Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Update on my forum banning

Last month I was banned from a mixed-race forum. I wrote about it here.

It took about a month for the administrator of the forum to reply to my request of an appeal. I finally received a response, and it was rejected.

After reading the e-mail, I slowly realized this is the end of my life on an online community that has meant a lot to me. In the 2 years I've been there, I've grown intellectually and emotionally in a way that I never would have in real life. But at the same time, I also feel like I've outgrown that community. I feel like I've already received the most out of it than I ever could, and if I were to stay there, it would be like a high school graduate hanging out at his old high school.

The good thing about being banned is I don't have to worry about deciding whether or not to delete my account. There are a few people there who don't like me, and there's been times when I was tempted to leave and never come back. Now, I feel like I've died in battle rather than surrendering. The people who are celebrating my ban might feel like they've won, but I too feel victorious because I stayed there as long as I could (instead of leaving voluntarily).

With the help of a forum member who doesn't dislike me, I posted a long formal goodbye to the community. If you're a member of that forum, you've probably seen it.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

The new diversity

I'm sure we've all seen advertisements where there's people of different races together; it's a way of selling things to ethnically diverse audiences. Even though it's always nice to have ethnic diversity in advertising, I think it's a little old to just show an interracial group of people. Whites, Asians, Blacks, and Latinos being together is no longer what diversity is all about. Diversity today is also about people who belong to more than one race; and I don't mean an interracial group of people, I mean individuals who have multiple ethnicities in themselves (in other words, mixed-race people).

Whenever I see an ad that shows people of different races, I automatically think, "oh they're trying to show diversity." To me, showing different races together in an ad isn't really a good way of advertising anymore because it's kind of obvious they're trying to appeal to everyone; and it looks kind of preachy and over-moral if the ethnic diversity is too obvious.

Now, if we have mixed-race people (or at least, people who look mixed) in ads, the ethnic diversity is less obvious, because it's not clear what their heritage is. And it's more effective in advertising because people can look at a mixed-race person and have their own interpretations about what his or her ethnicity is; most people never think about mixed ethnicity when they think about race, so they would assume this girl is monoracial (yet have no idea what ethnicity she is), when she's actually mixed.

Another reason it's more effective to have mixed-looking people in ads is because it promotes diversity without looking like it's being sold. If we have an ad with White, Black, and Asian people together (without any mixed-race), it's like they're shoving diversity in your face and trying to look "modern." But if you have mixed-looking people, the diversity isn't as "loud" and it's more subtle, because different people will have different ideas about what ethnicities they are.

Of course, if you actually are trying to advertise to a specific ethnicity, then mixed-looking people might not be a good idea.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The most popular question

There's a woman on YouTube known as HappySlip (real name: Christine Gambito), and she's become quite popular in the past year. Being popular on YouTube means millions of people around the world watch your videos, and of course, this also means being watched by different races and ethnicities. In one of HappySlip's videos, she answers some of the questions that many people on YouTube have asked her, and she says the most popular question is:

"Are you Filipino?"

Link to that video: HappySlip Vlog #1

This made me think "why is THAT the most common question?" There's a lot of other questions people could ask her, like: "what's your real name?" or "are you married?" For some reason, what people want to know the most is if she's Filipino! It seems like people get uncomfortable when they can't figure out someone's ethnicity, and HappySlip's appearance does look racially unclear. I remember seeing a comment on another video of hers' and it said: "are you Spanish?" (this question can either mean: "are you Latino?" or "are you Spaniard?").

Another reason I was surprised about "are you Filipino?" being the most asked question is because many people haven't even heard of Filipinos. I know that's hard to believe, but the Philippines isn't exactly a world-famous country, and YouTube is a global community, so it's surprising that her fans from around the world would ask that. I would've expected "are you Mexican?" to be a more popular question towards her instead of "are you Filipino?" because Mexico is a lot more well-known compared to the Philippines. (And HappySlip looks like she could pass for Mexican).