I don’t do this very often at all, so please excuse me while I rant. Google Play, their version of Apple’s App Store, has an application listed there called “Make Me Asian“. It is one of those apps that modifies your pictures, you know, like the ones that make you look fat or make you look like a zombie. Except this one tries to make you look Asian by…you guessed it, overlaying a rice paddy hat and fu manchu mustache on to your photographs. And if that were not enough, you can make your eyes more slanty to really complete the effect.
For those of you who might not know, this is not okay. These stereotypes are dated and exploitative, offensive and false. They are characterizations that have been used to marginalize and insult people of East Asian descent for decades. It’s not cool.
Strangely, Google’s company motto is “Don’t Be Evil”, which you would think would automatically include racism, but obviously does not. So please, go to this online petition and let Google know that you think this app is unacceptable and should be removed immediately from its Google Play store!