In response to a post by pjay19 on buzzfeed.com (article link here), I must say that he has quite a few valid points. It’s funny how someone pointed out how “azn” was a word back in the day (i.e. late 1990s and early 2000s). In pjay19’s list, he notes certain actions/traits/articles that denotes Asian-American (aka Azn-American) culture during that time period.
The first is on his list is the color “yellow.” Now I don’t know about you, but I never wore yellow when I was in high school. Even today, a little over 10 years later, I still don’t wear yellow. But then again, maybe it’s because I’m more brown than I am yellow so wearing yellow never matched the tone of my skin (FYI. I’m Filipino). BUT I think I do remember seeing a lot of Azns sporting yellow. In particular, those Azns who were involved in the rave scene. You know. The ones with spiky hair and work those open visor hats. Yes! You know!!
[I scoured the Internet for just one picture of an Asian with an open visor hat in yellow. No luck! Someone must have a picture in their historical archives of horrifying childhood pictures! I must validate the image in my head. Haha.]
Pjay19 then goes on to list Backpacks and Planners as traits of being Azn. I can agree to the Planners, but I dunno about the Backpacks. I think in the 90s there was a fashion trend amongst girls for mini backpacks, which by the way is making a comeback these days. But I don’t really associate Backpacks with Azn boys or girls. As for Planners, I totally remember owning a planner for my school schedule. It made me feel so adult and important, like I had a lot of things to do such as studying or talking to me friend on the phone or meeting up someone in an AOL chat room or something. As a matter of fact, being Azn SHOULD include going on AOL chat rooms and AIM messenger.
Number 4 on the list is Sticker Pictures. Meh. I think those stayed around even up til a few years ago. No? Originally known in Japan as purikura, Sticker Pictures don’t stand out to me as just an Azn thing, in my mind. Maybe it was an Asian thing, but not Azn. Haha. Or maybe I just wasn’t hip to the trend until later in life. I took the below pictures late 00s.
On to Number 5. Ah yes. Sanrio. That was a pretty big thing back then. Pochacco, Keroppi, Badtz Maru, Little Twin Stars, Monkichi, My Melody, Pekkle, Pippo, Spottie Dottie, and of course Hello Kitty. My favorite was Badtz Maru. I always loved that bad ass penguin. He always seemed like a goober. I remember in middle school most of the girls sported their favorite Sanrio character. I think sometimes boys too. Haha. By the way, I loved those pencil cases with multiple functions and secret drawers! I love utilizing space to the max!
Number 6 is a Box, which is pretty much a voicemail box. Or I remember people having online voicemail boxes that they put on their profiles? I don’t really remember this being a thing back then, but I guess it was? Now today, a box in modern perverted vernacular is well … look it up. =P
Haha breakdancing. Number 7. That’s pretty Azn. I remember thinking those b-boys were pretty cute doing their head spins and propellers and what not. A part of me wanted to be a breakdancer as well. Looked so fun and freeing. And those are the ones that wore visors too!! And probably yellow!!
Polo Sport. Nice one. I guess smelling good was a thing for Azns back then. I do remember the guys sporting the same colognes. BUT maybe it was just because there weren’t that many colognes on the market that even smelled good?
Oh man. Asian Avenue. That is DEFINITELY Azn. That’s the epitome of being Azn. If you had an Asian Avenue page, you are forever an Azn. One of the foundations for the social media sites we currently have today like Facebook, Friendster, and Myspace. Ya! You remember Friendster! That social media site tends to fall into the background when people talk about social media sites. I remember once Friendster became uber slow, I switched to Facebook. Blame my immediate gratification disorder that plagues my generation, as well as all the generations after me. Don’t forget about Angelfire and Geocities. Hah! All the HTML code to make our pages look all fly and original.
Aww Jonny Angel. Those were plastered ALL over Asian Avenue profiles. Haha. Always!! Now be careful when you google Jonny Angel. I made the HORRIBLE mistake of googling JoHnny (with an “h”) Angel a few months ago when I was having a conversation with a friend and trying to remember who created those GIF images of Asian men and women. Seriously! You have been warned. Let’s just say that googling JoHnny Angel, and looks like even Jonny Angel, brings up an adult male film star. I accidentally googled this at work and clicked on some Tumblr page, thinking it contained all of the images that I remember from back in the day. Ya no!! There were moving images of things that can never be erased from my memory, and still images that haunt me to this day. Geez! You’ve been warned! Haha. To save you some trouble, here is a sample of images that we all remember.
Asian R&B groups. “swoon” From Kai to Devotion to Innerlude to DropnHarmony, the sweet serenading sounds of Asian boy groups are definitely Azn. Even the girl groups like Pinay or One Voice are so part of what it is to be Azn. My all-time favorite Asian song is still “My Asian Girl”. Such a sweet and simple song. What Azn girl didn’t want to by THE Asian Girl the song was sung about. =)
Number 12. Compilation CDs. I was just talking about this with a friend the other week. I remember CDs with slow jams in them that melted my heart. Back then, the modern version of a mixed tapes, fast forward to present day the equivalent would be an iPod playlist or a YouTube playlist. Or any other site on the Internet that allows you create a playlist of songs. For your listening pleasure, here is a YouTube playlist of slow jams that should be well-known to Azns. The playlist contains both well-known and obscure songs that all Azns should have heard. Remember D-Cru’s “I’ll Be Waiting”? Or Divine’s “Lately”? Or the ever popular 112’s “Cupid”? Yeaaaahhhh…you’re Azn.
White KSwiss shoes. Never owned any. But I do remember them Asian boys sporting them, as well as Lugz. And Cotillions (aka Debuts for Filipinos). Actually, I think Cotillions are specifically about Filipino Azns. I don’t recall other nationalities having cotillion style parties like Filipinos do with debuts. Or did I just miss them?
Number 15. DJs that were friends. That’s true for me. I remember DJing was pretty big back when I was growing up. I used to always want to dabble at it, but never really pursued it. Probably because of fear or failure or something. Haha. But yes. Very Azn.
Oh boy. Azn handwriting. YeS! ThAt iS sO tRuE! ReMeMbEr SeEiNg ThIs AlL oVeR AzNs’ PrOfILeS? Ok enough of that. That took forever to type that out. What the hell were we thinking?!
Number 17. Pagers. I never owned one, but I do remember a lot of people in my class having them. I remember pager code. I would get notes from my friends in pager code and I would have to decipher it with the Rosetta Stone of pager code. =P
Oh Hot Import Nights. Racing crews. THAT should have been on the list. Another Azn trait is driving a Honda Civic or an Acura Integra. I’m guilty of it. Haha. Those were everywhere!
Azn crews. Sounds more just like wannabe gangs to me. But I guess we all had our set friends that we hung out with, but I don’t think I ever had a legitimate Azn crew. I wasn’t Azn enough for that I don’t think. Or was I?! Maybe I was in a crew and didn’t even realize it!
Number 20 is Pictures. But I think Star Shots is more appropriate, particularly here in San Diego. Everyone had a Star Shots picture, or whatever the name of the photo business was at your local mall. That was like our business cards to show who we were by the background we chose in the picture and the clothes/makeup we wore. Haha. And to show that we had friends, or lack of friends. Oh and to show that we had a boyfriend or girlfriend. Oh those were the days!
Colored Contacts. Number 21. Meh. Not all Azns had colored contacts. Only a specific crowd I think. Raver crowd perhaps?
Last but not least. Sorta Blonde Hair. Haha. That was due to a product called Sun-In where if you left your hair out in the sun too long or put too much, your hair just turned orange. And I think also because the product was not meant for dark hair, and probably didn’t explain that properly on the bottle.
What a nice walk down Azn memory lane!! If you’re too lazy to scroll up to access the link to the original Buzzfeed post, you can click on it here. In another post I’ll create my own Azn list that encompasses additional traits/actions/articles that I believe just scream Azn.