"Muted yellow voices and yellow invisibility is real in America"
A cannabis lifestyle brand is aiming to promote visibility for Asian Americans.
According to The Huffington Post, Asian American cannabis lifestyle brand Sundae School is on a mission to promote visibility.
Co-founder Dae Lim told HuffPost that Sundae School, which celebrated its first anniversary on 4/20, hopes to improve visibility for Asian Americans who are erased for cannabis culture and the media.
Lim started the business with his sister Cindy. The pair run a pop up shop in Brookyln, New York.
“If you look at the stoner experiences that are commonly depicted, it’s really singular ― typically a white guy out in Colorado or California surfing and smoking weed,” said Lim. “But there’s so many more layers to that. …There are a lot of Asian-Americans and Asians in general adopting that lifestyle.”
Through their designs, Sundae School hopes to destroy Asian stereotypes including the ‘model minority myth’. To achieve this, phrases such as “GPA 4.20” and “Honor Roller” are printed on shirts and hoodies.
One collection is titled “When Tigers Used To Smoke,” a Korean phrase equivalent to the Western “Once upon a time.” Another design is a play on the traditional Korean hanbok with pockets for stashing spliffs.
Lim says that the designs reflect “that unabashed self-expression among young, ‘yellow’ youths.”
Some of the models Lim uses also reflect the diversity within the Asian community, including Nigerian-Korean model Han Hyun-Min .
“Because of the model minority myth, Asian-Americans aren’t necessarily dealing with being profiled on a plane, or people aren’t arresting us for no reason in the streets, but that doesn’t mean our issues aren’t real,” Lim said. “Because muted yellow voices and yellow invisibility is real in America.”
Lim revealed that his mother was reduced to tears when she first found his stash of marijuana. “Marijuana in Korean is literally ‘Devil’s plant’ or ‘Devil’s Lettuce,’” he said. “So she said, ‘What have we raised you as? I’ve given up my career to educate you and take you to America and this is what you do to me?’”
However, after seeing her son’s success in a magazine article, Lim’s mother has changed her tune. “When she saw our business and how meaningful it was for us, she was more accepting.”