Digital Portraits of Mixed Race Families from Slate to Tumblr

Authored by: Leilani Nishime

The Routledge Companion to Asian American Media

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138846012
eBook ISBN: 9781315727745
Adobe ISBN: 9781317540847


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As the New York Times declared over ten years ago, we have entered the age of the Ethnically Ambiguous, 1 an era that seems to be primarily characterized by the currency and marketability of mixed race beauty. In this context, the celebration and promotion of artist CYJO’s series of photographs of mixed race families in the Slate article “Stunning Portraits of Mixed Race Families” 2 and in the Huffington Post 3 was not entirely surprising. The slide show on Slate featured brightly lit, posed photographs of attractive adults and children in their homes. The photographs identify the people in the pictures by their family name, followed by a list of citizenships, ancestries, languages, and geographic locations. The accompanying articles repeated the usual clichés about the browning of America and changes to the 2000 Census that allowed individuals to check off multiple races. These familiar refrains are paired with the increasingly popular positioning of mixed race individuals as people who are beyond national boundaries and symbolic of a globalized future.

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