jojo. in transit.

  1. If you follow this blog even a little bit, I’m pretty much always talking about ethnic identity—usually from a very personal perspective. And while I’ve thought about and discussed plastic surgery within East Asia (S.Korea especially) at length, I haven’t read anything that takes the discussion quite to this place. I mean, the whole sci-fi, post-race spin on plastic surgery is certainly worthy of discussion. And then there’s all these other DO WE DEFINE BEAUTY? IS IT SCIENCE? IS IT CHANGING? IS IT UNIVERSAL? HOW MUCH OF IT IS ROOTED IN HISTORY/imperialism/colonialism, etc?


    Here’s some bits, but heck, just go read it all!   

    "These exchanges can be jarringly retro but also oddly refreshing—discussions of race with strangely post-racial specialists who choose to see beauty as something that can be built, à la carte, with features harvested from peoples all over the world. It feels like science fiction—but utopian or dystopian, I can’t decide."


    Politically correct people who would never make normative statements about the beauty of one race over another nevertheless feel liberated to adjudicate physical supremacy when the subjects are composed of multiple socially constructed groups. “Asian and white is my favorite,” a blonde soccer mom at my middle school told me once, as though my parents’ decision to marry and have kids was an ingenuity akin to the creation of a Labradoodle. She meant well, of course, even as she fetishized a preteen directly to her face. Today, I would be tempted to respond, “Really? I kind of like Somali-Inuit-Peruvian better,” though it may be worth noting that I’m a lot brattier about the subject when I’m talking to white people.


    Which makes you think that, once you’ve reached the point where beauty ideals are shaped by social power, figuring out the origin of beauty may be beside the point. (Does the fact that hormonal changes at puberty tend to make women paler and men darker, which some use to explain preferences for lighter pigmentation, make discussions of skin color easier or harder?) And while it’s tempting to see new multicultural beauty ideals as democratic in some way, we’re still talking about the often cruel happenstance of being born into a body and a face that will be read as symbols, and the sometimes desperate ways people cope with that.



  2. Best kid. Best class. Best summer.


  3. Anytime

    A character or person is vaguely ethnic with black curly hair.

    "Hey, Jo! She looks like you!"



  4. I just like you, Taipei.


  5. But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.

    We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.


  6. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.


  7. Today, I am tropical.
    In efforts to not forget the cultural awakening that was my trip to Palau, I will now exclusively be wearing tropical print…because you know #islandgirlpower

    Ok, not really.



  9. Batu Caves. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


  10. 😎✌️#MUO #whisbynation #taipei #taiwan #ultimatefrisbee


  11. Fell in love with my extended family in Palau. Especially this little dude.


  12. I clearly haven’t mastered this yet……To #Malaysia! 😎✈️ #MUO #ultimatefrisbee #whisbynation


  13. Yesterday

    I was walking to pickup from the MRT when I spotted an attractive blonde skater type guy in a trucker hat (I know that description doesn’t sound that appealing). Anyway he was on the steps to the fitness center. And I thought, I wonder what this man is doing wayyyyyyy out on this side of town.

    Upon closer inspection, said man was actually a Taiwanese gentleman probably in his 70s with silver hair.

    I might need glasses.


  14. The problem is that white people see racism as conscious hate, when racism is bigger than that. Racism is a complex system of social and political levers and pulleys set up generations ago to continue working on the behalf of whites at other people’s expense, whether whites know/like it or not. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.
    — Scott Woods (via newwavefeminism)


    This is good.

    (Source:, via fascinasians)


  15. Papa Stack @ Long Beach #palau #rockislands