USA: “Why Do Americans Make A Big Deal About Race and Ethnicity?”

14 Apr

Hello readers!

Early in February, I introduced a new series to my blog called “Ask the USA”. In that introduction, I explained the purpose of this series, what inspired this series, and why I feel qualified to answer these questions (to the best of my ability, of course).

With that being said, one of the questions I’ve been receiving from foreigners all over the internet is:

“Why Do Americans Make a Big Deal About Race and Ethnicity?”

Let’s just get one thing straight here. The USA is full of diverse people with diverse opinions. When it comes to race and ethnicity, people handle it differently here. Obviously, there are many people who don’t make a big deal about it. There are people who are actually prejudiced and don’t care about it. There are people who make a big deal about race and ethnicity and see them as serious issues. There are people who use these issues to “progress” in life and use it as an excuse to do whatever it is they want.

But those who understand “prejudice” will act against it, right? That group may not include those of a minority racial group. It may include those of alternative sexual orientations, minority religions, feminists who feel oppressed, and ethnic groups who live alternative lifestyles. With all of these people acting against prejudices of all kinds, they will obviously loudly act or speak against racism.

However, there are people in the above category (including those from a minority race) who really don’t care about racism either way.

Yet, we still have to acknowledge that people do make a big deal about these things.

So, let’s begin with a little history lesson…

How Did All of these Race Issues Begin?

America is still a young country in comparison to most other countries. It is exactly 238 years old (if we’re not counting when the settlers first arrived on the land and the thousands of years the Native Americans have lived on the land).

With that being said, many of the early issues that affected the USA still sort of affect us because they really didn’t happen that long ago (if you consider the fact our history is more recent than the histories of other nations).

This nation has a majority white population. But it wasn’t always that way. The Europeans did a lot to make sure it became that way. Their actions left a lot of bitter and resentful people. Unlike other countries, the USA began as a melting pot, with a majority Native American ethnic group, and ended with white people as the majority. It was never homogeneous. Let’s start with the original people.

Native Americans

The ancestry of these people trace back to Asia, so they weren’t always on the land, but they discovered it first, thousands of years before Europeans arrived.

Before the Europeans arrived on the land, it was owned by the various indigenous tribes within. They divided the land up their own way, just to keep the peace among them.

They learned to work on the land, they hunted and/or grew crops, fished, and developed their own cultures.

The first Europeans to arrive were from Spain. Most were explorers. They were helped by the Native Americans. The Spanish traded with them, which was how horses were introduced into the different western tribes.

Eventually, though, they fought with the many Native tribes on the west coast, some of the southeast coast of America, and in present-day Mexico and took over the land. Most of those settlers were greedy for land. “Hollywood” now resides in one of those lands.

However, even though Spain fought many tribes, they also befriended many tribes, including the Pueblo. Eventually, some of the Spanish mixed with many indigenous tribes and formed the ethnic group of Mexicans (Mestizos) we are most familiar with today. They learned from the other indigenous tribes and lived peacefully for years.

Mexico eventually fought and won independence from Spain in 1821 (after years of revolt against Napoleon’s occupation of Spain). Mexico won all of the west coast from Spain and continued to live peacefully soon after.

The French came as well, but they were overtaken by the English. They had issues in their own nations, a feud with Great Britain, and Canada to manage as well.

When the Europeans from England arrived, they were escaping religious “persecution” in Europe, sent over to the land to chart it out, or sent there as a punishment for crime (since it was considered the “wilderness”, fairly with large forests and mountains and unfamiliar wild animals).  This means that most were looking to spread their own religious values, were sent to conquer the land, or were criminals.

Many of the criminals were trapped as indentured servants. Orphans and other lost people were sent to the land as well.

When the Europeans arrived, they didn’t literally have a thing. During the Starving Times, some people ate their own shoes.  The Native Americans helped out their foreign invaders, even though the Europeans had no business on their land “illegally”.

The Europeans were so brainwashed by their religious leaders, they truly believed “God sent them” to the New Land. With that being said, they also believed the Native Americans were heathens that needed to be “civilized”, like they felt they were. This attitude led to Europeans setting up missionaries and trying to baptize the indigenous tribes. Most tribes didn’t have a problem with this…until the missionaries started whipping people, even adults, for “breaking God’s law”.

Many of the Europeans also just didn’t understand other cultures. They weren’t exposed to anything different, but they had knowledge from books and affinity with writing. Most of the information was full of prejudice. They abused many Native people for not converting to their religions and yet consumed the resources of the land. The Europeans began to over hunt and over plow, overstepping the cultural rituals regarding hunting and agriculture. They were like guests who overstayed their welcome.  They were also not clean (hygiene especially) and were full of disease. That wiped out many indigenous tribes.

As more and more white people arrived, and shortly after the American Revolution (the colonists’ break from Great Britain), it was harder to divide the land. Europeans began complaining about the Native Americans. The Europeans eventually fought with the tribes on the East. They depleted their population and drove the natives out. They indigenous people were forced to the land west of the Mississippi.

Later, around the 19th century, the new Americans felt they deserved ALL of the land, even the land to the west of the Mississippi. They were greedy, experiencing several economic issues, and trying to fit all of these immigrants in the land. They made treaties with the Natives to the west, but broke ALL of their promises. Eventually, wars broke out. Some tribes were just killed off without even being involved in wars. The Native people surrendered, tired and looking for peace. The United States set aside land for these people called “reservations”. They were not considered citizens, they were just allowed on the land.

But when Americans found gold on the reservations, they kept making the lands smaller and smaller, just to get hold of the resources. They tricked, cheated, and harmed many tribes up until the 20th Century (1900s)!

They put most of all the Native children in boarding schools, forcing them to dress like Europeans, talk like Europeans, and prevented them from seeing or living with their families and friends. The children were brutally punished if they showed any connection to their culture. This is why the languages are hardly spoken to this day and why many cultural practices are lost.

To add insult to injury, the Native Americans were never granted citizenship until 1924.

Why does this matter to Native Americans today?

1.The reservations still exist to this day. The US government has yet to be apologetic about the land they stole, the promises they broke, the people they cheated, and the people they’ve murdered. The terror that they caused to these people has been tremendous. Sadly, many of the reservations are impoverished. The reservations were stripped of resources, so many of the people couldn’t thrive. Their hunting practices were lost because they were often put out of their original hunting grounds. Unapologetic Americans, quick to release themselves from guilt, often retort “Just leave the reservation, then you’ll live prosperous”. Many Native Americans stay on the reservations as their last stubborn fight for justice. Unfortunately, it feels more like a losing battle at times.

2. Many grandparents and great-grandparents experienced the boarding schools, are living on the reservations, still are scarred by those times in history, and pass their stories down to their children as warnings, as teaching tools, and as truth. Those children carry those burdens with them. It eventually turns into anger, sadness, and bitterness that continues on with loved ones for generations. Who wants to hear that grandpa and grandma were harshly beaten in boarding schools just for speaking their own language? That’s frightening and fear leads to anger.

3. They are no longer the face of their own land. Thanks to most of the media, most of Hollywood, other countries, especially in far east Asia, consider America to be a land full of “blonde hair and blue eyes” or black people. And they aren’t wrong. Most of the Native people were wiped out by Europeans.

Therefore, the Native people get little respect and little representation. Without that representation, their struggles are forgotten, their history rewritten or unwritten, and their culture disrespected time and time again. From the late 19th century to the 1950s, some Native Americans, along with Africans, were kept in zoos!

To them, when they watch people across the world explain what an American is to them, it is likely to make them roll their eyes because they constantly hear descriptions of white people instead of them.

4. History books teach a distorted view of Native Americans, if at all. Thanksgiving is even taught all wrong to children. Most children even believe Native Americans (often called “Indians”) are fairy tale characters…

Arguably, before the Europeans arrived, the Native Americans didn’t get along with one another, and one tribe may have just as easily conquered the others much the same way the Europeans did.

But I don’t think the issue is so much that they were conquered. I believe it was the way they were conquered. It wasn’t through a fair fight. There were lies and cheating involved, which was not the way many Natives fought. And the fight continued even through to the modern century, which made this more of a modern history issue that affects Native Americans today.

African Americans

Many African Americans are descended from various western tribes in Africa. The African and Arab slave trade was practiced for centuries before Europeans arrived on the continent of Africa. During wars, many of the losers would be taken as slaves. Around the 15th century, slaves were being sold outside of Africa.

There are many different kinds of slavery. The kind of slavery the Europeans introduced was different than much of the slavery practiced in Africa (though Northern Africans practiced a similar form at times). In many African nations, people would be enslaved as punishment for a crime or to pay off a debt. They would have certain rights and it was more like indentured servitude. Slave families could buy their freedom and become a part of the master’s family. Many dressed nicely and were fed well. Many were sent to work gold mines, to tend the land, or work in the master’s homes.

At first, enslavement was just on a small scale. But the demand for slaves in Europe and many Arab nations increased. Wars increased and slavery increased.

Many of the African Americans living in America today are descendants of the slaves bought by Europeans from Africa.

Europeans practiced a kind of slavery called “chattel slavery” where a slave had no rights and was treated like property or like an animal. America had the longest history of slavery in the world, practicing it up into the 19th century (1800s).

African Americans helped build the USA with their labor and brains, but they got little recognition or respect for it and often times white people took all the credit for things they did, which made black people appear as if they weren’t contributing much to American society. Many families were separated and unacknowledged. Their heritage was stripped from them, they were beaten for speaking their language and practicing their culture, and so the cultures were lost. Many African Americans don’t even know where their ancestors came from in Africa and are completely removed from their nations’ cultures.

There were some African Americans who came to America as immigrants but most came as slaves.

The American Civil War is what changed things for African Americans.

The Civil War was mostly about the division of territory, but slaves were swept up into the debate. Certain states were slave states. The South mostly relied on slaves. They were more agricultural. The North relied on factories and immigrants to thrive. They wanted to move America into the future with machines and technology. They felt the South was holding them back. They felt the way to force the South forward was to get rid of the slave trade, which would cut into the southern economy. The South felt that the North had no right to tell them what to do. As Americans expanded west, they began to debate over which states would be slave states and which would be free states. It moved from a debate into a war.

Eventually, the North won the war. African Americans were freed, but they still were not treated equally. They were given the right to vote, but hard tests were put in place to discourage African Americans, who couldn’t read, from voting and holding public office. Many places were segregated or didn’t allow black people inside, so many black people had nothing to call their own. They were forced to move into run-down neighborhoods with immigrant families.

The South made living there difficult when they put Jim Crow Laws in place, which were designed to prevent African Americans from progressing.

Many white people murdered black people from the end of the Civil War to the 1970’s, and no justice was served. Some cases didn’t reopen until the 1990’s, like in the case of the Birmingham Church bombing that killed four little girls, and by that time many of the criminals had passed on, living most of their lives comfortably and guilt-free. Many cases still aren’t resolved and have gone cold.

The people who lived during that period lived in the 1960’s, 1970’s, and are still living as parents and grandparents today, and were greatly affected by the period mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially.

A lot of people feel these issues have ended years ago and don’t realize how the past can affect the future. If a war between North and South Korea still exists, and the feelings are still holding true, what makes the feelings from those harsh racist times in America any different? The past affects the future.

How does this affect African Americans today?

The slave trade has had an affect on all of African Americans except the ones who migrated to America on their own. African immigrants wouldn’t relate to the actual history.

The history has affected the culture in various ways:

1.It influenced the way African Americans speak. African Americans grew up in the South. Much of the South was owned by France and Spain. African Americans developed a “cajun” accent. Even when the English took over, the accent remained. They weren’t taught to read and write, so many learned English simply by ear. Many spoke broken English as a result.

Once slavery ended, many slaves still didn’t have access to schools, as white people still kept schools segregated and made no efforts to build schools for the newly freed black people. Many had to migrate north for schooling, but many didn’t have the money or health to make it that far. So, the manner of speaking stuck. It traveled all the way to the present day.

Nowadays, African Americans receive an education and are taught the proper way to speak English. However, if their grandparents spoke that way, their parents did, too, and so the manner of speaking carried on into many African American households. Many black people return to the manner of speaking to relate to other people within their race.

2. It influenced African American music culture, American music, and their place in the music industry. Blues, rock and roll, pop music, and much of the modern music we listen to came out of the African American community. Black Americans didn’t have much to call their own, but they were able to make music. They used music to express their feelings in ways they were not free to express.

Unfortunately, many white people hijacked the genres and denied African Americans airplay on the radio, causing people to acknowledge white contributions over black contributions. For instance, Elvis Presley is considered the King of Rock and Roll though he did nothing to truly contribute to the genre other than moving his hips on stage. He stole the songs of many African Americans and brought them to the “mainstream” which was really just the “white audience”. Many African American rock and roll artists didn’t get respect until the 1990s and many still aren’t respected in the rock community. The Beatles get more attention and they aren’t even American.

That’s why African Americans today get so butthurt when white people get famous from things they’ve invented. They don’t feel appreciated or respected. They feel treated as inferior. This is why they are the first to pull the cultural appropriation card. They are afraid of their contributions being wiped under the rug like it once was before.

Even in movies, white people would often portray African Americans, and sometimes they would play up racist interpretations. This is where the “black face” stemmed from. Many of these interpretations put African Americans in inferior positions to white people. They put African Americans in a negative light and made fun of African Americans’ station in life, their culture, the way they spoke, etc.

When there were roles that honored a historical figure of color (like an African Queen), a white person would portray the person. This caused most of the world to believe that all the major royals of the world were white and that black people were always inferior. Movies were segregated and black people were not invited to play roles in major movie productions or in major playhouses. This whitewashing happened up until the 1970’s. Many of the executives and/or the families that approved of the whitewashing are still in control today.

This is why white-washing is so looked down upon by black people. This is why so much of a stink is made when white people are put in roles that could potentially go to other races of people. Many people of different backgrounds already feel undermined.

And then racism really does still exist. When the role is reversed, white people don’t like it either.

3. Like in Native American communities, parents and grandparents are still around to remind the younger generation of harsher times in history. They remind their children to be watchful of racism because they were victims of it. Of course hearing these stories are enough to make the newer generation more defiant of a system they felt betrayed them. It’s enough to make them angry and bitter.

4. It is the reason so many still live in low-income, crime-ridden neighborhoods. Many businesses that are major in the USA today began as early as the 1700s. African Americans were enslaved during these periods, putting them behind everyone else in the job and business market. Laws interfered with their education and racism had a major impact on families. Even with the inventions created by black people, many had to go through white people to get it sold or to get it off the ground. They had jobs, but were underpaid and were paid less than white people up until the 1970s.

Angry about the injustice, many black people turned to a life of crime to take what they felt they deserved. They learned about gang life from the Irish and Italians who lived in the inner cities (before they learned how to integrate into wealthy and middle-class American society). Anger groups sprung up to fight white supremacy.

The “gang” mentality influenced the black community and eventually influenced the culture in both large and small ways.

As mentioned before, racism in the 1960s and 1970s had an affect on the grandparents and parents that are still alive today. Even when the Civil Rights Movement ended, some people were still bitter towards black people and found ways to keep them away from the working world. Most black people grew up in homes with parents who had low-income jobs as a result.

The children of these people grew up with little, which set them back. Many of them found success in the 1980’s and 1990’s, but if there were any other problems in the domestic structure, many continued to struggle. Poverty often leads to poverty, and it’s the very reason many African Americans are still in poor situations.

This made a lot of African Americans bitter towards white people.

5. Certain standards in a Eurocentric society come out of systemic racism. The European standard of modesty, beauty, manner of speaking, and even living washes over the nation and around the world. Anyone who doesn’t fit in with that standard is “odd” or “eccentric” or inferior. Black people get called “ghetto” or “uncivilized” if they deviate from the norm.

Black people deviate the most from these standards, simply because their culture is different and their appearances are different. This stands in the way of getting good jobs or getting elite positions in society, especially in an industry where presentation is important.

Black hair is considered unprofessional.

6. It is the reason so many African Americans struggle in school to this day and have a hard time achieving in society.

Before slavery ended, they weren’t allowed to read and write. Slave owners did this so slaves wouldn’t learn how to buy their own freedom and so they wouldn’t run away to free places.

Some black people taught themselves secretly, stealing books or overhearing conversations or listening outside of school yards. Some of the house slaves (slaves that worked in the master’s house and not in the fields) passed notes from house to cabin.

But most black people resigned to the fact that they would never learn how to read and write the language they were forced to speak. To cope with this fact, many developed pride in their ignorance, using it as humor and resisting White education altogether. After all, they felt, “Why should we have to learn English? Why should we learn at a white man’s designed school? Let’s resist them by resisting their education.”

Unfortunately, this established a rebellious attitude in the culture and made it difficult for them to assimilate into American society once freed.

Even after they were free, the Southern part of the USA, the part of the USA that mostly practiced slavery before losing the war, refused to establish schools for black children and some schools for blacks were burned down. Teachers and students were killed for helping, white and black. This scared black people off from an education.

Even after school became mandatory at the turn of the 20th century (early 1900’s), many schools for African Americans had little money to provide books for each student. Poor kids still had to work, so many black students worked while attending school. Many kids had to drop out to help their parents make ends meet. They couldn’t fund raise in the black community because most didn’t even have adequate jobs. White people were unsympathetic and felt freeing them was enough, so must didn’t put money behind black schools. And schools were segregated, or separated, between blacks and whites.

All-black schools continued to suffer up until the 1970’s, after the Civil Rights movement. But even then, progress was slow. The government began funding the money after schools were desegregated and everyone got their legal rights, but they were still way behind schools with a majority white population. And still some people were against the integration of black kids and didn’t want to help black people, just like some don’t want to today. They felt it was up to black people to fix themselves. But the problem was it was difficult to start at the bottom in a society with white people at the top. Progress would have to be slow if black people were to fix themselves.

Many black kids just gave up on trying to receive an education and gave up trying to assimilate into American society. That’s why we ended up with a culture heavily on welfare, strongly against authority, and uninterested in education as a whole. In many ways, it’s a courageous stand, but foolish, and it sets many black people back. The attitudes and behaviors that came from slavery give white people a reason to ignore black people and establish racist rules.

Racism still exists as a result. Because of racism, segregation still exists. Black people still end up with the short end of the stick. This is why black people are some of the most defensive minorities in the country. Many of them don’t trust white people, and it doesn’t seem many white people care to earn that trust and would rather ignore the issues.

Segregated Proms Just Ended in 2014 in Georgia

My Experience

I am a very open-minded person, and I have friends of many different backgrounds. From reading my various articles, most people know I’m not the first to pull the race card or jump on the “black power” bandwagon. But I know from experience racism, especially systemic racism, exists or has existed in the 21st century.

I graduated from high school about 9 years ago, but I still remember this incident.

All my life, I lived in an all-black community and attended all-black schools. Yes, my school was the stereotypical violent school. The school performed poorly academically (only 50% of my class graduated) and the behavior was off the charts horrible. I personally had good grades, but everyone around me didn’t really appreciate school and didn’t really respect the teachers or administration in place. Gang life was common. I was in a school full of people who glamorized thug life and would start a fight with you just because you looked at them.

Of course, not everybody was like this. Some people were peaceful and involved in school. But they were considered lame or stuck-up to the other kids in the school. My clique was called the “lames”. We liked rock music, anime, video games, and tried to have fun with school and such.

One year, I was taken out of that school and placed in a relatively mixed school, with the majority of students being white (though that majority wasn’t that large). Almost all of the teachers were white. In fact, I only remember there being one black teacher in the whole school and no black administrators at the District office.

I was really excited to go to this school. The school’s academic stats were high, they had fun activities that I was eager to get involved in, and I wouldn’t have to worry about people picking fights with me, threatening me, or any other nonsense like that. In my mind, I assumed that being at a black school was the problem. I used to be one of those people who acted like a coon, bad-mouthing black people and feeling resentful because I was bullied for being different. So, I was excited to be around people who might actually appreciate rock music or anime like I do.

After attending the school, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. I did make friends of all races, don’t get me wrong. But everybody was so divided into cliques, it was hard to mingle. And then by the time I moved there, I was a Junior in high school, so everyone had already made their friends. Still, mostly it was peaceful.

However, I ran into this one group of girls (all white clique) who seriously looked down on people. They were racist, but they also looked down on poor white people, too. I remember one time, one of the girls bit off her cookie during lunch, came over to me and my friends’ table, and said, “Here you need this” to one of my poorer white friends, handing her the bitten-off cookie. This girl and her friends also used to make fun of a Middle Eastern boy at the school. I remember they would pronounce his name wrong on purpose and tell him he smells. He got so fed up one time, he almost dumped his tray on their heads.

And those girls were just laughing.

They would talk about my black friend, saying she tried to act white, talking about how ugly she looked, etc.

They didn’t bother me because at the end of the day, they weren’t in charge of my grades. And then they weren’t a bowl of cherries. They all had this ugly orange fake tan they got at a cheap booth, so there was a lot to discuss regarding them. 😛

But then, second semester, I ran into a racist teacher. That’s when it got tricky.

Because I was so excited to go to this school, and because I’d never been around too many white people, I assumed everybody was going to be normal or nice. Even if I knew some teachers might be mean or strict, I never expected them to be racist. Not in the 21st century, oh no.

Initially, a lot of black students warned me about her, but I didn’t listen to them because at my old school, kids would say teachers were racist all the time. And all of the teachers they said were racist would turn out to be nice to me. So, whether they were racist or not, this didn’t affect my grades. What racist teacher would want to work at an all-black school, under all-black administration, anyway? And some of those students were just awful bad and used the race card to avoid taking responsibility.

I didn’t personally have this teacher, but my sibling did. My sibling and I are the same age and we felt the same way about the school. At first, she didn’t listen to anyone around her who told her about this teacher. I didn’t either and just brushed it under the rug.

But when my sibling walked into this class, right away she felt something wasn’t right. My sister would say good morning to the teacher, like she did all her other teachers, but the teacher would never say anything back. But when the white students came in and greeted her, she would get into long conversations with them. My sister didn’t think anything of it at first, assuming maybe she didn’t say it loud enough or assuming she rubbed the teacher the wrong way. I assumed that, too.

The class didn’t have assigned seats, but the majority of the students of “color” or of a different ethnic group (black, Asian, Hispanic, Afro Latino, Muslim, etc) sat at the front of the room, while the white kids sat all over the classroom, with the majority sitting in the back. One time, my sister wasn’t feeling good and decided to sit at the back of the room. The teacher told her to sit at the front. My sister asked her why, and the teacher said she’s used to her sitting there and wanted to keep track of everyone in the room for attendance purposes. So, my sister didn’t make a big deal about it. But the next day, a few of the white students, who normally sat in the front, moved to the back, and the teacher didn’t say anything to them. In fact, the white students switched seats all the time.

Still, my sister just listened to what she said and didn’t really think she was racist. She thought the teacher didn’t like her for some reason, but she didn’t think she was racist.

The teacher would focus on the black and Mexicans kids, but some of them were bad.

But there were far more black students that cared about their education in this school. One of the black girls in the class was in the top 10 of her graduating class.

The first sign that the teacher was racist came with this student.

The white students in the class were talking in the back of the classroom. Whenever the other students of color talked, the teacher would issue consequences, but she never did that with the white students. In fact, she would laugh and joke along with them!

One day, they were talking during a lesson. She pointed out a black student, who had the highest grade in the class, and told her to stop talking. This student was very quiet and was writing her notes. She looked up surprised and said she wasn’t talking. The teacher told her not to talk back to her and she wrote the student up! The student was trying to explain that the students in the back were talking, but the teacher said she didn’t want to hear excuses.

Fortunately, the principal and administration weren’t racist. The student was able to talk to them and get the referral thrown out.

But it didn’t stop there.

The second incident came when a Mexican student in the class received a D as a grade in the classroom, even though he turned in all his work and said he’d gotten good grades on his work. He asked to look at his work and review it. The teacher refused. He stormed out of the classroom, yelling, “Racist bit**!” The teacher shrugged and said “whatever”.

The third incident came when the teacher kept telling one of the other black students to be quiet and the student refused. Of course, the student was being disobedient, which was bad. But the white students in the back talked throughout the whole lesson. The black student brought this to the teacher’s attention, stating “Why don’t you talk to them in the back? I can’t wait to move back to the city.” And the teacher said “Me too. I can’t wait until all of you go back.” My sister was thinking, “all of you”? What does she mean by that?

The final incident, the final straw, was when a final project was due and my sister almost failed the class because the teacher lost her assignment.

My sister and I have always been conscientious about our work. There was a big assignment that determined the final grade in the class. This assignment was to write a letter to Red Lobster. If the letter got to Red Lobster, they would send a letter back. So, there were supposed to be two copies: one for the teacher and one for Red Lobster.

My sister turned her letter in a week before the due date. Red Lobster sent a letter back to her; that’s how she knew she turned it in.

The teacher comes up to her and says she didn’t receive the letter. My sister reminded the teacher that Red Lobster responded, but the teacher said that if she didn’t receive a teacher copy, my sister would fail the class! My sister kept a couple of copies in her locker, and asked the teacher if she could go and get it out of her locker. The teacher said no, and said that that was that. My sister asked if the teacher could look on her desk again and check around. The teacher refused and told her to sit down. My sister was panicking, afraid, worried, crying.

Then a white girl comes up to the teacher and asks the teacher if she can get a pass to go the library to DO THE PROJECT. Girl didn’t even do it and it was passed the due date. And guess what the teacher said? “Oh sure, I’ll write you a pass.” SAY WHAT? It was then my sister realized the teacher was racist. She immediately told an adult, my family.

After that, you know fam jumped on the phone with the school board and the principal, explaining the situation.

They asked the teacher to search her stuff again. Guess what? She found it. Interesting… She told my sister it was somewhere on her desk…

After that, my sister realized she had come face to face with her first racist experience.

It’s not a big deal when it’s some person who can’t affect your life in any way, like that clique of girls I mentioned in the beginning of this story, but when it’s someone in authority, someone who can potentially stifle your growth, like a teacher, or put you in jail, like a police officer, that’s when racism is scary. That’s where it should be stopped. That’s when it gets serious.

After that, I never questioned whether racism existed. I don’t see racism in every incident, but I know it exists. Even though things may have changed since 9 years ago, I’m still watchful, still prepared to be disliked simply because I’m black. It taught me to pay attention to my surroundings and not to assume things have changed just because we’re in the “modern era”.

In that classroom, none of the white people realized how racist the teacher was. She treated them nicely. Of course, they thought we were all just pulling the race card. They assumed that because she treated them nicely. Some of them turned a blind eye to what was going on, just happy they were getting special privileges.

I think they had a hard time believing it because one half Mexican half white boy got away with sitting with the white kids. He dyed his hair, was pale, and didn’t have a “Spanish” accent. He blended in well, so the teacher treated him nice. He concealed his ethnicity the whole time and she never found out he was Mexican. I think that’s why my sister questioned herself.

But eventually it became clear.

People of a minority group are taught early on to recognize signs of racism as a result of the stories they’ve been told by their parents and the experiences of other people of color. Some miss the mark, paranoid of being treated unfairly, but others are very aware and on point.

Watch the movie Get Out. It’s really good about pointing out how deep racism can be seeped into the hearts of individuals and shows how black people are taught to recognize the signs.

Mexican Americans

At one time, the whole west coast of present-day USA was owned by Mexico. The Spanish settlers were the first to settle in the land. Many mixed with the indigenous people forming the Mexican ethnic group we know today. After they won independence from Spain in the 1800’s, they opened trade with the USA. This turned out to be a big mistake.

I already mentioned that white Americans felt they should own all of the land west of the Mississippi River. Eventually, Americans went to war with Mexico and managed to take much of their land. They didn’t take all of their territory, which is why Mexico is still standing today, but they down-sized it tremendously.

When cowboys and other outlaws entered into these territories, they tricked many Mexicans out of their land and stole their resources. Many Mexicans had been living on their lands for years and lost the papers to prove their ownership. Most didn’t speak English and were tricked into signing contracts that relinquished their control of their land. Mexicans lost their rights and were considered foreigners in their own land. They didn’t get citizenship until 1910, several decades after many of the states they lived in became a part of the US!

There are still signs that Mexico once owned the west coast. The states once owned by Mexico have Spanish names. California, Florida, and Texas were just three of the territories owned by Mexico. Many of the buildings and cultures within these states originated with Spain and Mexico, and there are visible signs of that cultural influence.

Nowadays, Mexicans are associated with illegal immigration. This deviation from their original station on this land has caused many Mexicans to resent full-blooded white people. Many Mexicans feel that the land should still be theirs and they may resent the takeover of Americans.

Many Mexicans work hard to assimilate into American culture, but are still treated as inferior in many ways. Mexican Americans aren’t honored or respected in the USA like they should be. Their language is now considered foreign. Their culture isn’t considered “American”. Their businesses and riches were stripped from them during the war and many of them had to start from scratch, amid prejudice. Some turned to a life of crime to make ends meet. This is why crime also seeped into their culture.

Asian Americans

Asian Americans haven’t had it as bad as other races and ethnic groups. Many came to America as immigrants, hoping to assimilate into society. But they brought their rich culture and language with them, mingled with westerners, and still had a nation to call home in case things didn’t work out in the USA (unlike many other races and ethnic groups).

Still, within the nation, America made it hard for Asian Americans to enter the land and grow. When Japanese people first started coming into the USA, most came illegally. Many were brought over by contractors who needed someone to work the land in Hawaii. The Chinese came to strike it rich during the Gold Rush and send the money back to their families. They were trying to escape harsh conditions after China lost the Opium war to the British, which allowed the British to take over different cities/provinces in China, placing many Chinese people in poverty. But even in America, they were placed in subservient roles and prejudice stopped many of them from getting the riches they wanted.

Still, Asians played a large role in the building up of America.

The Chinese especially gave their strongest efforts in America. Many helped with the Transcontinental Railroad project. When they first arrived to find gold, they were well-received. But when competition got stronger, many Americans began to dislike any immigrants coming into the country–including Chinese and other Asian immigrants.

The Chinese helped California’s economy tremendously, but they were still driven out of many cities. Eventually a ban was put in place.

After the Chinese Exclusion Act, many Chinese weren’t allowed into the USA. This affected other Asians, who were often confused for Chinese or pit in the same category. Later, another Act banned all Asians from entering the country. This is partially why Asian Americans are still the smallest minority ethnic and racial groups in America.

As such, they are largely underrepresented and unacknowledged. Without proper representation, ignorant stereotyping persists.

Most people today just consider them as foreign. Eastern culture is widely different from western culture, and some Americans (black, white, Hispanic, etc) are ignorant towards them because they don’t understand them. Many Americans associate the “look” of Asia with foreign or alien, even if the person was born in America. This greatly alienates Asian Americans, making them feel odd and out-of-place.

Today, middle easterners and west Asians are catching a lot of fire because of recent radical attacks in the USA. Even the people that aren’t Muslim are being scrutinized simply because they came from or their families came from a middle eastern or west eastern country. All Muslim people are categorized in the same place as one another, which causes frustration for the ones who are truly peace-loving.

People from the middle east and western Asia came to America between the late 1800’s to the 1920’s, escaping war and economic hardship. Because of the Johnson-Reed act, all Asians were prohibited from entering the USA. Again, this is why, of all the races and ethnicities, Asians are the smallest minority. They weren’t as welcome in the USA because they provided competition for White Americans.

Middle Easterners and West Easterners were normally darker-skinned and confused for being black. Many people treated them the same way they treated black people.

The act was repealed in the 1960s, which brought over many more Asian Americans. Still, by then, they were the smallest minority, which makes their ideas and interests largely underrepresented in politics and media.

White People

The modern white people have had to shoulder a lot of what their ancestors did. Because many of their ancestors from the 1950’s and 1960’s are still alive, some of them have carried on the same attitudes.

While there are now more sympathetic and open-minded white people today than there have been, many either ignore racism, have deep-seated racist attitudes, or just avoid getting involved with minorities and any issues regarding them for fear of offending them.

There are several reasons why this racism, indifference, and segregation continues:

1.Some white people have deep-seated prejudices. Even though nowadays most white people won’t treat another person of color mean or won’t openly discriminate against black people (though some do), many have in their minds that a Eurocentric way of thinking is the superior way to think. Many white people feel this is “their country”, the one they conquered, and they can’t understand a culture that’s different from there’s.

For instance, in black culture, it is customary to shout out loud when excited or congratulating someone during celebrations (like graduations, weddings, etc). White people might shout when excited too, but they tend to be more toned down. When black people are shouting or cheering, white people may think they are being “rude” or being “ignorant”. The cultures have differences, but white people may have been taught that their way of expressing happiness or excitement is the “proper” way. This often makes black people look bad when they might just be misunderstood. That’s just an example of a culture clash. But because the majority rules, the scales tip in favor of one over the other.

Some may also look down on tribal living, finding a progressive way of living, with Eurocentric laws, manner of dress, and manner of speaking to be the best way of living, while looking down on people who don’t live that way. And don’t get me wrong. Many people enjoy living in the land we call home with the freedoms we have, with the Europe-inspired laws and everything. But then again, most of us minorities were raised here and never experienced anything different.

2. Some white people are fed up with trying to be nice to minority groups, especially black people. There are some white people who feel that it doesn’t matter what they try to do for other communities, they will always come out looking racist or not doing enough. Many are still not aware of which phrases or words are racist and which words aren’t. They may know the obvious words like “ni****” and other such words. But they may not realize that generalizing all black people in certain categories could come off as racist, even if white people feel the generalizations or stereotypes are true in their perception.

And that fact makes them feel uncomfortable around other ethnic and racial groups, especially when they feel they have a real concern regarding these people. This gives them a reason to exclude other races and ethnic groups from certain events, schools, or businesses. Some don’t want the “damage control” issues that could follow.

Some white people do want “white only” spaces, spaces where they can talk comfortably with people who are similar and share the same culture or music. They may not necessarily hate other races or ethnic groups, they just want to spend time with people like themselves. Unfortunately, this increases segregation and causes controversy.

Admittedly, some minority groups do get angry over every little comment towards them or another person like them. Even a judgment of character is often referred back to racial issues at times. Some minorities do try to profit off of racism and “racist” situations and try to bring attention to themselves. Some minorities just find it easier to blame racism for some of the issues in the community instead of doing more to build up their communities.

This makes it frustrating for the white people that may not have initially had prejudices per se, but may have formed them based on reactions from minority groups. For instance, Mackelmore, a pop artist in the USA, marched in Seattle for the issues going on in Ferguson. Many black people criticized him, asking why he was there and stating that he just wanted attention. They were mad at him for taking home the best Hip Hop artist award at an awards’ show when he is 1) not considered a Hip-hop artist by most Hip-hop experts and 2) not considered the best Hip-hop artist to many in the Hip-hop community (who are mostly black and Latino). Most black people felt the award should’ve gone to Kendrick Lamar, but felt that Macklemore won because he is white. They felt he didn’t speak up then. So they felt he was only marching for the show.

This made a lot of white people angry, who felt that black people would find a way to criticize them no matter what. This disconnects them further from minorities and makes them just want to ignore issues. Some feel it’s better to ignore than to address it to avoid having their words and actions criticized.

3) There are white people who have been victims of prejudice, even crime, at the hands of those of a minority group, and so have a fear of them, which leads to hatred.

Remember I told you I attended a all-black school? Well, it’d be unfair to say no white people attended. It was a majority black school with two white people and one Asian girl. There was one white girl and one white boy who went to the school.

The girl was raised around black people. But the students, teachers, and administration made it hard for her in school. They were racist towards her, oh yes, racist.

The other black students would talk about the way the white student spoke, saying she was trying to “sound black”. She couldn’t help it because she grew up around black people and so she picked up their vernacular. But they wouldn’t let up.

Some black students would pick fights with her, intimidate her, and exclude her from things. And whenever she would tell the administration, they did nothing about it and asked her whether she “provoked” the situations. I literally saw one incident where a girl pushed her down for no reason.

This is what happened when she became the minority. Many white people are afraid of being a minority in this country because they are afraid of being treated this way by bitter people, but it would be on a larger scale. They are afraid of their rights being ignored. Then, they would have to face and carry the burdens of their ancestors.

How do you think this white girl fared? I’m sure that if she had became angry enough at her situation, she would’ve turned into a severe racist person.

The good thing about it is she did manage to make a few black friends. That made her realize not all black people were evil and pressed. I was one of those friends. Still, I don’t know what feelings she carried throughout her adult life.

And the ones whose family members were victims of crime by minorities will also resent them. They may attack everything about the criminal, including the race of the individual. This may cause them to be scared of minorities, and fear leads to hatred.

Are All White People To Blame?

No. The newer generation didn’t create the mess. It’s messed up that they are getting dumped on because of things their ancestors did or allowed. Many white people today treat others fairly. There are still ignorant people everywhere, but there are also nice white people out there, too. Everyone in America is diverse.

I think the issues started with minorities’ anger towards the government, a system that failed to issue liberty, freedom, and justice to minorities, but preached about liberty, freedom, and justice. I think most are bitter towards the system. However, mostly white people are in that system, and that is creating a modern-day race problem.

However, there are some white people that support that system and refuse to listen to any rhetoric that makes them feel guilty. And racism still exists. There are still people in power (very few though) like teachers, police officers, and mayors that are racist and use their power to execute discriminatory acts. But it’s important for those of a minority group to sift through foolishness and find the real racism, otherwise they risk losing any support to their causes.

Some minority groups get pretty triggered over little jokes or comments that may not even be racist and may just be “racial”. Some minorities may assume that any person like them getting arrested by a white police officer was “racially targeted”, which isn’t always the case.

Some people can’t handle history lessons and have formed prejudiced views of modern-day white people based on what they’ve learned about the past. Of course, this annoys many white people.

I think all ignorance would be diminished if people learned to walk in other people’s shoes. But maybe that’s way too idealistic.

I think in many cases it seems to some people that everyone else can learn to walk in a white person’s shoes, but it doesn’t seem white people are capable of walking in another culture’s shoes without judging or comparing it to their own culture.

For instance, other cultures and races around the world can watch a movie with a white lead and with European culture (like Game of Thrones) and relate to the humor and story of it, along with movies with lead characters of their own races. But white people can’t relate well to movies with black themes and leads, Asian themes and leads, or Native American themes and leads. To many people, they seem to be the only group of people who don’t know how to assimilate or adapt.

Even in Asia, Asians often speak of running into white tourists who are often confused as to why certain signs aren’t in English and why the people just don’t speak to them in in English. Some ethnicities have had bad experiences.

In South Africa, many white people protested against black girls wearing braids and Afros to school. IN AFRICA.

But there are many white people that do connect with other cultures and races. There are some that can switch between Harry Potter and Diary of a Mad Black Woman. It’s senseless to put everyone in the same category. But sometimes these white people might feel rejected by the group of people they try to connect to. They get labeled “appropriators” or attention-seekers.

Some people use the race or ethnic card when convenient but have no real intentions on making changes. That’s when it becomes less effective and irritating. That really hurts the actual organizations out here fighting for true equality.

Why Would Something From Over 100 Years Ago Affect People?

Does Thomas Edison’s inventions affect us? Yes. Do we realize it all the time? No.

Without him we wouldn’t have light bulbs, movies, or sound recordings. We forget about his importance because other people have upgraded it, but he invented it and it still affects us today because we use these things.

Does the Korean war still affect South Koreans? Yes. In the same manner? No. The war happened back in the 1950s. However, because only a ceasefire was issued, the threat still exists.

History has an affect on us as humans, especially history that is 100 years old or less. As long as grandparents and great-grandparents live, history has an affect on everyone’s social, emotional, mental, and even economic health. It affects their children and grandchildren. Events in history just don’t happen, laws get put in place, and then it’s over. There is always an aftereffect. The aftermath can last for centuries, depending on the actions of all involved.e

So, Should They Be Mad At Each Other Forever?

Of course not.

However, some people have to overcome their pain and start the process towards healing. When people are suffering, it’s easy to try to find someone to blame for their problems. Many of these people need to find the courage to let go of the past, pick up where they left off, and make a new start.

The biggest reason these issues still exist is because there are no real solutions floating around. If people came together to actually discuss solutions, things might actually improve.

I hope I was able to answer all questions about this topic! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think or what you could add to the discussion!

Just How Talented is F(x)’s Song Qian “Victoria”?

4 May

By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been f(x) crazy for the last two months, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It won’t slow down until my big “promotional move” I have planned this summer. But that will be kept under my hat until then…

Just remember to #bfx2us and put your town behind it to show where your love for f(x) is coming from, if of course, you’ve fallen in love with this group as much as I have.

Well, this article is a part of that promotion. My goal is to push for an f(x) tour for, at least, next year.

To learn more about K-pop group f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Red Light Review

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

To all of you who have watched the music videos, and who doubt the talent of the f(x) members, I will be doing something similar to an artist “portfolio”. In this case, I will be showcasing the musical background and skills of each f(x) artist. This resume “portfolio” of sorts will show all readers why I think these girls qualify to be a part of f(x), why I believe them to be SM’s major female multi-national group, and why I think f(x) has what it takes to make it internationally.

Basically, this is why I think you newcomers should hire them as one of your new favorite K-pop groups. 😉

This article will be about the flexible Victoria!

Song Qian “Victoria”

Victoria is f(x)’s oldest member, but most youthful member. She is the leader of f(x). She is also the lead dancer. Many people are aware of her flexibility. Victoria has a lot of personality, as was evident in the American online show Funny or Die with Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect).

Victoria has a mature beauty that is hard to deny. She has the most mature-looking body in f(x). She has a full chest, full butt, and just not SUPER SKINNY or scrawny. And she’s not always eager to flaunt it like some other girls in K-pop.

She’s always “everyone’s girl”. She was in Bi-Rain’s video, she was Shinee’s girl in their video “Replay”, and she “married” 2 PM’s Nichkhun in We Got Married.

She has this girly, yet classy, look about her.

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Victoria is well-known for her flexibility and her acting abilities, but many have never heard her vocally.

So, let’s review her credentials!

Victoria is a Flexible Dancer

Everybody knows Victoria can dance. She learned to dance at the Beijing Dance Academy!

Victoria is an amazing performer, and never ceases to amaze the crowd.

Victoria danced with Bi-Rain in the Samsung video “AnyDream”.

Victoria is challenged by Miss A’s Jia to a battle of “flexibility”.

A Compilation of Victoria’s flexibility.

Victoria and Exo’s Tao perform together, showing off their flexibility.

Victoria dances to “Love, Sex, Magic”.

Victoria dances with Super Junior.

Victoria and 2 PM’s Nichkhun performed a steamy dance together during their time “married”.

Victoria danced solo for “Telephone”.

Victoria danced solo on Happy Camp.

Victoria…SINGING? WHAT?

You know why Victoria doesn’t sing often? Because her Korean isn’t as good as her Chinese. And she shines in Chinese! Wow! I was quite impressed.

I’ve also heard some negative things about her vocals (just like Sulli), and she doesn’t sing much. But when I heard her sing in Chinese, I was quite impressed! That is her first language, so…please give her a chance. She actually can sing!

Why doesn’t SM give her more lines? I don’t get it…

Victoria sang with Super Junior-M’s Zhou Mi at SM Town in Beijing…Wow.

Victoria sings with Kyuhyun.

If you can hear above the crowd, this is Victoria singing live in Bangkok.

Victoria sang “Tian Mi Mi” in Chinese, along with her fellow members.

Victoria Speaks Chinese and Korean

Victoria was born in Shandong, China, so she speaks Chinese Mandarin. She also speaks Korean, as she is a Korean pop star. She is more popular in China than in Korea, which can’t be helped. That IS her hometown after all, and apparently, she shines most in China. I really hope Victoria gets a Chinese song for f(x)’s next comeback., at least as a bonus track…if they do that in SM…

Victoria and Krystal speak Chinese, English, and Korean.

Victoria at the Sina interview.

So, I hope you all have learned a bit about Victoria. I know I learned A LOT from the research I’ve done.

Hopefully, now you might fall in love with Victoria and the rest of f(x)…right? 😉

Victoria is also quite the actress and has acted on several dramas.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

f(x) TV #1: Watch f(x) as They Experience the USA!

30 Mar

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VOTE FOR F(x): VOTE Click!

VOTE FOR F(x) ON M!COUNTDOWN!

f(x) month is coming to a close. *cries* So, for the last two days of f(x) month, I’m going to be showing you some entertaining videos of some of f(x)’s adventures! So grab some popcorn, stuffed animals, and cozy under the blankets or on the couch.

Today, I’m going to be showing you f(x)’s adventures in the USA. Some really entertaining stuff here. I hope you enjoy! f(x) fighting!

And don’t forget to #bfx2us to twitter, facebook, instagram, and youtube. Thanks for supporting! 🙂

Look out for f(x) around the world!

Don’t forget to read:

F(x), the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review 

f(x) and Venus

f(x) SCOPES THE WEST COAST

f(x) has a NEW MEMBER: Actress Anna Kendrick! Watch f(x) on Funny or Die!

f(x), 1st K-pop group to Perform @ SXSW!

f(x) Performs @ SM TOWN New York and LA!

f(x) Performs @ M! Countdown What’s Up LA? 2013

I hope you enjoy! Thanks for watching! #bfx2us

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

F(x), The Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

21 Feb

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f(x) pinocchio group picture (1)

Yes, I did. I called them the Korean “Spice Girls”. That may irritate some of you, and I apologize if I have offended anyone. They are their own group. But I have no problem comparing them to the Spice Girls as a HUGE fan of the Spice Girls. I love F(x) for the very same reasons I love the Spice Girls. There are some things that they share, and it contributes to their success. Spice Girls was a successful all-girl group from the UK that became international. F(x) has the same appeal to me, and I think they have the same ability to make it internationally.

I also sometimes call them the female SHINee, but that’s a story for another day…

With f(x), I have officially been swept into the “Korean Wave”.

F(x) is a multi-cultural, multi-national, all-girl group formed by the “powerhouse” Korean label, SM Entertainment. The girls come from various backgrounds, and it contributes to their wide-range appeal. Victoria, the physically flexible leader of the group, and born Song Qian in English spelling, is from China. She is fluent in Chinese, and recently, Korean. Amber, the charming tomboy, is from California, USA, and she is of Taiwanese descent. She is also fluent in Chinese, as well as English, and recently Korean. Krystal, the sassy sister of Jessica from Girls’ Generation (SNSD), is also from California, USA, and is of Korean descent. She speaks fluent English, Chinese, and Korean. She has lived in Korea since she was six, so she’s more fluent in Korean than Amber. Sulli, the baby-faced, cutie-pie, born Choi Jinri, and Luna, born Park Sun-Young, the beautiful dancer and powerful vocalist, are both South Korean natives. They have all learned to speak Korean and Chinese. Some are still working on their English. All of the girls are also working on their Japanese.

With all of these languages fluctuating in this group, I wonder how they can even communicate! But the best part about having so many girls from different backgrounds is that they have a lot to share with each other and a lot to learn from one another. This improves their social skills, as it allows them to be aware of the various cultures they have to contend with if they expect to be international superstars. This also helps them to keep an open mind, which thus, helps them to adapt to new styles (both image and genre) and learn new skills quickly.

Aside from their multi-cultural backgrounds, the girls are also known for their distinct individual image styles, as well as their array of talents. Many of them not only have vocal abilities, but dancing, acting, and even rapping experience! Many play instruments as well. Amber and Sulli play guitar. Amber also plays the drums. Krystal plays piano. Amber and Luna are also known for having song-writing abilities, particularly with the song “Good-bye Summer” and “Medicine”. Victoria is known for her physical flexibility. In this way, they are also like the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls had a multitude of talents, including the rapping skills and flexibility (Mel B as the rapper and Mel C with the back flips)!

Their images are very distinct. From androgyny, to cute, to flirty, to trendy, they convey many different ways of being a girl. In this way, they are very much like the Spice Girls. F(x) even has their sporty spice (Amber) and a Baby Spice (Sulli)! In both groups, the oldest members are the leaders (F(x)’s Victoria and Spice Girls’ Geri). And they both have that one member that seems stuck-up or “Posh” to most people (Krystal and Posh Spice Victoria). Heck, they even both have members named Victoria! These distinct images allow each member to stand out, and it gives each member value in the group. Individual images allows the people viewing the music video and performances to distinguish the people they are watching and select the one that relates to them. This allows people to see each member as individuals. When all the girls look alike, the prettiest will stand out, and the individual beauty of each member is lost. Thank goodness F(x) doesn’t have to worry about that!

Also, just like the Spice Girls, they lost a member due to scandals and malicious news, as well as fans making one member feel less significant. Sulli left the group, but I still consider her a member. She didn’t leave on bad terms and she still says she’s friends with f(x). She even cheered for f(x)’s recent comeback. It was the same way with Geri. I have a feeling Sulli will return one day, just as Geri did.

The name of their group, F(x), is a play on their diversity. F(x) is a numerical symbol, which is why they are also often called The Function Girls. The “x” in parenthesis can represent any number, so the girls feel this fits their group because it conveys that they are a group that tries many styles and music options. In this basic f(x) case, the “x” also represents their female X chromosomes.

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how Talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna? 

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Their upbeat and friendly music also adds to their appeal. Their music relates to people of all ages, cultures, sub-cultures, and genders. It’s very lively, and it conveys the lively and friendly spirits of the girls themselves. Even though I am an English speaker, and an African American, I can easily relate to their songs. It helps that they have native English speakers singing and rapping in their songs. Those are the parts I understand best. This contributes to why I can relate to their music so well. I’m sure other people feel the same way. Their catchy and wholesome songs make their music likable to children, but sexy, expressive, and neutral enough to be liked by older people. Even men enjoy the songs, though I’m sure they enjoy the pretty girls, too.

F(x) is known for having music that is quirky, unconventional, and experimental. No one ever knows what to expect from them. This is why they are so much fun. Anticipation is high for them because people know whatever they do, it will be different from anything heard.

F(x) can pull off any sound and image. They can be cute, but still maintain a little edge. They can be edgy, but not explicit. They can be sexy, without being slutty. But if they were slutty, they would still display talent rather than letting themselves be completely objectified.

All of the above brings me back to the reason why I find them to be just like the Spice Girls, and why I can see them having an international appeal. However, I feel that F(x) has challenges that even the Spice Girls have yet to deal with, and it’s what makes F(x)’s experience very different than that of the ’90’s pop group.

Challenges

Unlike F(x), the Spice Girls, as diverse as they were, all spoke the same language and came from the same place. F(x), though they are all Asian, have to deal with language and cultural barriers. Chinese manners are different from Korean manners, and they are both extremely different from American mannerisms. The members have to bridge cultural gaps often in order to understand one another. Sometimes, this can be a very lonely and isolated experience. I’m sure misunderstandings have occurred more often than not. It is also hard to promote themselves in foreign lands because of these cultural and language boundaries.

Because some of them aren’t Korean natives, it takes longer for them to write, compose, and memorize the music. This is probably why they have to wait so long to come out with singles and albums, and also why promotion is slower. This is also probably one of the reasons they only recently had a concert tour in 2016 (7 years after debut).

F(x) in Kenya, Africa!

F(x) in Kenya, Africa! Amber is killing me with the dress! 😄 She looks so…so…pretty!

But this is a good thing! This challenges the girls to learn the same languages, and encourages them to accept new ways of living, as was mentioned before. They are also not likely to fall into bias or stereotyping others, and can see people for who they really are.

Another challenge they have is their personality differences. This is what every group has to deal with. Having different backgrounds and cultures are hard enough to deal with, but there are two American girls with the same culture, and they have totally different personalities! Since most of the girls dorm together, I’m sure this is very challenging. And yet, the girls seem to enjoy each other’s company and seem to be relatively comfortable with one another, despite all of these differences. I think it’s because of Amber. She’s a social butterfly! She can put anyone at ease because she’s just so…herself

Which brings me to my next point. The K-pop scene is very different from the UK scene the Spice Girls are used to. This is somewhat due to culture differences. In Korea, in this day and age, most artists are in groups. Not only are most artists in groups, but most of them have “standard” music sounds and images. Most of the pop artists of Korea have similar-sounding music where dance is highlighted more than vocal abilities. Most of the promoted music is lively and upbeat, rather than meaningful and contemplative. This may not be the case at all if you buy the album, but you won’t see a music video that is too boring, that’s for sure.

What’s really obvious in the industry is the “standard” concepts. Almost all of the boys have cute haircuts, skinny jeans, and can dance. Most of all of the girls wear cute and trendy fashions that highlight the legs and thighs, though most don’t show cleavage. Cute and innocent concepts dominated the K-pop scene at one time, but many groups are also adopting more “sexy” images.

Another thing (which is obvious) is the fact that most of the female groups are…well, Korean. They will be easier to promote than f(x) and may have more music videos, albums every four months, and tours…which means more Korean fans for them. F(x) has to  move at a much slower rate because most of them are foreign. Yet, they still are a very popular group.

Why do I like f(x) so much? Click me to find out why…

F(x), however, is a powerful group. When placed against other K-pop groups, they tend to come out on top. Their complicated choreography and amazing vocal abilities make them shine. It’s very hard for them to be imitated, that’s for sure.

Let’s also add that F(x) is the only female K-pop group that has an androgynous member in it. This makes their group quite distinct as well. Now I’m about to put Amber on BLAST.

Amber Liu IN the SPOTLIGHT

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All About Amber

Amber is the charming tomboy of the F(x) group, as was mentioned before. She enjoys playing basketball (she was on a basketball team when she was in high school), she enjoys running track, and she also enjoys skateboarding. She also has a black belt in Taekwondo.

Amber also enjoys sketching. Once she gets a pen and paper, she becomes absorbed.

Amber is super intelligent, and the best of all the girls at math. She is also into the Rubik’s Cube game.

Amber is obsessed with hats, too! She can’t cook, but she likes to read cooking books. Ironic.

Amber also loves Pokemon. She freaked out when she thought her mom gave away her cards. I would too. It’s hard to gather Pokemon cards! I should know…puffftttt…

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Amber is charming, charismatic, witty, funny, and friendly. She has a wide network of connections and people who want to collaborate with her. She is confident, cool, and easy-going. People just naturally gravitate towards her. It’s not just the bold looks, but the personality when it comes to Amber. This contributes to her popularity, especially to international artists and fans, who relate to her.

Amber is different from the other girls. She’s not extremely polite, she loves to prank people, and she’s mischievous. Amber is very confident. She is usually not as shy as the others when it comes to speaking to the fans. She is also brave. Her laugh is infectious, and she usually claps her hands, or hooks a hand over her mouth, as she laughs hard and easily. The other girls, I’ve noticed, have adapted this habit, too.

However, Amber has a shy side, as Krystal points out.

Amber is also very protective of those that she loves.

Amber is from Los Angeles, California. She is used to sunny weather and casual people (hence, why it’s called the Sunshine State). Amber is very family-oriented. She has her mom, dad, and older sister, Jackie. Surprisingly, no brothers. She went on a six-month hiatus due to a leg injury (which btw, drove fans crazy). Due to the length of time she spent away, most people assumed she was homesick. Amber hopes one day to make it bigger in America so she can be closer to home.

Before Amber became a pop star, she was interested in K-pop groups TVXQ and Super Junior. Her mother states in an interview that Amber had their posters all on her walls. Amber was first spotted by SM in an audition in LA. She originally auditioned with her friend, but she ended up being chosen alone, along with another boy.

Amber is a Christian and her mother plays a lead role in their church.

Amber’s sister, Jackie, also told us some interesting things about Amber:

Amber often refers to herself as “Llama”. This is coming from a fan who said she looked like one, according to Amazing F(x).

Despite Amber’s natural charm, and love of her hometown and family, Amber wasn’t very popular in school. As Jessie J would say, “Who’s Laughing Now?”

FACTS ABOUT AMBER

Fav Color : Red
Fav Song : SHINee’s “Nuna is very Pretty” / Taking back Sunday “What’s it Feel Like To Be A Ghost”
Fav Bands : Linkin Park, Taking Back Sunday
Likes : Cookies, Chips, Chocolate, Sweets, Oh Yes (A Korean cake snack), Hats
Famous Close Friends : Nicole from Kara, Ailee, Min from Miss A (Now many others)
Wants to meet : Fly to the Sky
Usual Apparel : Hip Hop style, t-shirt and baggy pants
Roommate : Luna
Acts Feminine : When she eats
Favorite Pet : Rabbit and her dog Jack Jack
If she had a superpower: Telekinesis
Desktop Wallpaper : Childhood Photos
Stress Reliever : Screaming

Random Facts-
*Used to be a vegetarian
*Thinks the right side of her face looks boyish and her left side looks cute
*Has the smallest face in F(x)
*Knows how to sew
*is one of the oldest members in F(x)
*In her childhood, Amber was in church band.
*likes cat more than dog.
*works out when she gets stressed out
*has insomnia.
*IS NOT GONNA WEAR WEDDING DRESS AT HER WEDDING
*The costume that Amber wore on ‘Sorry Sorry’ performance was given by DongHae
*likes wearing inappropriate clothing
“that brooklyn shit”

Amber, a K-POP STAR

Amber, at home in LA, is just another girl, but as a Korean popstar, she’s a completely different person.

Amber is charming, true enough, but Amber has also been tagged as “Sexy Amber”. Amber is one of the very few tomboys blessed with this title. Let’s review why, shall we?

 

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Do you get the picture? If you don’t, here. Have some more…

Yea, that’s right. I just Amberfied you. You should know how sexy she is to fans by now.

It’s hard for many to imagine that such a “sexy tomboy” could perform such girly dance moves  in music videos and onstage. But guess what? She does. And it works! Amber takes her cuteness to a whole different level, and at the same time, she makes the signature moves look sexy in her own unique way. This is also due to the fact that she is an excellent dancer. So she can master even the girliest of moves and make it look like a combination of her masculine edge and her feminine touch. I think getting involved with F(x) helps her express the feminine side she may not have been able to express to her fullest at home in her town of LA, what, with so many tomboys running around, influencing each other…

But in Korea, she stands out and makes a statement. She makes F(x) a unique-looking group. This also contributes to Amber’s popularity. Amber redefines beauty in the Korean Pop Industry, and paves the way for other tomboys to make their mark. She encourages individuality and freedom of self-expression. She also shows all girls that anyone can be beautiful, sexy, cute, and a pop star, even if they don’t look like a perfect girly model. As a model in many magazines, she gives girls more options than the frilly and trendy, and encourages girls to explore their options and open their minds. She gives this sort of message, “You can be a tomboy and still be hot”.

And trust me, Amber knows she looks good.

Another thing that stands out about her appearance is the provocative shirts she tends to wear…

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I don’t think many Korean girls are as provocative as she is, aside from showing a little leg action.

She is certainly a rare beauty. At first, she didn’t feel she would fit in and was worried that her image wouldn’t be accepted. Boy, was she wrong.

Amber and Girls

Amber has a huge fanbase full of girls! Probably as many girls love her as they do SHINee and Super Junior. And it isn’t just because she’s talented…

Amber’s “boyish” charm works on even the most heterosexual women. In all of the comments’ sections on Youtube dedicated to F(x), all you hear is “She’s Sexy”, “I love Amber”, “Why she make me feel lesbian?” She has many girls questioning their sexuality. In fact, a fan girl once confessed her love to Amber! Before her debut in Korea, a girl in America asked her out before she even became a K-pop star!

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Amber is a very handsome girl. Every girl’s dream, right? Charm and good looks. She almost seems like the perfect guy… only she’s a girl.

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Everybody wants to date Amber. Everybody wants to be her best friend. She’s just easy to like, you know? Even I can’t help but follow her life closely, as if she’s my hero or something. Well, she kind of is…

Girls like her because she’s a good role model. She inspires girls. They admire her as well as love her.

All of the F(x) girls are well-liked and popular. I think, initially, SM expected Krystal to be the most popular, considering her sister is in Girls’ Generation. And hey, she really is popular! Krystal is very sexy, cool, and has amazing vocal abilities. So the expectation was rewarded. But by crowd response, it’s easy to see who the favorite is…

And Amber isn’t just a favorite among female fans, but she has earned the love and respect of other female idols, including the other members of F(x), who have voted her the most charming member in the group.

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Credits go to FUNCTIONLOVE.NET!

Below are two playlists of her time spent with famous female idols!

Amber seems very appreciative of her female fans and their support, as she has mentioned in her biography. It’s because of the girls that Amber can feel like a queen.

Amber and Boys

While you might think Amber only has a female fanbase, the boys will tell you otherwise.

The other girls in K-pop groups are arguably “pretty” on screen, with their short skirts and long hair, as feminine is somehow considered “prettier”. Those girls are especially prettier to men who don’t know them well beyond what they can see. You might hear some male fans call them “hot” in the comments’ sections of youtube.

But what you don’t see is many boys hanging out with them or spending time with the other girls. As pretty as they are, there is a sense of reserve about them, and it doesn’t make men feel comfortable. The men that are used to seeing those girls will no longer be interested. F(x) is a very charming group. There is something more beyond their physical beauty.

Amber is a breath of fresh air. Amber invites men to take a peak at her inner beauty, which inside, is a hidden gem. Every man who meets Amber personally (and not behind a computer screen) falls in love with her. Amber is always invited to join the boys onstage or collaborate with them, and I can’t begin to tell you how many men have said they have enjoyed having her around.

While some people may think she’s only looked at as “one of the guys”, I don’t think this tweet between Donghae and Henry sounds the same as two men fighting over a “homeboy”…

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Amber is so liked by the boys that the great majority of couple “shipping” happens with the men! Ironically…

Henry is especially a favorite among fans. She seems to spend an awful lot of time with him. They even backed Amber’s sister Jackie into rooting for “Henber”.

 

Amber in an apartment with 4 guys…Man, some girls would die to be her in this case…

Even Henry’s family is aware of the shipping…Henry’s uncle Tweeted this below:

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And who can forget the time Amber and Henry went to go see a “romantic Korean drama” My Love By My Side the day after Henry’s birthday? Huh?

But Henry isn’t the only one fond of Amber. All of EXO knows, respects, and loves Amber. Xuimin seems particularly fond of Amber, and tends to get jealous when she seems too close to someone else! None of the boys seem to be paying much attention to the other F(x) members…

Amber has always been fond of Super Junior, even before she became a K-pop star. But Donghae is also very fond of her. He constructed this little sign for her…

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And a certain SHINee member was pretty darn close with Amber when they were sight-seeing…

Key from SHINee is very fond of Amber. In fact, all of the SHINee members seem to like Amber one way or another!

 

When they see Amber in the room, all the boys rush to greet her! She’s everyone’s best friend!

Amber gets all the hugs…

F.T. Island is also quite close and playful with Amber. They both want Amber’s attention. Jaejin’s favorite part of F(x)’s song “Hot Summer” is Amber’s part.

DMTN’s Daniel considers Amber his best friend.

And Amber is probably the only member who got more than a dozen roses for her birthday! She is just literally loved by all!

Soryong from Tasty likes Amber, too! In fact, he thinks they should be married…

Jackson from Got7 really wanted to win Amber’s heart. He chose her as the girl he liked best! Even though Amber likes Bam Bam best…

Jackber: Got7's Jackson and f(x)'s Amber

Jackber: Got7’s Jackson and f(x)’s Amber

Amber WAS SOOO loving Bam Bam! And went as far as to say to the other guys, “I hate you.” He seems to like her, too.

Bamber: Got7's BamBam and f(x)'s Amber

Bamber: Got7’s BamBam and f(x)’s Amber

And OMG! Is that Amber kissing BtoB’s Yook Sungjae! Even though, yes, it’s in a very funny parody of a Korean drama…

Eric Nam is one of Amber’s best friends, which was pretty evident on an episode of One Fine Day. She also sang a romantic duet with him called “I Just Wanna”. Eric even jokingly says Amber keeps asking him out.

http://mwave.interest.me/enewsworld/en/article/89578/video-fx-amber-playfully-confesses-her-love-to-eric-nam-on-broadcast

Amber is also especially close to Nu’est’s Aron. She thinks he’s “cute”.

Amber is even considered beautiful to some radio announcers. Some may have gotten the impression that she literally looks like an ugly boy. But they soon discover that Amber is really beautiful, just the way she is!

While I will admit the other girls get the cheers and stares from male fans, Amber gets the proposals! Men literally want to marry this woman!

And okay, there are male fans who also CHEER for Amber, too…I can’t fool you.

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From looking at all of the above, I can say Amber has a very neutral charm that catches people’s attention wherever she goes!

Amber’s TALENTS

Amber is quite an asset to F(x). She has so many talents! Her talents are very unique, aside from her image.

She is one of the few female K-pop stars with great rapping abilities. There are very few females in the Korean Music world who are respected for their rapping, and they certainly don’t get to rap in K-pop groups. This is also what makes F(x)’s music so distinct. There is usually a rap segment from Amber, unlike other bubblegum songs you might hear.

But Amber isn’t all MC rapping. She has an amazing voice! That “deeper-than-the-average-Asian-girl” voice of hers sounds like an angel when she sings. I think the reason she gets so little moments to sing in the F(x) songs is because most Koreans can’t believe her voice matches with her image. Or maybe it’s because her Korean isn’t as good as the other members.

Honestly, she sings better than some other K-pop singers in the industry, so I hope to hear her sing more.

She also has amazing song-writing abilities. She wrote the song “Good-bye Summer”, “Beautiful Stranger”, and worked on a collaboration with Luna for Immortal Song 2. Her album Beautiful showcased her talents as a composer, vocalist, and songwriter.

Amber is also an impressive dancer.

Amber also acts as an interpreter for F(x) in westernized countries. She has mad social skills and confidence. This helps her to better communicate with people on the international level.

Because Amber’s appearance isn’t openly emphasized, or objectified, her talents are most highlighted in the group. This is also why she is able to maneuver about in the K-pop music industry and make so many connections. In fact, all the f(x) girls agreed that Amber has the most connections of them all. When the only thing people can see is how you look, people have a hard time seeing who you really are, and the inner star will have a hard time shining. This doesn’t happen in Amber’s case. This is why so many people, especially westerners, like that she remains true to herself.

The one advice her mother gave her was to be herself, and I think it was very good advice.

Amber has a lot of personality. Her demeanor is quite boyish, but lively. She is entertaining to watch. She has so many videos posted online. She is just fascinating. She even has her own Youtube channel!

Amber also has a knack for bringing people together and making others feel relaxed. This is why she has made so many friends. Amber is never without someone to hang with. This girl stays busy with all kinds of people.

Amber is definitely a valuable member. Without her, F(x) would be lost.

Amber’s Personal Challenges

Obviously Amber’s biggest challenge is standing strong in her boyish image in a world that isn’t quite used to it, a world that doesn’t appreciate it, and an industry that doesn’t cater to her image. Amber doesn’t look like the average girl, and even if she did, her boyishness can’t be ignored. In a radio interview, she was told that boyish women in Korea were rare. This is due to the fact that the gender worlds are so very divided in that country. I think this is another reason why so many men like her. She’s different. Most don’t often get too close with women unless they are interested in dating or marriage. But Amber makes them feel comfortable.

Yet, despite all of the support Amber gets, despite the smile she plasters on her face, it has been hard for her to deal with the harshness of Korean conservatism.

Many television hosts are always hinting that she looks like a man and she is often confused for a boy. She doesn’t seem shocked by their reactions. However, she also didn’t seem to realize how much her image would stand out. In America, it’s normal to see tomboys. We’ve had many in the music industry. We don’t always confuse them for boys. Also, Amber’s voice is deeper than most girls in Korea. In America, many women have deeper or raspier voices. Look at P!nk. These are just some of the qualities that Amber has that don’t quite fit well with K-pop standards for femininity. Amber writes the following:

“I was born on September 18, 1992. My hometown is Los Angeles in the United States and I have an older sister. SM Entertainment’s 2007 global audition was where I was cast for the agency. I had originally auditioned with a Korean friend but she didn’t make it. M.C. Max’s “Oh Heart, Please Stop Now” and K.Will’s “Left Heart” are the songs I sang at the audition. I read and wrote a little bit of Korean before but I studied the lyrics more from some fan sites where they had translations so I could understand the songs better.

I had liked Linkin Park since young so I copied Mike Shinoda a lot and I had a lot of friends who liked to rap so I grew up practicing free-styling. When I first heard Korean music I used to listen to a lot of R&B like Wheesung’s. These days I listen to Yoon Mirae, Tiger JK and Epik High. I’ve never talked to Yoon Mirae before but I’m a big fan.

When I first came to Korea from the U.S. I felt like a complete stranger because the environment was completely different. I used to space out thinking ‘Why am I here?’ But Krystal helped me out a lot since her English is good and I gradually learned more Korean. Luna taught me how to sing and dance and Sulli, I got really really close with her, as if she’s my younger brother. Haha. (Sulli: Amber Oppa!) But my boyish image was something I wasn’t aware of. In the States I was… just normal. I was shocked when while I was a trainee, I went shopping with Krystal and her fans said they thought I was her boyfriend. But I have a lot of female fans and I am so thankful to them for liking me so much. I didn’t know they would be okay with someone with an image like mine.

Looking similar to Super Junior member Dong-hae is something I’ve heard frequently ever since I got here. These days people also say I look a lot like SHINee’s Jonghyun. Haha. So the three of us sometimes take photos together and call ourselves the “dinosaur family”.

Basketball in particular is something I really enjoy. I’d been on a basketball team since elementary school in the U.S. and I played basketball a lot with my girl friends too. I’m actually not that good at it (Sulli: No, you’re really good!) but in Korea, I’ve been playing with the male trainees at our agency. I like taekwondo too so I practice my moves when I get bored.

Creating a stage where there are no restrictions is my dream. And it doesn’t even have to be on a real stage, a street is fine. Just as long as it’s a place where everyone can join in and have fun!”

All I can say is that I applaud her courage. Amber could’ve easily given in to the pressure to be like everyone else. But Amber prefers to stay true to herself. I believe she was chosen for a reason. I believe SM was tired of the usual, and was looking for a new, fresh face to bring into the Korean industry. Her courage and confidence is what also makes her an inspiration to others.

My heart reaches out to Amber and her fight to be accepted by the Korean industry. I think slowly, but surely, Korea will begin to get used to this new female energy and others may begin to imitate. Until then, Amber can continue making an impact.

Amber’s second biggest challenge was convincing her father that being a Kpop star was a good career. Her father was of the “protective” sort. Korea is a faraway country and foreign to Amber. I guess he knew Amber wouldn’t fit in easily, due to her American customs and boyish demeanor. Her parents knew it would be a challenge for her. He also wanted her to focus on school. But her father has become more supportive, even encouraging people to buy her solo album.

Controversy

Amber’s world isn’t without controversy. Giving herself to Korea, exploiting her image and her talents for others, and having the courage to strike out with boldness and confidence is what makes Amber a gem in the Korean industry.

But the world of the androgynous woman is never without controversy, even from the most liberal of countries.

Amber, a Lesbian?

I hear this question over and over again, usually following up behind the comments from gleeful fan girls. The sad truth is that a girl can’t dress or act like a boy without people questioning her sexuality. True, she has more fan girls than the other girls do. More women think she’s hotter than any female Korean pop star. This is due to her boyishness. But it’s sad that people don’t realize that lesbian women can be just as feminine as other women sometimes. A girl who dresses like a boy or acts like one is not EXACTLY indicating that she is gay. After all, there are men who dress “boyish” and are gay…

I guess since most people think only girlish girls can attract men, they just assume Amber will give up and be attracted to girls. Or they might think she has an identity issue, and that she wants to be a boy, and so she might like the same things that boys like. Or maybe they just assume that girls who dress like that are trying to attract girls. I have read Youtube comments of people stating, “She looks like a boy, she has to be a lesbian”. But this isn’t always the case. More often than not, Amber is pitched in the “gay” category before anyone has even done research or talked to Amber herself.

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Amber has stated that she dresses like a boy, not because she hates being a girl, but because “male” clothing is “comfortable”, makes her unique, and she’s used to it because she plays a lot of sports.

We don’t know anything about her sexuality. But we do know she has stated to the public (and on her personal twitter and instagram) her ideal type AND we know that she has said she likes boys, according to an interview with Radio Star.

Amber recently revealed her crush on a fellow Real Man cast member. Amber joined a cast of women as a military recruit for the female version of Real Men. But one of the drill sergeants was very close to her ideal type. Amber “couldn’t get her eyes off of him”. Oh, yes, and the drill sergeant was a male. Later, we all learned that Amber “quietly” followed him on instagram…until she found out he was married and younger than her.

Amber reveals she may have a crush on fellow Real Men cast member

http://mwave.interest.me/enewsworld/en/article/89462/fx-amber-sends-video-message-to-her-army-trainer-crush

In several interviews, she has mentioned her preferences in a male, the ideal guy she is looking for. She also always adds at the end that she is “waiting”. Amber has even mentioned the man she felt would be a good marriage partner: Sehun!

Ailee has confirmed FOR Amber that she and Amber talk about boys together. Ailee also mentioned, along with Amber, that Amber has had a boyfriend before.

And she seemed entirely too interested in boy bands before she became a Kpop star. I didn’t hear any mention of GIRL BANDS hanging in her room in Go F(x).

Amber has only mentioned that she wants to be married in 20 years and have two children.

To add, when a girl asked Amber out, Amber turned her down. Not that this is any indication, but it’s something to think about. Amber mentioned on another interview that she had many lesbians who would ask her out, and she would say, “We’re cool, but I’m not interested”.

Twitter posts:

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Or this…

amber fan girl

Or this????…

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Or this?!?!?! (Eric Nam?)

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Amber has also mentioned her ideal male type is Jang Hyuk before. Amber just could’ve said “I don’t have an ideal type”, like many other K-pop artists have said. But she didn’t.

Amber seemed pretty adamant about being Bam Bam’s bride in the NEXT We Got Married Global…She couldn’t stop hugging this dude…

And would a lesbian even WANT to be a K-pop artist in a sexually prejudiced society? Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard enough for Amber to be an American tomboy in Korea…

Any other ideas are assumptions, not facts. You can say all of this is saving face. It could be. Korea is a conservative society. It is hard for people with a gay background to be accepted as a public figure. But it’s the only thing she has mentioned regarding her interests.

It’s funny. If this had been any other K-pop idol, like Got7’s Jackson on Roommates, no one would even think to question whether his ideal type was “saving face”. But for some reason, no one seems to relate to anything Amber says regarding her ideal types…It’s fascinating. The issue of K-pop idols “saving face” ONLY comes up when Amber is involved. But I never hear this when other K-pop idols are expressing themselves…When it comes to feminine K-pop idols, no one brings up the idea of “open sexuality”, but people conveniently bring up the idea when the “tomboy” is involved.

People often think that there is a standard way for a lesbian to look and act, and that there is a standard way for a straight girl to look and act. From experience, there really is no standard way. Amber might be more straight than all of the K-pop idols walking! Or maybe not…But the point is that these things can’t be decided by appearance or behavior.

I mean, no one could predict that Raven Symone was gay (Because she’s always been super feminine). But she is.

Everyone thought Ella Chen was gay…before she got married to a male. And she is from a conservative country, so many thought she was saving face (some still think she is). But China’s conservatism didn’t stop Denise Ho from coming out as a lesbian…And she is still a major pop singer in China and also in Taiwan. She just won the 49th Golden Horse Award. Her latest album did really well in sales. And China is more conservative than Korea!

I will share my experience really quick. I have always been an extreme tomboy. I’ve always dressed boyish. But I absolutely can NEVER date a woman (trust issues). One of my friends is EXTREMELY feminine, but she is gay. People always assume I’m the one is who is gay. 😄 And because people assume this, they tell all of my crushes their assumptions, and those guys end up avoiding me. Then my friend, who dresses feminine, will get all of the guys asking her out!

So, the moral of the story is, you can’t assume someone’s sexuality based on the clothes someone wears or the way someone appears to act. The media is a filter. Amber gets a lot of attention for being “boyish” and often gives “fan service” to keep her fans around. But the reality may be quite different from what we all expect.

People are so superficial, that if Amber said she was straight A MILLION times on variety shows, people would still never believe her. But if she said she was gay EVEN ONCE on variety shows, people would believe it from jump…Even though either one could be a lie! I mean, variety shows are STILL shows, right?

On MVs where Amber is involved, you never hear in the comments’ section, “Is she straight?” People never assume she is straight, but people are quick to assume a “tomboy” is a lesbian…It’s a funny world. No one assumes any other idol’s sexuality.

Assuming someone’s sexuality based on what someone wears and the way they act is like assuming a woman is pregnant just because her belly is big. It could be rude if it is NOT TRUE and that person could lose confidence in themselves.

So, I believe people should be careful when making assumptions based on appearance and personality.

Amber Needs to be More Feminine?

Though most fans are genuinely supportive of Amber and her image, there are some who wish Amber would “dress more girly”. Many fans argue that her tomboy looks have been pushed too far by SM and they have a hard time believing Amber is happy looking so boyish, especially due to the narrow-minded views on women and sexuality. Many believe she had more of a feminine side before she came to SM, though this isn’t backed by evidence.

I think the girls who think Amber is unhappy with her image are more unhappy inside with it than she is. Most of the girls who push her to be feminine are really girly themselves, therefore, they feel uncomfortable with a girl like her on the scene, a girl who doesn’t seem to represent them. They struggle to relate to her appearance because their world is one of high heels and make-up: a world without natural beauty and little appreciation of one’s inner beauty. Actually, I think Amber likes being confused for a boy. It allows her to have two alter egos, to be creative. It gives her special attention…it’s mysterious. I think she likes to play around with it sometimes. Being confused for a boy isn’t bad. It can be fun.

Another reason why girls or boys may push her to wear more feminine attire is because they are personally attracted to her, and they are uncomfortable with that attraction. Women are uncomfortable with being attracted to a girl, and men are uncomfortable with being attracted to a girl that looks like a guy. It’s not Amber’s fault she’s attractive. She is neutrally attractive to people, but sometimes, this can be threatening. Men also feel threatened by her because she seems to attract all of their girlfriends to her. Women are also a little jealous of the amount of attention she receives from some of their favorite male Korean pop idols.

Amber on discrimination

Of course, there are also those who just have a natural curiosity with her feminine side.

Well, this is why I think Amber can never truly be extremely feminine:

1) It’s not about the hair and clothes. The whole demeanor is brassy and boyish. When Amber did wear a dress, it was very awkward. She walked like a boy and acted like one. She was pretty, but she is just a tomboy. So I don’t think dressing like a girl would make her any more girly. It’s different with Ella Chen from S.H.E. She always acted like a girl…

2) Most people say when she starts dating, she will change. But Amber has already dated a guy before and it didn’t seem to change her one bit. No, I believe the right one will accept who she is.

3) Amber actually has explored her feminine side in more ways than one, just not the way others want her to. In fact, being in F(x) is probably a very feminine experience. The dance moves are girly and the music is very feminine at times. Amber has also worn heels before and, in Africa, a dress! But she’s still not sure how to express that side, so it still comes across boyish, though her dress in Africa looked lovely on her..

20121023022527!F(x)

AMBER IN HEELS?

AMBER IN HEELS?

AMBER IN HEELS?

 

Amber can look very hot and feminine to me…and yet…it really isn’t about the appearance, is it? Even still, that boyish appeal is strikingly evident.

Let’s all come to grips that this is who Amber is and that she’s beautiful the way she is. She doesn’t need a skirt or to grow her hair out really long. If we learn to accept this new form of beauty, we will truly have open minds. When we open our minds, we give ourselves more options in the world. Therefore, we have more to explore. This is what we want to teach the next generation.

LA Weekly, interviewed Amber about her tomboy look, and why she chose this image:

“I hear that I dress like a boy and that I should be more girly, which I can understand, but I just focus on what I want to do and enjoy my time with fans who love me for who I am,” Liu writes, diplomatically, in an email.

But Liu has not just integrated herself, she’s prospered, becoming a huge star in one of the most popular girl groups in K-pop and a global celebrity in her own right.

Liu, who recently turned 21, was raised in West Hills and is fluent in English and Mandarin. “I grew up playing a lot of sports, [and] thus tying up your hair and wearing comfortable clothing was a must,” she says, adding that she was particularly passionate about skateboarding. “I finally chopped off my ponytail at the end of middle school, and it was the best decision I made.”

Still, in high school bullies teased her and told her she looked like a man, sometimes making her cry.

Well, now she has millions of fans who love her! She is a true underdog story, just itching to relate to other outcasts.

Well, that’s my spin on F(x) and the lovely Amber Liu!

 

Check out my reviews of some of their albums!

f(x) Red Light Review

Their album Pink Tape is also out and it is AWESOME!

Check out my REVIEW for that!

f(x) Pink Tape Review

 

 

Black History Month: The American Girl dolls, Addy and Cecile

1 Feb
Addy (left, 1864)and Cecile (right, 1853)

Addy (left, 1864)and Cecile (right, 1853)

MLK’s birthday had passed, and black history month is here, and so the focus may be on “black pride”.

Many children today really don’t understand their history, or rather don’t care about it, whether they are African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, Jewish  etc. It’s a shame that I even had to witness African American children fall asleep during Dr. King movies. I’ve witnessed this recently at a school. They really take for granted the privileges they have obtained thanks to him. MLK would roll over in his grave if he could see how some of our young African American children are today.

The American Girl dolls and books to me are a great way to educate young girls about their history in a way that relates to them. Through the eyes of two nine to ten year old girls, little girls can learn to value their history, to be proud of themselves, and to work hard to achieve great things. I’m also happy to note that American Girl has honored Addy and Cecile for MLK’s birthday.

I’m not telling you to go out and purchase an expensive doll for black history month. But maybe you could read a story with your girls, or get them one of the books from the library. Some parents don’t see the importance of their young girls knowing history, but knowing what others have gone through helps them to develop admirable and likable qualities, such as compassion, empathy, understanding, and intelligence. They realize that everything isn’t going to be handed to them, and that it is up to them to make a future for themselves, no matter how challenging life gets.

Question: Which story is better for my child?

Well, I feel both stories are important and can help in the development of mature young ladies. But both stories have different vibes about them.

Most people are uncomfortable with the topic of slavery in general. And I must warn you that from Meet Addy, it doesn’t begin nice at all. While most parents think this is too much for their kids to read or listen to, and they worry about it destroying their child’s innocence, I feel in this case innocence needs to be pierced for the sake of an education. This is why I recommend Addy strongly. Addy’s stories are the main heart of all African Americans, whether many want to face it or not. Over half of the African Americans living in the USA had ancestors who came to the USA as slaves. I encourage people to teach their children such an important topic, especially if their schools aren’t focusing on it.

The main thing that turns other African Americans away is that they find Addy to fit into what they call “stereotypes”. Many black people want to teach their children “the best” or more “positive” history, and want their African American children to see that blacks weren’t just a bunch of “uneducated, poor” slaves. Well, I feel this view is distorted. Whether black people want to face it or not, African Americans were slaves in the United States, and there were slaves all around the world at that time and before (African or not). I also find it distorted to say that Addy proves to be “uneducated”. Addy didn’t speak the “proper” English throughout her series, considering she spoke the language of the “South”, but it didn’t make her dumb or less educated. That goes for Addy and all the other slaves in Addy’s stories. It took not only courage, but a clever mind for slaves to outsmart their masters when running away. This is more than I can say about Cecile, who hates her private lessons more than anything. And she’s considered more educated? No way. Addy has proven her intelligence in school throughout the series, even being invited to a prestigious school. Addy appreciates school, and values her mind above all else. It is truly distorted to consider Cecile more educated, as I’ve heard many African Americans saying.

I think Cecile is a lovely doll. She teaches people about the lavish lifestyles of African Americans in New Orleans. And while I think this history shows how far we’ve come in what we teach about African Americans, relates more to girls today, and is more positive, I hardly consider Cecile to be a better influence than Addy. While Cecile develops into a compassionate, brave character, she reveals a spoiled and bratty behavior in the beginning. I would hardly consider her the role model Addy is in the beginning of her series. While, true enough, this relates to the spoiled children of today, Addy’s stories encourage hard work and love.

And not all of Addy’s stories are depressing. Once you get over the bump of Meet Addy, you get a feel of some Civil War history and life in freedom. Many of Addy’s stories have happy endings. People also have the misconception that Addy wears rags throughout her stories. False. Eventually, her mother makes sure Addy has pretty things to wear. Addy’s mother is a hard-working woman, like many mothers today. Unlike some children of today, Addy appreciates her mother. On Christmas, instead of begging for something and getting an attitude when she doesn’t get what she wants, she was planning to buy her mother a beautiful gift with her own hard-earned money,  just because she recognized how much her mother deserved it. Not once did Addy think to ask her mother for anything. Much more than I can say about Cecile, who throws a tantrum because her brother got two outfits for his homecoming, and she only got one ball gown for Mardi Gras! We also see in Addy’s stories that not every African American was a slave, as we see in Addy’s desk partner, Harriet. Yea, true enough, Harriet was a snob, and made rich black people look bad. But would you be any better than Harriet to overlook Addy’s story because she doesn’t fit the African American ideal? Another thing that irritates me is when people consider Cecile better looking than Addy. So African American girls are less pretty when they have thick hair and wear their hair in braids? Or maybe it’s because Addy has darker skin? Another distorted idea, and really the catalyst to why so many African American girls have low self-esteem. The beauty behind African American girls wearing braids is that they get to decorate their hair anyway they want with pretty hair barrettes. In Addy’s day, with pretty ribbons. Wearing one’s hair loose doesn’t make a person any prettier.

I’m not here to discourage you from reading Cecile. Like I said, she’s lovely. Throughout her stories, she shows true empathy, compassion, and courage. Ceciles stories also encourage girls to bridge the gap between themselves and someone else who is different. Many African Americans go around hating white people for years as they reflect on “how the white man treated them”. But when you hear Cecile’s stories, you recognize that not all white people, even in the South, treated black people harshly. You also begin to see that other African Americans owned slaves, and treated them harshly, as Cecile’s rival Agnes does. This helps African American girls to be open-minded. They might find they have a lot in common with someone of a different ethnicity. Remind them not to be so insecure. Not every little comment is racist or prejudiced. Teach your child to avoid racist or prejudiced comments. Black or not, it is unacceptable. This doesn’t end with ethnic backgrounds, but also social class.

I end this article by hoping you guys make the most of Black History month by honoring the black people in the world who made a difference in the lives of many people. Perhaps you can start with the American Girls. There are very few doll collections and books that are wholesome, and produce good role models. American Girl is rarely criticized for it’s messages, except from people who try to find something wrong with everything.

If only they had something like this for boys. Some of these males need it severely.

Wannabe Adeles in the Music Industry

28 Oct

This article is on my personal pet peeve: old time artists who try to imitate other artists, particularly I’m focusing on artists who are trying to imitate Adele.

Now, there’s nothing more that I hate than to say, “That artist is trying to be like ….” As you know from a previous article, during the Gaga craze, it annoyed me when people said other artists like Christina Aguilera and Miley Cyrus were trying to be like her.

Although I have to admit, back during the Y2K era, there were waaay too many clones of Britney Spears, and obviously. There was Jessica Simpson, Hoku, Kaci, Myra, Christina Aguilera, BoA, Lorie from France, Willa Ford, Shakira…there was like a Britney Spears in every country and province.  But many of those artists were better than Britney herself so there wasn’t a problem.

And lets not forget the Michelle Branch clones. They give Avril Lavigne way too much credit for that one. She was a clone. Hilary Duff became a clone. Kelly Clarkson was a clone. The pop rock ladies trend was heavy between 2002-2005.

Even Jewel had a couple of clones before she became a Britney Spears clone herself…

Adele on the other hand is the best artist in four years (since the end of the rock era and the beginning of the technology voices). She is worthy of imitation and inspiration by many new artists. Notice I said the word NEW. She brought back a wave of good music. Music that hasn’t been heard since the blues was big in 1904. It has a classic touch that many artists threw away for the sake of fame. And yes, of course, she didn’t have to dress all fancy or slutty to get it, and yada, yada, yada.

But my pet peeve with some old time artists is that instead of doing their own original thing, or creating their own music, they are instead SINGING her songs. STOP SINGING her MUSIC. Make up your own good music. She can sing her own songs by herself. To me, if you are an old-time artist singing a newbie’s music, you must have either run out of ideas, or you realize just how awful you are, and now you want to expose how bad you are to your fans. That’s not even smart.

Who are these artists that are doing it?

Katy Perry is one of them.

What kind of crap is this? Katy Perry is singing someone else’s song at her OWN LIVE PERFORMANCE. That is not the way you give tribute to another younger artist. You only do that when the person is dead and can no longer sing their own music. Or they’re a legend, and too old to sing the songs anymore. Basically, Katy Perry is telling me to go out and buy Adele and go out and watch Adele live instead. And then Katy makes her own voice look bad because her voice wasn’t bread for this kind of song. So it sounds like crap.

You can see how in the wake of Adele becoming the most iconic singer of her generation, all of her peers are trying their best to sing better and approach her standard of vocal artistry. –BLTKellys

This is what I respect Adele for: encouraging artists to improve in their vocal abilities and encouraging artists to actually use their talents and not their good looks to entertain and make money. Expression is the encouragement of this generation. And because of Adele, music is making a major turn-around. For the first time in four years, I turned on the radio and found some music I actually enjoyed. Adele has challenged artists to be more “real” and creative. But just because Adele is good doesn’t mean you have to imitate her. It doesn’t mean you have to make boring, sad break-up/love songs just like her. And it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with being a glamorous person. It’s wrong when you aren’t being yourself and making your own music, or expressing your own talents. Then you’re killing yourself.

So overall, I feel artists like Katy should stop trying to be Adele. Be like her, not her exactly.

Another artist who sadly tried: Kelly Clarkson.

Adele is not even a legend yet. These artists have been in the game for too long to imitate a newbie like this. There’s nothing wrong with giving her props for her talent, but the level of imitation is overrated.

Even legend artists overseas have been imitating her, like BoA, which I am personally disappointed.

When I go to concerts to support certain artists, I go there to listen to them, not another artist’s songs, which the artist will probably sound horrible singing.

Adele is in her 20s, nowhere near dead, with only one album hit, and three top ten hits. She’s not a legend, she’s just a very good artist that deserves a tremendous amount of respect. If these artists want people to respect them, they need to start expressing themselves fully. They still don’t get why people have been dying for good music. It’s not because these artists are bad, it’s because they keep copying one another, or rather keep SINGING THE EXACT SAME SONG. It’s different to be inspired and to create your own thing. But don’t rip the girl’s song directly, and pass it off at your own concert as your own.

And then an artist who is a LEGEND, Celine Dion, sang her song too! Adele should be singing her songs, not the other way around! And it just makes Celine Dion look awful. As someone put it, “she just doesn’t have the soul for this song”. No one would’ve notice this slight flaw in her voice had she not attempted the song.

On another note, Adele isn’t even really the first soulful artist out here. In Africa there are so many soulful artists who go unnoticed, but have the same amount of significant talent. Adele is nothing new in the black community. Most black artists have strong voices. It’s rare when they don’t, and those are the ones that stand out like Rihanna.

Listen to this artist:

And here’s the tripped out part. Why are so many foreigners dominating US music industries? I turn on the radio, and almost every artist is from the United Kingdom or from Canada. Where are the US citizens? Oh right. They’re too busy singing Adele covers…

Cowboys and Aliens Review…phew, I’m happy I didn’t say Indians

31 Jul

I’m sick of Marvel movies. Who else is with me on this? Another Marvel movie is out this weekend (Captain America), and after seeing it I’m just really not starting to see the difference between it and all the other ones. I’m bored with the average, archetypal, super hero thing. The only reason I was drawn to it was because, as you all know, I’m a major history fan, and so World War II movies need my support. *wink Wink nod nod*. I’m also a big Marvel fan and want to see all my favorites come to life, but geez. Transformers, thank God, isn’t Marvel, BUT it has a similar element.

Ah, but Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t fit that mode. Finally, a movie that is originally constructed and not “based of of a comic series’ or “toy brand”, but is based off of a novel…wait, that’s not creative. Oh well, I guess we can’t say that movies are originally constructed anymore. It seems like the only way people see movies today is if it’s based off of a book or toy brand. It can’t be helped, even I’m a victim. No one wants to read they would rather watch it come to life, right? RIGHT?

So back to Cowboys and Aliens. Cowboys are not your average super hero of today. Today, most super heroes are given high technologies and chemicals that give them super powers. And most of the men were originally “normal” men, or maybe wartime soldiers…but they’re all still pretty modern. This movie takes us back to the stereotypical 1870s. Think of the dusty West, open blue skies, boom towns, saloon fights, gunfights, cowboy intimidation-stare-downs, bandits, sassy cowgirls, sheriff, and Indians…and you’ve got yourself, ladies and gents, a cowboy movie. I miss the good old cowboy movies. Whatever happened to them? Oh right. They were “racist”.  Ah, but the twist to this movie, the twist: ALIENS. I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking it too. It’s the reason this movie isn’t number one in the box office. Everyone was expecting this movie to be like The Knowing, or one of those creepy alien movies that have these twisted unrealistic plots and meanings…confusing and a ridiculous combination.

No, no, no. As surprising as this may sound, this was an ACTION movie. These aliens were nothing more than your normal villains. Think of a cowboy and Indian movie, except replace the Indians with Aliens, and you see what I mean. There’s no boring explanation of where the aliens came from, and what culture they have, etc. Just like the cowboy movies of old right? No explaining where Indians came from, just pure fight, blood, guts, gore, and all-out weaponry.

The thing that I like about this movie is how they eased technology into the main cowboy’s hands. They didn’t make him an automatic user of it, or super knowledgeable about everything. In the past, people weren’t aware of those things. I like how they showed the contrast between the technologies and how either could be beneficial. Certain technologies that might seem abnormal to us in even this day and time, REALLY seemed out of this world in their time. I really liked that it was action packed. I wasn’t bored, that’s for certain. My younger cousin was mad that he couldn’t see Captain America, but during this movie, he acted like “Captain America who?”

This movie was original in it’s approach and it brought two extremes together, kind of like Disney and Final Fantasy with Kingdom Hearts. I recommend people go see it. Not that I discourage Captain America, but I think this movie is a breath of fresh air from the normal heroic movies we’ve been getting.

More

For all you Fashion lovers, I just want to say I’m feeling the western look this summer. Cowboy hats and stirrup boots, I think I want to try it. If you’re feeling the Captain America craze, get in your red, White, and Blue. just thought of it.

All New American Girl Historical Dolls Cecile and Marie-Grace Have Been REVEALED!

12 May
Cecile and Marie-Grace, New Orleans, 1853

Cecile and Marie-Grace, New Orleans, 1853

 

News has been circling around about the new historical American Girls due to be released this year, 2011, and possibly next year, 2012. There is also rumor there will be another historical next year. These dolls took the American Girl fan base completely by surprise. There are many things different about this line of dolls than ever before. The characters focus on being from different worlds but becoming friends (a bit like the Samantha and Nellie story). The main historical focal point is the break out of  Yellow Fever in 1853.

The first significant factor is they FINALLY have another girl of color. Many fans say they have been asking for an African American girl in New Orleans or for Civil Rights. And many fans are actually looking forward to her more than the other one! I guess Mattel was probably wrong to wait so many years to release another African American, assuming she wouldn’t sell. From my understanding, the African American girl’s name is Cecile Rey, and the other girl’s name is Marie-Grace Gardner.

Another significant difference in this line is TWO girls are the focus instead of one. They are not “Best Friend” dolls. Best Friend dolls are considered an “accessory”, as one fan put it, to the MAIN dolls. These dolls are a part of the main story, and each have three books dedicated to her to complete the six book series. They both come from different worlds and backgrounds but they happen to become friends. They also will probably have a huge fashion line considering they have to come out with outfits together for promotional reasons. That will cost some money for Mattel, eh? I wager they will have a movie soon, yes?

The normal “title” changes have already been made with the introduction of Kaya, but now there are even more changes to the outline of the books. Now it seems these books are following the pattern of the Girl of the Year Dolls. The popularity of the Girl of the year dolls have influenced the American Girl historical dolls to only focus on one event and direct it from one era to one year.

The changes to the books and story don’t stop there. Instead of the year focusing on the traditional “4” pattern, they’ve set it back to “3”, breaking the pattern and tradition. These dolls have broken all of the traditions of American Girl, and have adopted the Girl of the Year patterns. The year is around Kirsten’s. This is very confusing. It’s public knowledge that the Kirsten doll has been archived, but I was told the books were still being sold. I wonder how they can promote them differently? With the new books being around the exact same time as Kirsten’s, it seems to me that these stories will not focus on American history as a whole but New Orleans history as a state.

That is another difference. The former American Girls focused on eras that affected the nation as whole, such as the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. This series seems to focus on one event that happened in only one year, and mostly affected one state. It is also not a very distinct moment in history, as some of the other American Girls have been. It would have focused more on a broader history if the story took place in the west, as everyone thought it would, but everyone was in for a surprise. Maybe next year it will be western themed.

Personal Opinions

Pros:

1) I LOVE the idea of two different girls, different social classes, having their own sides of the story! It really shocked me in a good way! I was hoping they would be twins, but I am still happy that they are two girls who learn to settle their differences. It will be interesting to see half of the series told one way, and the other half told another.

2) I’m so happy Mattel decided to create an African American Girl. This was another shocking thing they did. I NEVER thought they would even consider it, considering most of their best-selling lines have been Caucasian dolls. It really surprised me, almost as much as Julie did, but for different reasons…Anyway, it’s also good she is not stereotyped and most people will learn that not ALL African Americans were slaves. Some were very well-to-do.

3) The doll dresses are lovely and so are the characters. It gives me hope that they will be lovely dolls. I’m really excited to see how the dolls look in person.

4) New Orleans is an interesting setting. The pictures are sure to capture my eye. It’s also good that American Girl is trying to focus more on Southern American Girls. Most of the American Girls have been from the North. It’s great that they’re giving a little Southern history as well.

Cons:

1) I am not too fond of the historical focal point. As lovely and well planned as the dolls might have been, the historical value seems mushed together, just for the sake of selling the dolls. I feel that American Girl company is trying to pull away from it’s historical value. This is all due to the success of their Girl of the Year dolls, who are not as realistic neither do they educate people on the day-to-day lives of American Girls, mostly because it’s only one book, so they can’t work with it much.

Yellow Fever was not an era in history. It was an event, it took place mostly in New Orleans. The year also overlaps Kirsten’s year so badly it just seems like they didn’t care at all. I understand she is archived, but her books are still being sold, and people recognize Kirsten as coming from that time. This stomps any chances for Kirsten EVER coming back. It’s important that each girl has their own year so that no one will be confused as to each doll’s era, which is the main promotion of the doll (such as Addy is the Civil War era doll, Samantha is the Victorian Era doll, Rebecca is the pre-WWI doll, etc). These dolls are the…Yellow Fever Epidemic dolls? Not going to cut it for me. Next they should make the Cholera epidemic dolls too…And the era doesn’t even relate to the story. Like Felicity was trying to find her own independence and loyalty at a time of the Revolutionary War, where independence and loyalty was being questioned for the first time. So what is this story? Two girls find their differences among the social classes, and oh, there’s an epidemic. Huh? How does their relationship teach us about the epidemic? I can’t say I can judge the story totally, as I haven’t read it yet, but so far it seems like Mattel completely forgot about researching enough history. The story has morals like all children’s stories. But what is making American Girl unique anymore? What makes them different from Magic Attic Club and Global Friends dolls? American Girl is neglecting their historical fans because the majority fan base is dense when it comes to history and keep asking for short periods in time like the Roaring Twenties. Only ADULTS were affected by the Roaring Twenties. But how much you want to bet Mattel will find some ridiculous theme to put behind it?

2) What happened to the American Girl that used to focus on the unique part of the girl as relation to the history rather than the girls being “pretty”? Their last couple of lines have been a bunch of “pretty girls”. Whatever happened to dolls like Molly and Kit, dolls who relate to REAL girls. These dolls just seem to fit more and more into mainstream America, which promotes wealth, fame, and superficiality. In fact, the last three dolls have all had long curly hair. Talk about a lack of variety, ya?

3) Now that there is an African American doll, I’m most CERTAIN Addy will be archived next. I thought she would be safe because of her ethnicity, but now we know that no doll is safe, and she might be the next to go because she’s not as “pretty”. I dislike the “pretty” emphasis, but kids today are taught to be superficial. The weird part is the most important times in history, such as American Independence, are being archived, for a time in history as inadequate as this? The birth of America vs the Yellow Fever Epidemic of only New Orleans? Mattel is really twisted for this one.

Well, that’s my spin on the new dolls. What do you guys think? Post your comments and let me know!

How to Have a Royal Wedding

29 Apr

One of the most eventful moments of time, besides the World Cup, is the royal wedding. Many people still remember the wedding of Princess Diana, one of the most beautiful and loved princesses of all time. BUT this year, we have a new princess: Kate Middleton. She is poised, elegant, and certainly a fine example of a princess bride. Many people can learn from this wedding, especially about how to throw a fabulous wedding. Of course, everyone doesn’t have the money or means for it to be as glamorous as this one was. Still, there are certain things that made this the perfect wedding even without  all of the glamor.

1) It started on time. From the moment the procession began, the movement from limo to Westminster Abbey, and onward, it began and ended in a timely fashion. If everyone planned to watch it, whatever time it began in your particular country, no one had to worry about whether it was on time or not.

2) A unique thing to add to a wedding would be dress code. Many of the women wore hats and the men mostly wore uniforms. Add a simple, yet elegant touch to every wardrobe to make the wedding unique.

3) Carriage ride to the wedding. Of course, the bride also took a limo. However, the carriage ride is one of the most unique ways to have a royal wedding.

4) Special family church or building of importance to your family should more than likely be the choice as it makes the wedding more sentimental and shows the seriousness in the matrimony. Outdoor weddings are fun, but indoor weddings ensure that everyone will not be bothered by outdoor nuisances, such as insects or bad weather.

5) Walk with children not after them or before them. It shows that the bride loves children and is willing to start a family. Have little ring bearers wear matching uniforms to the older gentlemen.

So these are just some of the things I noticed about the wedding that was very important and to me represented a real ROYAL wedding.

Let’s take a look at a blast into the past princess weddings, starting with Princess Elizabeth and then onto Princess Diana.

Princess Elizabeth

Princess Diana

Such beautiful weddings in history!

Now going back to the invitation list…Guess who wasn’t on the wedding list? Mr. and Mrs. Obama. I wonder why…Many Americans are offended by this, if you haven’t noticed. The very symbol of the United States, the president, was not extended an invitation. How does that make many Americans feel? Well, some black Americans, of course, pulled the race card, just as the world expected them too. However, many regular Americans were offended, both conservative and liberals, felt this was a stab at America. Why isn’t the American president not wanted at one of the most important events around the world? Especially considering how many Americans tuned in to see such a fine and glorious wedding? What does this tell the world? Many don’t think it’s a race factor, because they saw a black couple in the audience, sitting close to the front of the wedding. Many just feel that Obama didn’t feel like going. It’s difficult to say.

Post your comments about the wedding! What are some things you noticed about the wedding that impressed you or that you would want in your wedding? What do you feel about the Obama’s absence at the wedding?

BoA will be Back in the USA Next Year! Mark the calendar!

2 Dec

Info from Fox, BoA will be back in the USA! Exciting for BoA lovers! Threatening and Devastating for BoA haters! But the Princess of Asian pop will be back! And hopefully, this time, she makes an impact! A Sweet Impact! She is starring in a movie next year, that will be from the same creators as Step Up ! She said she will be showing off her awesome dance moves! How exciting! Until then, Ciao!

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