28 February 2006


Hines Ward, the Pittsburgh Steelers' wide receiver, became the MVP of this year's Super Bowl. All of a sudden, he is a national hero in South Korea, thanks to the fact that he was born in Seoul to a Korean mother, who continued to raise him by herself after divorce (and supposedly instilled many Korean values in him).

It's pretty hypocritical, considering that the Koreans are notorious for taking pride in the "purity" of their ethnicity, and treating mixed-ethnicity individuals like dirt. Being mixed is grounds for disqualification from South Korean government service, for starters. I myself pretty much drop the Chinese side of my family history, whenever I deal with Koreans.

In Perfect Girl, Kirsten is a lot like Hines Ward. Like Ward, Kirsten is born in Seoul to a Korean mother and an American GI father. The only difference is that Ward's father was black, while Kirsten's father is white. (Well, okay, there is another difference: Kirsten's parents don't divorce until Kirsten is about 30, and the father plays a large role in Kirsten's upbringing - as a very abusive individual.) When Kirsten makes it big as a Hollywood screenwriter, the Koreans will talk about her, but her mixed race background (and her sexuality) will be taboo in the Korean media.

Speaking of sexuality being taboo, that reminds me also of Margaret Cho. The Korean media loves to talk about her, but never discusses her bisexuality.

I'm going to keep track of the Hines Ward coverage, and the Korean reaction, in order to better gauge the sentiments out there, and to better understand what Kirsten will go through.

Mixed Media Watch

No comments: