through these drawings, we hope that women can resonate with these stories as we find commonalities and differences, as well as show a different narrative separate from a male's experience
step one : use tinder + mechanical turk to ask people to describe us
We developed a Tinder profile with a description only stating "tell me what I look like" with similar directions on Mechanical Turk. We collected these responses as data on how the public perceived images of us and organized the data in an array of categories from silly comments that interested us, to ones of objectification, to racist notions.
step two : take this data and share in person + social media to ask people to draw the descriptions
We then asked our friends to draw these response descriptions without context that the comments were about us, essentially illustrating us through the lens of societal perception.
step three : collect the drawings to share on instagram
Needing a gallery page with accessibility to read the descriptions, a tagging system for categorization, and easy sharing, we found instagram to be best place to exhibit our curation.
how did we come up with this idea anyway?
The only thing we knew when we started this collaboration is we wanted a) the message to be focused on our stories as Asian women and b) to incorporate drawings collected from people. So, we did the first thing any normal college student would do and went to omegle. And bot after bot, we finally connected with a human and engaged in a two and a half hour long conversation (no video chatting, purely text). Not long after beginning this conversation, the person we were chatting with stated this:
And this was the spark. We realized that some people already have preconceived notions and imaginative conceptions of who we are even without seeing us. But what if they did see us? Would they still apply these same conceptions of the "Asian women" to actual images of us, Asian women? If we give them a photo of who we are, would they still choose to describe our identities with their own biases? To top it all off, we took these descriptions and gave them to our friends - laughing along when they exclaimed how ridiculous some of these comments/descriptions were without knowing it was written about us. When we detached the description as separate from us, everyone could see them as rather crude at times or just silly. It is the moment right after they realize the very descriptions they laughed at were about us where for a split second our friends viewed us through the lens of someone else.