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With the rise in popularity of things such as Kpop, anime, and cosplaying, there have been more cases on social media of asianfishing. Asianfishing is when  a person of non Asian descent portrays themselves as though they are. Some of the more popular ways people have asianfished recently have been the fox eye trend. This trend consists of shortening the ends of your eyebrows to make your eyebrows straighter, then doing eyeliner and eyeshadow in a way that makes the eye more slanted and cat-eye like. This trend blew up on multiple occasions by famous models like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid, both being not at all Asian; it also made its appearance on TikTok and YouTube, with many beauty influencers making tutorials to recreate this look.  [bf_image id="gc2vjnq79tw49pq5kcr4vk2w"] The issue with this is that it is taking a well-known feature of Asians and turning it into a trend. Asains know the deragotry terms that have long lived and been used in society such as “chinky eyes”, “ching chong eyes”, and even the act of others pulling their eyes back to create that slanted look. This has long since been a way that young and old Asians alike have been ridiculed. The eye shape that everyone thought was a joke and ugly, suddenly has become a trend because a few famous people decided to make it one. 

[bf_image id="qg3f3c-999qzc-cau58e"] Asian-Americans have long suffered from the ridicule just because of their natural eye shape, something that is out of their control, something they were born with. The major issue for me is that for those that don’t naturally have this eye shape, they can recreate it with makeup temporarily, and then easily take it off. They don’t live with that eye shape everyday, they don’t get bullied and harassed for it, because they are not Asian. It is not a permanent feature for them.  

The fact is simple: it’s a trend because it’s not on the face of an Asian.

I still remember in elementary school when other kids would pull their eyes back and say “ching chong, ching chong.” Running around saying this to young Asian-Americans, who I know began to resent and hate their eye shapes, they are the people that are now walking around with fox-eye makeup. After being ridiculed about our eye shape for so long, it suddenly becomes a trend for non-Asians to do, and suddenly the eye shape is desirable and seen as attractive. 

[bf_image id="mn26fwpsmh3sm7xc7k2wkw59"] It hurts to think that the people who were naturally born with this eye shape have always been ,and are still being, harassed because of this trend, even while it was trending. You’d think that people would be nicer to those that had the natural eye shape, but that was not and has not been the case. 

The reason I’m writing this is because the act of asianfishing is increasing. Now it is no longer just the eye shape, but things of Asian culture being roped in too. People are  wearing traditional clothing and saying that they are, in fact, Asian, when in reality, if they took a DNA test, they would be far from it. There are even people who have become famous for asianfishing. A man named Oli London, a fully British man, has recently been in the media for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to reconstruct his face to look like BTS’s Jimin, a Korean pop singer. He has also stated on multiple occasions that he is Korean when it is well known that he is only of British descent. He became obsessed with Korean culture, and is actively trying to be a part of that culture when it was not his to begin with. This is unacceptable on multiple levels, but the major takeaway I want you to see is that he, and everyone else that asianfishes, do not endure the harassment and other harmful experiences in society from being Asian. He did not grow up with the horrible remarks and belittling acts that happen often to Asians. They want to take the culture that seems attractive and nice. They pick and choose what part they want to be, but do not experience the true reality of being an Asian in society.

Jade Zuniga

UC Riverside '24

I am a third-year Psychology major with an Organizational Behavior minor, looking to improve my writing skills. I love listening to music, watching movies, eating and trying different foods, and playing with my cats.
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