Racist Camera

Now who uses cameras more than Asian people? Of course that is a racist and stereotypical assumption, but I am Asian and I am allowed to make racist and stereotypical assumptions as they refer to me! I am mostly a videographer myself, but many, many, many members of my family are straight up photo addicted. And my Asian friends sometimes get so hopped up on taking pictures that that they get ‘picture drunk.’ They try to get people to pose together, staggering further and further back to get a better shot, to include all the faces in the frame, to make sure nothing is growing out of someone’s head in the background, or to make sure something is growing out of someone’s head in the background. Like drunks, they are in their own universe, not knowing or caring when they are about to knock into some unsuspecting bystander. If they aren’t in the frame, they don’t exist. They shouldn’t exist. All they care about is the picture, and not that your drink is going to be spilled everywhere. All they care about is the shot. They are high on the frame and getting something good to put up on their facebook so they can tag away! So it upsets me to no end that some of these newfangled face detection cameras are actually racist! Asian people using them are told by the camera that the subject blinked – when in truth, this is how our eyes are!

I have had it with the inherent racism in so many different types of products. I can’t wear a sleeping mask, even though I must sleep many times during daylight hours because of my work schedule. Almost every kind of sleeping mask I have ever tried pushes my eyes back into my skull. I don’t have deep eye sockets. My eyeballs are seated at the front of my face, which is common in most Asian faces. And so I stay awake all day long when I desperately need sleep. Because of racism! I have never had a pair of glasses fit properly because I don’t have a raised bridge on my nose. My nose will not support eyewear. It’s like the world would rather I not see. I don’t wear sunglasses because of this bizarre phenomenon. It seems that 1/4 or more of the earth’s population is in the same boat as I when it comes to glasses. We are the boat people who are not supposed to sleep, not supposed to see, and not supposed to take pictures to witness what is happening to us!

If you can find me a non-racist pair of glasses, a sleeping mask that will not hold my head hostage and a face detection camera that understands that Asian people are not ‘blinking,’ then you will have found the beginning of true progress.

26 thoughts on “Racist Camera

  1. and all this time i thought i just had a big korean head that prevented me from using sleepytime masks. i did, however, recent try on the first mask that was comfortable and effective and, oddly enough, free. virgin atlantic passes them out on their flights.

  2. My friend Joz posted that May 13, 2009 on her blog and Time and Yahoo, and you Margaret just picked up the story today 😉
    To see her original post: http://www.jozjozjoz.com and go to the May 2009 archive.

    Jozjozjoz is an asian american gal who lives and blogs underneath the hollywood sign in LA and who doesn’t clean her fishtank unless the fish starts to do the backstroke…

  3. Yesshiiir and Esp. Koreans are camera HOLIC FOR sure. me my self is also camera holic. I love it and I think it’s Awesome as hell 😀 누나 사랑해요 😀 😛

  4. All that face-recognition software is a flap. There is not enough power in most computing systems to truly differentiate factors such as the ones you mention… so what do the white folks who made the stuff actually _do_? Call it perfect and stop working on it. Bleh. Thank you for pointing out what should be a Blinding Flash Of The Obvious. I think that’s what comedians/ennes are for. 🙂

  5. Margaret! I hereby challenge you! Create an Asian specific brand of comfortable glasses and sleep masks! You don’t need to do any of the work… just get one of those phrenology people from Bones or something and you could be the poster girl for the PR campaign. Do it girl! Do it!

  6. Hey, just be grateful you don’t have to wear the biggest nighttime hassle (like my partner did): a CPAP mask! It’s for people who have obstructive sleep apnea and don’t get enough O2 and also have to sleep during the day because they’re exhausted! But it’s not racially biased — everyone is uncomfortable.

    Sleep apnea is now considered to be as big a contributor to heart disease as diet, stress, cholesterol, etc. You’d think they could come up with something better!!

  7. Oakley has what they call “Asian Fit” sunglasses available. I haven’t tried them myself but I was thinking of getting a pair. Being half Korean, I too have a hard time keeping glasses on my face.

  8. I hear ya and understand! What irks me is that I am a light skinned black woman, and when I take pictures I come out so bright that I look white! So, what can we do about these cameras?

  9. Hi Margaret, I am not Asian but I also don’t like sleep masks. I far prefer to use a soft, dark-colored shirt to cover my eyes! It can be a little tough to keep on if you move around, but works quite well and much softer than any mask. I hope this helps!

  10. Sorry people, you can’t change physics. Light is light – the camera only reads reflections of same off of the surface. Dark skinned people dont reflect the light as well. So the manufacturer tells the camera to add flash when enough light isn’t reflected. Simple. But of course, then you complain that the camera makes you look too white…
    Best suggestion for solving the other “problems” ; go to asia. Problem solved. If you must stay here, and America being such a terrible, “racist” [is that the only word they teach in school now?] place, I can’t imagine why you’d stay, but if you must, buy from that part of the world. I know a Japanese guy that orders his helmets from Japan because they are made differently than the U.S. market ones are – different shaped heads.
    Isn’t it funny how the looney left that always screams “racist” and allegedly promotes “diversity” is the former, and actually despises the latter?

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