Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bachlorette: Jonathon, we hardly got to know you

Jon Hamilton revealed too much, too soon to Bachelorette Jojo Fletcher.
ALAS, the kilt didn't help Jonathan Hamilton in his quest to win the heart of this season's Bachelorette, Jojo Fletcher.

The Vancouver bachelor, whose bio looked awesome on paper, wasn't able to translate his accomplishments into social attractiveness during his brief stint on last night's (May 23) premiere. In fact, Jonathan might be credited with one of the most awkward introductions:

Jonathan's initial strategy was sound. Showing up in a kilt did separate him from the 20 other look-alikes. Right away, he wanted to attack the Asian male stereotype (AMS), but in doing so, he also reinforced it. Whether or not that was intentional or if he was prodded by producers, we can't say.

Jon is of Chinese and Scottish descent so showing up in a kilt kind of makes sense. But that was not the embarrassing part. What made us cringe is when he told JoJo that luckily he was "Scottish below the waist," and that he was going commando. Uh, bro - too much, too soon. It was certainly an off-kilt-er comment that probably made Jojo think, "see you later!"
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In the end, Jonathan was sent packing. The only saving grace is that he was not alone. Also saying their goodbyes were Jake (not Pavelka), Coley Knust, Sal DeJulio, Nick S., and Peter.

Poor Jonathan. We hardly got to know you. As the morning-after quarterback, my advice would be: Be yourself and embrace your Asianess.

I don't want to put so much weight on the shoulders of those AAPI men like Jonathan who, for one reason or another, are put in a position to "represent." It's not fair to them and it's definitely not fair to all of us as we're all unique individuals. But the truth of the matter is, when nonAsians see us, they still fall back on the AMS and other stereotypes like the Dragon Lady, the Tiger Mom, the martial artist and so on.
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Perhaps our only hope is that mainstream media, the purveyors of pop culture, will recognize the market potential of the AAPI community and thus open up more opportunities for more individual AAPI men and women in front of the camera and behind the camera, in front of the computer screen, in print and on stage. The more diverse we present ourselves - without cutting our connections to each other - we begin to chip away at all the stereotypes with which we're saddled.