friday five 4.21.17

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1. first comes tinder. then comes marriage?

The evolution of Tinder has fascinated me for a while. It's so interesting that Tinder was created for a singular purpose, but people have adapted it for the exact opposite purpose. It's like how Snapchat was designed to send disappearing pictures, but now it's a legitimate form of communication with the option to save snaps to "Memories." I wonder if, despite our short attention spans and all of the evidence that suggests otherwise, we are drawn to things with a little more permanence?

2. seeking online stardom? first buy a new face.

Oh man. I could literally talk about plastic surgery and Western vs. Asian standards of beauty until the cows come home. Cosmetic surgery is particularly intriguing to me, because I want to say "do what makes you feel good," and yet it's still very stigmatized, at least in the America. In Iran, a nose bandage is a status symbol—women will even keep their bandages on longer post-surgery to prominently display their family's affluence and willingness to provide for them. In Korea, plastic surgery is a popular graduation gift for students from their parents, because in Korean (and as the article also mentions, Chinese) culture, beauty is tied to success. Who am I to judge if something that makes you look good also makes you feel good? I'm as guilty as anyone else when it comes to Sephora sales. But you have to wonder if this is creating an unhealthy obsession with appearance. It's not to say Americans are exempt, either; we use Instagram filters and Photoshop instead of transformative makeup or plastic surgery.

3. how sign language innovators are bringing music to the deaf

This is so cool! I always wondered what interpreters are signing at concerts. I didn't know there was so much room for innovation in ASL.

4. 'model minority' myth again used as a racial wedge between asians and blacks

The New York Magazine piece is proof that we have a long way to go in race relations, not just between minorities and whites, but between minority groups themselves. And while you can't compare the struggle between Asian-Americans and African-Americans, it's not fair to ignore the institutional and systematic discrimination and racist attitudes that Asian-Americans have grappled with throughout history. The "model minority" is nothing more a way of discounting Asian-American progress, individuality, and yes, hard work. Chow says it best: that "'racial resentment' is simply a tool that people to absolve themselves from dealing with the complexities of racism."

5. can instagram pods change the game for users?

Content marketing is everything now. And it's pretty insane, the way that everything is manipulated now, even Instagram, which was created to be a "pure" medium. Everything we see is deliberate, and everything we post is deliberate. I sometimes feel like there's very little authenticity left in the world, as grim as that sounds.