Tuesday, August 18, 2009

contrast white individuality with non-white homogeneity

"White Australia:
Australia for the Australians"

(badge, circa 1906)

Jeanswest, a clothing outlet in Australia, is currently offering jeans made of "Japanese denim." Here's part of their ad campaign.

As Gwen notes at Sociological Images, the white people here "are foregrounded and depicted as specific, individual human beings."

On the other hand, the apparently Japanese people are used as mere props -- an undifferentiated group told to look away from the camera and at the ground, as if in submission to the white wearers of "Japanese denim."

What we see here is an extreme example of a tendency in Western culture that appeals to and reflects a demographic white majority. Another Australian, Ross Chambers, explained this tendency over ten years ago, in his essay "The Unexamined":

In contrast to minorities, whose identity is defined by their classificatory status as members of a given group, whites are perceived as individual historical agents whose unclassifiable difference from one another is their most prominent trait. Whiteness itself is thus atomized into invisibility through the individualization of white subjects.

Whereas nonwhites are perceived first and foremost as a function of their group belongingness, that is, as black or Latino or Asian (and then as individuals), whites are perceived first as individual people (and only secondarily, if at all, as whites). Their essential identity is thus their individual identity, to which whiteness as such is a secondary, and so a negligible factor.

This form of Western culture -- centered, white individuals contrasted with undifferentiated, typecast minorities -- is pervasive. This recent Palm Pre ad is another example, as are cinematic and literary "magical negroes." Older instances include racial and ethnic sidekicks, such as Jack Benny's Rochester and the Lone Ranger's Tonto. I think the common white use of non-white backup singers often serves this purpose, as did Gwen Stefani's "Harajuku Girls."

It seems to me that in most cases, when stereotypical minorities appear alongside white characters, their primary purpose is to define and individualize the white characters. And yet, it's a paradoxical dynamic, because while white people are depicted at the center of such stagings, they're usually not depicted as white. Rather, as in the ads above, the non-whiteness of the homogenized others helps to emphasize their individuality. At least for white producers and consumers -- I don't imagine their whiteness is as secondary, negligible, and invisible to non-white viewers as it is to them.

Aside from how such usages of nonwhites de-individualize and dehumanize them, another problem here is another paradox -- privileged white people who, instead of recognizing their privileged state in relation to nonwhite people, feel instead that those people have something that they themselves lack. Something specifically "cultural."

The Jeanswest ad campaign appeals to this white sense of lack by describing these jeans as "a little bit exotic." It also explains that their material, Japanese denim, "is made by the top denim mill in Japan that has been manufacturing denim for over 110 years." In an odd twist, this very Western item of clothing -- jeans -- is being sold as authentically Japanese. And "you," the targeted non-Japanese/white consumer, can become "a little bit exotic" by purchasing and wearing them.

The exotic quality of these jeans is further enhanced in other ways:

* Each style has been finished with unique trims echoing the Japanese origins, including the red button at the button fly, hand painted buttons and Japanese printed pocket bags.

* The rivets have been engraved with the Japanese characters that mean 'Genuine and Authentic', ensuring even the smallest of details has our Japanese denim hallmark.

So here we have an Asianized product aimed at white people in a white majority country, a country that, like the U.S., used to have exclusionary immigration laws that explicitly targeted Asians. One such law in the U.S. was the Chinese Exclusion Act. Australia's parallel was the White Australia Policy.

According to Wikipedia,

The White Australia policy comprises various historical policies that intentionally restricted non-white immigration to Australia from 1901 to 1973.

The chief architect of the policy, Michael Pilcher, believed that the Japanese and Chinese (Asians) might be a threat to the newly formed federation and it was this belief that led to legislation to ensure they would be kept out:

"It is not the bad qualities, but the good qualities of these alien races that make them so dangerous to us. It is their inexhaustible energy, their power of applying themselves to new tasks, their endurance and low standard of living that make them such competitors."

Nowadays, of course, Australia has eased racial restrictions on immigration, and its government officially forbids discrimination on the basis of race for any official purposes.

And if these "Japanese denim" jeans are a further indication, it seems that white Australians have gone from rejecting Asians to embracing them.

But then, have they? Really?


  1. I can't speak for Australians or Australia, I've never been there and never lived there.

    but I have always resented white people for claiming a different culture that's not their own, and then being given credit.

    Gwen Stefani, for instance. Everyone thought she was so "unique" when she wore bindi on her forehead and mendhi on her hands. Um, excuse me? she stole that from my culture. She's not unique. I've been wearing bindi and mendhi since I was a child, and no one ever gave me credit for looking "cool."

  2. I hear you, Deaf Indian. I cannot stand the cultural appropriation used as trend! What's been around for ages becomes someone's play toy until the "next big thing" comes around.

    But, I take it upon myself to correct those around me that do. I'll never forget how some skaters tried to say that they created "baggy pants". Yeah, okay, no. It's prison culture that created that (e.g. blacks/Latinos) who had their belts taken away for fear of suicide/weaponry.

    Gwen Stefani really burns my buttons anyway. There's no originality in her at all. But, she's stopped because she's been called out on it.

  3. these ads also remind me of several photo shoots on America's Next Top Model. non white people serve as an exotic backdrop, not only objectifying them, but creating a collective "other," while the white people get to stand out.

  4. it's disgusting isn't it? Jeans West is a really BIG chain store over here too - I cringe when I go past those posters.

    I hate racist groups on facebook that claim to get Australia back for the "real" Australians. I'm real... betcha they don't mean getting Australia back for me (not that Australia ever went anywhere to begin with like huh?)... or the Aborigines.

    A short while ago, there were some "potential terrorists" arrested in Australia... the news reporter said that if the "attack" had went ahead, it'd be the "largest on Australian soil"... I'd immediately shouted bullsh*t at the TV.

    Look up Cape Grim massacre (called Victory Hill by the murderers of defenceless women and children) or Myall Creek massacre - that's not even the tip of the iceberg.

    Sorry for getting so off topic, but this is why I join in the discourse of global racism - it is everywhere and Australia is not immune to it.

  5. I'm native american. At least you all get to be in the photographs. We don't.

    And um... Gwen Stefani wasn't the first person to mendhi herself up... that was Madonna. And I don't think either of the two women are racist, quite the contrary. I see them as embracing all cultures.

    I don't think this advertisement is racist either. The denim comes from Japan and they are marketing it to Australians. Aussies are primarily white, been there. I didn't see much color. So, in order to appeal to the demographic and instill the qualities of Japan this was the ad campaign they relied on. If they had used a Japanese model to promote the jeans, none of the Aussies would think that the jeans would actually fit them since Aussies are typically larger in size than Japanese.

    So - I think this is a mountain out of a molehill.

  6. J said... - "I didn't see much color."

    -_-' where exactly did you go to in Australia... so not only are PoC in Australia invisible to whiteness... we are also invisible to other PoC?

  7. I think you are right on target, hold up the mirror!

  8. I doubt you could ever see an ad like that in America, not b/c of the overt racism, rather the fear of backlash over it. At the heart of the matter, these types of displays do not really offend the American whites, rather it is the fear of being associated with this mentatlity.

    Off thw subject, plz add to your list, "buy into the racist economic theories of Freakonomics." You know the whole, the more abortions, the more the crime rated goes down book. You can't argue with facts, and when i first read this book I fell in love Stephen D. Levitt's quirky take on statistics and the real world. However, recently I read his article on "The Plight of Mixed Race Kids", I realized how much b.s. this man was calling science and how "white-skewed" it is feeding of stereotypes of colored people and myths about classical whiteness and miscegination. Not onldy does he group all mixed race kids into one catagory regaurdless of socioeconomic status, parentage or parental eductaion level, he even adds that . . .(and I QUOTE) "mixed-race kids are much more attractive on average". On what average. I began to realize his white leaning anecdotal studies are latent with projections of "minorites" and their issues. How the aspects of theri non-whiteness devalue their lives, lumping us into catagories of unfounded data. And you know how much white people love UNFOUNDED "DATA". He's a real idiot and slimy proponent of eugenics. He feeds white people what they want to here about theri superiority and liberals and conservatives alike eat it right up.

  9. let me drop that link http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/the-plight-of-mixed-race-children/?apage=4#comments

  10. J, so you wouldn't mind if the denim was, say, made from high quality American cotton and they decided to use a group of native Americans dressed in feathers and paint bowing to these white models as they are in the picture?

    And the feathers and paint will be designed in line with their stereotypes of native Americans instead of in line with how it actually is done. (The hairdo and some of the finer touches here looks like a mix of stereotypes of Japanese & Chinese.) Actually, I think I've seen a tv ad for chocolate(?) in Oz like that depicting native South Americans and it annoyed me every time I saw it. When I saw it, I thought: The only reason they're not using Aborigines is because it would create an uproar. But if they used South Americans they'd be too far away to complain. (gooblyglob, do you know which one I'm talking about?)

  11. That's why I will never visit Australia. I can't spend all of that money to go somewhere that I know down inside I'm still not welcome to even visit. I haven't forgotten how they treated Diahann Carroll!

  12. @fromthetropics - I can't say I'm aware of the ad you are talking about although I am not surprised...

    @MyVintageCameras - oh c'mon... Australia is *that* bad... at least not any worse than the UK or the USA or any other white dominated country. I know I'd welcome you... to me, you and everyone anywhere are always welcome in my beloved country.

  13. this is a little off topic and directed at comments made by Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist and honeybrown1976 -

    Simply put, cultural appropriation ROCKS. Seriously. And I'm surprised two people who know what "cultural appropriation" is don't realize it.

    Take Gwen Stefani and her take on Harajuku girls. It's a really interesting example actually of how cool contemporary cultural appropriation can be. Stefani references this odd Japanese high schoolgirl subculture, popularizes it for an American audience. All of a sudden this small group of Japanese girls get this notoriety for their homegrown street fashion culture that's quite unique and bizarre.

    But how unique and bizarre is it? Well, take the Gothic Lolita part of it - here the Japanese gals have taken a Brit and American subculture and put their own twist on it. Where did Brit and US goth subculture come from? There's a whole other story there that's fascinating to discover.

    Long story short, when very different cultures start borrowing from each other and commenting on each other, all sorts of great things happen.

    Cultural appropriation is where it's at.

  14. @MyVintageCameras - btw... what happened to Diahann Carroll in Australia? when did it happen? I did a quick google search and I couldn't find anything...

  15. Vick,

    Cultural appropriation, is not cool.

    Cultural appreciation is cool; but, don't confuse the two.

    I am for admiring and appreciating different cultures. It's wonderful. However, I do NOT like when such cultures are deemed as a means of profit and trendy ventures. I can't tell you how many college associates I socialized with back in the mid-90s that sported bindi/mendhi, Chinese/Japanese tattoos, and keffiyahs without any clue to what the symbols meant. They just "looked cool".

    I'm just not down with compressing one's culture to a trend because originality went out of the window. That's not cool.

    As for the Harajuku Girls, Gwen sporting them around like they were servants that wasn't in on the joke. Once she was done with them, she dressed like a East L.A. "chola". Who's culture is up for sale next?

  16. Ha ha ha...LOL. I watched the White Australia policy video and I laughed. White Australia policy indeed! Those people really don't know history do they.

    Now, Australia used to be used as a prison colony many centuries ago. That is how these people who now want to keep the place "pure" and "clean" got there in the first place. They were criminals and were shipped off to the farthest possible place on earth by the British, of course.

    Not to be mean or anything, but history is such a good thing because it bridges that connection to the past.

    So, when you watch these types of things where people are so proud of their achievements, it just makes you wonder.

    The original inhabitants of Australia, Tasmania etc and surrounding islands were Aborigines who were killed off and are literally almost extinct now.

    J said...
    "Aussies are primarily white, been there. I didn't see much color."


    Yes, Australians are primarily White, NOW. The reason you didn't see much colour when you went there? See my comments above.

  17. BeautyHealthZoneBlog.com Editor said... "They were criminals and were shipped off to the farthest possible place on earth by the British, of course."

    Actually not all of them were criminals, not in the way you would define one nowadays... most were really poor and were charged with silly crimes like "stealing food" - this is more of a class issue than a criminal/bad blood type of thing, and soon after that, many other white people (who weren't charged with committing a "crime") came to try to make a life for themselves away from Britain. It does not excuse their treatment of the Australian Aborigines or the Chinese gold miners at all, but you are playing on the "Australia is a country of convicts/thieves and murderers" stereotype.

    PS. I'm Australian and I'm NOT white... Australia the "white country" does not exist except in the minds of racists.

  18. gooblyglob,

    So, in your book, "stealing food" is not a crime? Stealing is stealing. In some countries they would chop your hand off for that.

    Yes, of course things have changed and other settlers moved to Australia. However, the place was used as a prison colony, as bad as it may sound.

    Also, my point is or was that these people, who did not originate from the place in the first instance, now have the audacity to tell everybody else to keep out..."Niggers and Japs" according to the video. Kind of typical.

    Also, I am not concerned about your colour. I'm British and I'm not White, so what's your point?

    Incidentally, my cousin got a job offer in Australia, but decided to decline the offer and is moving back home to Africa.

  19. @BeautyHealthZoneBlog.com Editor

    Why would stealing food be made a crime? The fact that people can't afford food is what should be the crime!

    "Also, I am not concerned about your colour. I'm British and I'm not White, so what's your point?"

    My point is that you are contributing to the invisibility of PoC in Australia.

  20. LOL...I am contributing to the invisibility of people of colour in Australia?


    Australia's portrayal of POC in the media and on television is very few and far between.

    Take Neighbours, Home and Away, Prisoner cell block H as examples, there are other Australain and New Zealand programmes we used to enjoy watching, I have never seen a Black person or POC in any of these shows and I watched them from the age of about 13 and well into my late teens.

    So, I think Australians etc are doing a pretty good job themselves of making Black and POC quite invisible. So, don't blame me for that.

  21. @BeautyHealthZoneBlog.com Editor

    that's not what I meant -_-'

    so... just because America is stereotyped as white... does it mean that a PoC in America is any less American than their white counterpart?

    "So, I think Australians etc are doing a pretty good job themselves of making Black and POC quite invisible."

    when you say Australians? are you saying that Asians, Polynesians, Aborigines and Africans here are making themselves invisible? are you saying we hate ourselves or something? because I don't see these other PoC as any less Australian than me.

  22. gooblyglob,

    "so... just because America is stereotyped as white... does it mean that a PoC in America is any less American than their white counterpart?"

    Of course not. Is America stereotyped as White? You see Americans of all races and faces all the time in the USA.

    "when you say Australians? are you saying that Asians, Polynesians, Aborigines and Africans here are making themselves invisible? are you saying we hate ourselves or something? because I don't see these other PoC as any less Australian than me."

    To be clear, or maybe I'm not being clear enough, when I say Australians, I mean Australians who run the media over there.

    I am sure that the people of colour and Black people over there are not making themselves invisible, but to clarify for you, Australians of all shades, colours and races, other than White are not well represented in the media. Anyone watching a multitude of the programmes that are screened in the UK from Australia etc, apart from maybe one futuristic film I saw many years ago, can see that races other than White are not well represented in Australia TV programmes, if at all.

    Maybe your Australian media are selective of what the screen outside of Australia, who knows.

    In fact, if you were going by these programmes alone, one would think that POC and Black do not actually exist over there.

    Also, don't put words into my mouth...I am pretty straightforward in what I say...Why would you hate yourselves? Don't ask me silly questions.

  23. I have spotted a few typos in my last comment. I need to stop visiting this site into the early hours of the morning, to be frank.

  24. @BeautyHealthZoneBlog.com Editor

    no you didn't say we hate ourselves, but to hide and not speak out against our invisibility would imply that we do not think of ourselves as worthy for recognition most likely due to self-hatred or something similar.

    "Is America stereotyped as White?"
    please refer to Macon's post see "white" and "male" as neutral conditions

    I *LIVE* in Australia, believe me PoC including Black people also live here. So thank you for finally mentioning that PoC do exist in Australia. That's all I was looking for.

  25. @BeautyHealthZoneBlog.com Editor
    This is probably a better post to show the American = white stereotype/belief.
    declare themselves the real americans

  26. honeybrown1976 -

    Is it cool when a college kid slaps on a bindhi, or a Chinese tattoo simply because it looks cool? No. That's about the simplest, most boring form of cultural appropriation one can do, and... it's simple and boring.

    Is it cool when a big star like Madonna appropriates voguing, or Stefani appropriates a Japanese teen subculture? Yes and no. On the one hand it popularizes a subculture, which can mean good things for the originators, and it can enrich the wider culture. On the other hand, it makes money for big bland corporations constantly on the prowl for new, authentic content to dumb down and repackage.

    But take a love of Strawberry Switchblade, a fascination with early UK goth, plus Edwardian costumery and mix it all together with a sensibility raised on Hello Kitty. Do you think these Japanese teenage girls have any idea what it all meant to the people that they were stealing from? Of course not - they appropriated all the elements and mixed them together to satisfy themselves and in the process made something that looks utterly original. The Gothic Lolita phenomenon is a great example of good cultural appropriation.

    In the pop music world, cultural appropriation is happening constantly between the US and Europe. There's a wonderful tradition of English kids mimicking what they think is cool about US music, and then re-presenting it, always with a distinctively skewed Brit twist to it. It goes the other direction too, of course.

    I remember the 80s punk tape trading scene fondly. You would run across these amazing hybrids of, say, Brazilian punk rock bands imitating American punk bands who were imitating UK punk bands, and around and around. Did anyone get on the Brazilian band's case because they were doing a second hand ripoff? Of course not - because at that point the ripoff had become something else altogether.

    Like I said, cultural appropriation is great.

  27. "So, in your book, "stealing food" is not a crime?"

    They were also mostly minors, and had stolen the food to survive because they had been forced of their land and could no longer provide for themselves. Sometimes the charges were made up as well. So yes, it is an ugly stereotype.

  28. Good Goobly. I was going to reference the past posts. America and its ideal is certainly considered white (or code word: mainstream). Maybe that's not apparent to non-natives or foreigners; but, that's definitely known to those born and raised here.

    I've yet to see where it's not.

  29. Ugh, I hate these ads. I've never seen them before, but the whole quiet submissive Asian women serving as a background for the regular (read: white) people is incredibly offensive.

    I HATE the word exotic. What is that even supposed to mean? I guess it means not American, but I guess it also has to mean not white because I have never heard the word used in reference to anything having to do with Europe.

    One of my favorite things is the use of Africa as being referred to as "exotic" and animal or colorful print fabrics being referred to as "African prints". These kinds of ads don't usually feature black people as a backdrop, but they inevitably label them "African" and "exotic." Because everyone on the entire content wears the exact same type of clothing and we all skin our own animals and wear them and certainly never wear jeans or t-shirts or suits...

  30. J

    -I'm Ghanaian. I can't remember the last time I saw Ghanaians like this. Or any kind of African, to be honest.

    Also, "Aussies are primarily white, been there. I didn't see much color. So, in order to appeal to the demographic and instill the qualities of Japan this was the ad campaign they relied on. If they had used a Japanese model to promote the jeans, none of the Aussies would think that the jeans would actually fit them since Aussies are typically larger in size than Japanese."

    Are you serious? Just because Australia is mostly white doesn't mean there aren't any nonwhites. It's not like if you see someone of a race different from you wearing jeans that means you can't relate to them, and therefore cannot buy those jeans. According to that logic, no clothing would be selling in China because about 60% (personal estimate) of the ads use white people. And do you really think that Australians are so stupid that if they saw someone of a certain size modeling jeans, they would assume that the jeans came in that size only? Last time I checked, models have never been representative of the size of the general population, so that line of reasoning makes no sense.

  31. Vicki-

    I'm reading that you think that the supposed benefits of cultural appropriation outweigh the harms. However I'm not reading much from you that aknowledges perspectives of people who are being appropriated that may dissagree with you. Does restating that "cultural appropriation is cool" certify that it must be so?

    Your opinions (and that is precisely what they are) about enriching the appropriating cultures and bringing "good things" such as popularity to the appropriated ones sound in line with so much of the white-, euro- or western-centric teachings we are constantly told. America "brings democracy" to the world. Whites "brought civilization" to indigenous people around the world. The Christian Church "brought God" the the heathens of the world. Corporations "bring prosperity" to poor communities around the world. And Gwen Stefani "brought notoriety" to the Harajuku subculture. (Of course when we're talking about fashion, I think popularity tends to ruin it for the creators because when everyone is doing it then it's no longer edgy, so a new look must be created.)

    The party line about honoring or helping an appropriated culture ignores claims to the contrary from those being appropriated. "We're right. And they're too ignorant/backwards/primitive to bother listening to," is what I often hear (but rarely in those words, of course). It assumes that they wanted or needed to be appropriated regardless of declarations to the contrary, or that just a few people from a culture expropriating their ways are more worth listening to than the majority of their kin who present a counter viewpoint, because those few have something we want.

    You cite the US - Europe culture trading example. How much of that is driven by money and big business? Also, dominant US culture is a close sibling of dominant European culture compared to either of those in relation to the cultures of Africa, Asia, or indigenous Australia/NZ and North and South America. Just because mainstream (loaded word, I know) Americans are okay with Brits appropriating them doesn't means that, say, Maori are. The "but it happens to us too, and we don't mind" approach just doesn't convince me.

    "Cultural appropriation ROCKS" is an absolutist statement. Try going to an American "Columbus Day" protest and saying that.

  32. Doreen,

    I can totally understand what you are saying about the term, "exotic", which is another way of saying "other" or "non-white". Seriously, the term is not applied to whites.

    However, to be honest, I have no problem being referred to as an exotic woman of color. Here's why: if "exotic" means "other", "different", or "white", I'd much rather stand out in the crowd than deal with the contrary of "white" meaning "common" or "typical", which I often see in the world of beauty and fashion. No difference or unique identity appears in that world - just drones of the cut from the same cut.

    Revel in it, Doreen. I do.

  33. @honeybrown1976

    I really don't see much wrong with cultural appropriation when it occurs between equals with no recent history of domination.

    From a European context I'd include Japan in that, but not China (and certainly not India). Nor, for that matter, can I see much wrong with it if its the less powerful appropriating elements of the dominant culture. Both of those can be, and have been, very productive activities and don't do anyone any harm.

    I agree, there can be great risk of hurt and offense if its a case of the powerful appropriating from the less powerful. Between equals, anything goes, it seems to me. Perhaps its the meaning of the word 'appropriation' that's the issue?

    White non-Hindus wearing Bindi, just seems utterly ridiculous to me. I can't say I've ever noticed that fad here, seems to me people are aware enough of real Hindus to feel daft doing that. Of course Madonna is going to do something clueless and embarrassing - that's what celebs do, that's "celebrity culture".

  34. "Whereas nonwhites are perceived first and foremost as a function of their group belongingness, that is, as black or Latino or Asian (and then as individuals)"

    this line really stuck out to me, possibly as an explanation for why a lot of white people feel the need to police the identities of people who are multi-ethnic or from an unfamiliar culture for "authenticity", and try to shame people who aren't expressive enough of their group membership as "not really [x]" or "too white to be [x]". That this is usually done in the name of political correctness or promoting "diversity" makes it an excellent case study in the way that rich white fake-liberals use "diversity" as a way to refuse to examine their understanding of people from different cultural groups.

  35. Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

    "but I have always resented white people for claiming a different culture that's not their own, and then being given credit."

    Hmmm....It reminds me of a few years ago, I was growing my hair out and decided to have my hair in cane-rows all going back, but just my hair and no extensions.

    This was around the time when David Beckham (A football player) had his hair in plaits/braids.

    I went in to work one day and someone says to me "Oh, you have David Beckham's hairstyle." So, I said "No, David Beckham has my hairstyle, actually."

    Black people have been wearing cane-rows/braids from time immemorial, David Beckham comes and along with braids and then we are supposedly wearing 'his hairstyle' and then it is suddenly high fashion...LOL

  36. @ tiny britches~

    Multiculturalism/Diversity: another way to keep people out of the almighty White Club.

  37. J, who thinks that "Aussies are primarily white, been there. I didn't see much color".

    That's funny because according to the 2006 Australian Census - 8.3% of Australians have Asian ancestry. Perhaps you had your eyes closed when you came here.

    I can tell you that I'm Asian Australian, and I exist. My family exists. Not that you would know that from our commercial media.

  38. BeautyHealthZoneBlog, actually the original inhabitants of Australia are not "literally almost extinct now".

    Again, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006): 2.5% of Australians are Indigenous.

    That's 517,000 people you've erased.

    Also, the word is 'extinct' is an incredibly inappropriate word when you're talking about people.

  39. @Asian Australian - I hear what you're saying... I guess some people don't want to believe that Asian people like us actually call Australia home too *sigh*

  40. @gooblyglob: Maybe J saw us and assumed we were tourists!

    This is the reason why the only Australian television I watch anymore is reality shows like Project Runway Australia.

    At least when you watch a more merit-based reality show (as opposed to Big Brother), you know that there's a chance the people on the screen will vaguely resemble the people you see walking down the street.

    I mean, in those split-second shots of the Australian Idol audition line-ups, you see more people of colour than you see in a year (in ten years!) of Australian television drama.

  41. This type of thing is shameful.

    I feel so sad for Asians in Australia, they seem so deprived of certain rights and freedoms, in fact all ethnic minorities are victimized and degraded in the same way.

    The worst thing is that some Asian Australian have gotten used to it if if they are robbed of their cultural and identity.

    Everyone in Australia is an immigrant in my books and they are NON-NATIVE so I don't know why they think Australia should be white since it never was.

    How can Asian Australian be so disunited and quiet about it!

    Nobody should live like that they should complain, voice out!

  42. "Aussies are primarily white, been there. I didn't see much color."

    Wow. Um, I AM Australian, and have lived in Australia all of my live. We are a very multicultural society, and the Asian population of Australia has absolutely exploded in the past twenty or thirty years. Seriously - there are Asians EVERYWHERE, more so than any other race. It's very likely that there are more people of Asian ancestry at my University than white people. There's no reason why a Japanese person could not have been the focal point of this ad, rather than the background. I hardly think it would alienate anybody.


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