Derek Deng

  • July 28, 2020By Derek Deng

    Being a boy that wears makeup is a constant cycle of suffocation, self-loathing, and liberation. I’ve faced every kind of comment from my male classmates– “Gross, boys don’t wear makeup!” or “You’re like a knockoff James Charles,” or just blatantly homophobic remarks.  Gender norms have long dictated that hygiene— whether it’s makeup or skincare— is

  • July 18, 2020By Derek Deng

    “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” started out as a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement— but in attempts to spread awareness, her death has been co-opted by meme culture, dehumanizing Taylor into a symbol of performative allyship.  Breonna Taylor, a 26 year-old Black woman and emergency room technician, was sleeping on

  • July 4, 2020By Derek Deng

    Almost every Asian-American is familiar with the slant-eye gesture: a person places their fingers on the edges of their eyes and squints in an attempt to mimic the stereotypically Asian facial feature of slanted almond eyes.   It’s a universally recognized symbol of hatred and xenophobia. From yellowface in Hollywood to World Cup fans utilizing

  • June 27, 2020By Derek Deng

    Asians and Indigenous peoples are not interchangeable— and treating them as the same belittles the unique struggles of all groups involved.  I take immense pride in my passion for Avatar: the Last Airbender. Even though it may appear to be a lighthearted children’s cartoon, it was far more than that to a five year-old me.

  • June 18, 2020By Derek Deng

    The Help is, at surface level, a heartwarming tale of racial reconciliation. Viewers rejoice in how the 2011 film fuses more serious conversations about segregation and civil rights with hints of sassy humor and Southern romance.  In our current socio-political climate— as thousands protest against police brutality and, in a broader context, systemic racism —

  • June 12, 2020By Derek Deng

    Many find great solace in the seemingly authentic, unscripted banter of the Bon Appétit Youtube channel. Gourmet Makes— a series led by pastry chef Claire Saffitz— routinely gets more than a million views per video as viewers become entranced with the perfectly imperfect culinary recreations of popular American snacks.  The Bon Appétit test kitchen crew,

  • April 11, 2020By Derek Deng

    Coming out as queer is a deeply stigmatized process of understanding, accepting and celebrating one’s identity. Each coming out story tells a uniquely personal tale of self-acceptance and community, but it’s also something some may never get to tell— in some countries, anti-gay laws lead to criminalization, social exclusion and death. The fight for LGBTQ+

  • February 10, 2020By Derek Deng

    Last night, Bong Joon-ho rewrote Hollywood history. His 2019 thriller Parasite became the first non-English film to win the Best Picture award at the Oscars, marking a momentous cultural shift in a climate that’s still struggling to promote diversity. Prior to the award ceremony, viewers were angered at the lack of women in nominations for