Patrice J. Williams
December 15, 2017 12:48 pm
Natalie Tran / www.youtube.com

Trolling is nothing new. From women sharing their body-shaming experiences to an athlete like Serena Williams discussing how people have talked negatively about her body, the internet has no shortage of mean commentary aimed to embarrass, undermine, and other women. (And yes, someone as fit and healthy as Serena Williams has body shamers because she’s too strong and “masculine”-looking.)

As a light in the darkness, one YouTube personality is striking back and educating people in the process. Natalie Tran has almost two million subscribers on her YouTube channel, and she noticed over the years that there have been a number of disturbing comments revolving around the same thing: her being an Asian woman in a relationship with a white man.

She created the documentary White Male Asian Female to address the backlash many Asian women face for dating outside their race.

In the 40-minute long doc, Natalie shares just a few of the hateful comments she’s received, which range from “did your boyfriend’s yellow fever wear off?” to calling her a “mentally colonized white worshipping bed wench sellout.” She even mentions comments Asian actresses like Constance Wu and Jamie Chung have received for their choice to date non-Asian men.

Natalie explains that it’s not just the comments, but who they seem to be coming from.

To shed light on why this is an issue, White Male Asian Female includes interviews with interracial couples, matchmakers, and experts. Dr. Jane Park, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney, says it’s important to acknowledge the role history plays in how Asian men are perceived — often as asexual and emasculated — while stereotypes of Asian women as docile, hyper-sexualized creatures have problematically dominated the cultural commons.

“This video was a weird experience because it started with me being hurt and angry and ended up with me wanting to help and learn more,” Natalie said of shooting the documentary.

Though Natalie makes it clear that she doesn’t excuse the actions of trolls or hateful comments, she does hope the documentary opens up a line of healthy communication and understanding.

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