claire wu

Toxic Minority, 2020

Bachelor Thesis ExplorationInteraction Design, Product Design

How can we bring awareness to the internalized racism that exists in asian beauty ideals?



Design Opportunity

Asian children to be under constant scrutiny about their appearance from family members. These critical comments stem from Eurocentric beauty standards (lighter skin, straight hair, big eyes, high nose bridge, tall and slim physique etc.) and capitalism.
Because kids are so impressionable, this internalized racism becomes the blueprint of their negative self talk. Many of these critiques echo in the minds of asian youth as they grow older, affecting the way they view their appearance. This results in mild to aggressive alterations to their appearance through the use of makeup, double eyelid tape, to plastic surgery.

I want to bring awareness to asian beauty ideals and open up conversations around the topic because I believe it’s a generational issue, and isn’t being addressed enough within families. These comments surface often at family gatherings and are commonly brushed off or laughed off, but I think it has a lasting impact on the way we perceive ourselves in the mirror everyday. If asian youth and elders can become more aware of the origins of these critical ideals, the ones who consume more “aggressive” beauty products to alter their looks (double eyelid tape, plastic surgery etc.) can hopefully begin questioning the narrative in their minds about their beauty, and ultimately, begin the process of generational healing.

What is this?
Toxic Minority is a card game aimed at encouraging intergenerational conversation on toxic asian beauty ideals.

The deck consists of blue and orange cards. Blue “comment” cards, document the things that Asians hear often about their appearance while growing up.

Orange “prompt” cards, open up dialogue about the comment cards, and invite the user to think deeper about their presumptions about their beauty ideals.


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