Sunday, November 18, 2012

How Asian is Miss Asia?

Mai Moua Vang
Blog #3

Inside source:
"The Ao Dai Goes Global: How International Influences and Female Entrepreneurs Have Shaped Vietnam's "National Costume." Reorienting Fashion.

In this week's reading, it focuses on different interpretations on how ao dai, a traditional Vietnamese female wear, became a fad in its home country and on a global scale. I thought it was interesting how fashion is institutionalized because I didn't think too much of how much power beauty pageants had over the fashion industry. Historically beauty pageants consisted of white women, but as the world shifts into globalization, beauty pageants are located in many countries. Even though they are located in many countries, white people still determine what is fashionable by picking out the national outfit for countries. In this way, non-white countries are homogenized, simplifying the nation to one dominant group of people. Vietnam consists of many ethnic groups, i.e. the Hmong, yet people outside of the country will never know.

Outside Source:

I always find it interesting watching Hmong pageants or contestants. A lot of the time, they would wear Hmong clothes but they would wear outfits not from their region or country. All of the Hmong people in the U.S. are originally from Laos so they have a unique outfit. If you look at the picture below, the Hmong contestant is wearing Hmong clothes from China. I can tell that it's from China because of the head piece. So it makes me wonder, after reading this week's reading, if she is homogenizing Hmong people in China? Exotifying the Chinese Hmong? Giving a false portrayal of her Hmong identity? I don't know. But it's something to ponder about.

Update on the compact challenge:
So far I haven't purchased anything. Davis makes it really hard for me to buy anything when majority of the places are food. I've been really busy with school so I've noticed that I've been buying more take outs. Even though the challenge focuses on materialistic things, I think that take outs should be a part of it. Our food, in general, is commodified. Moreover, I think that service has been commodified. With these two, exploitation can exist looking at it from a globalization point of view. An example would be McDonalds. They are practically everywhere in the world and they don't treat their employees all that great. They are paid minimum wage but they don't get any benefits even though they work in a fast past environment, where it's prone to get hurt. I like cooking for myself since I have more control of what I consume but as for now, I'll have to buy take outs. 


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