LOS ANGELES – Sexy Asian American can be seen showing off their finely chiseled abs as they snowboard, ride dirt bikes, and engage in other outdoors activities, in a new Asian Pacific Male 2010 Calendar, now on sale at www.amazon.com.
All proceeds benefit the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture (APHCV) of Los Angeles, a non-profit organization providing health care assistance to working poor and under-served Asian and Pacific Islanders since 1986. APHCV offers an extensive range of health care services in pediatrics, HIV/AIDS care, prenatal, counseling, senior health, behavioral health, and primary care.
“We are very privileged to be a part of this project and hope that the APA Men’s Calendar will increase awareness regarding the limited availability of affordable health care to many uninsured and under-served APIs,” says Carolyn Barragan, Fund Development Associate Manager of APHCV.
“This calendar is a great way to increase the visibility of Asian American men’s bodies in a society that disproportionally focuses on “white” beauty, or Asian American women,” says Jeff Sheng, the calendar’s photographer, and currently a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, teaching Photography and Asian American Studies. “Not only are we making something that will monetarily benefit an Asian American community health center, but we are hoping to combat the lack and invisibility of strong, good looking Asian male images out there in American culture.”
Asian men are competitive and given topnotch recognition in a wide array of traditional professions but seldom are they noticed in unconventional arenas such as the arts and media, in particularly, modeling.
Yet for the past decade, the exhausted stereotypes U.S. media perpetuates of Asian Men – rendering them weak, nerdy, asexual, kung-fu masters, and evil – are finally starting to dissipate. Recent fame acquired by actors – My Lovely Sam-Soon’s Daniel Henney, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’s Chow Yan Fat, Heroes Sendhil Ramamurthy, and Survivor’s Season 13: Cook Islands’ Winner Yul Kwon (one of the featured calendar’s model) – has given more positive recognition and credit to Asian Men.
That is why Sheng along with Jason Peers, and Nareth Chuon decided this was an opportune time to create an Asian male model calendar.
The selection process for their models began with casting ads on Craigslist, Myspace, and Facebook for any guys interested in donating their time for a charity calendar. Sheng and Peers chose their contestants based on their comfortability in front of a camera, seeking diverse body types and Asian ethnicities. Some of the guys are muscular, others are lean and toned. The Sheng, Peers, Chuon production wanted a balanced variety of Asian ethnicities represented and look for “guys doing guys things – who just happen to be Asian American.”
“Where else have you seen Asian American guys out in the desert riding motorbikes? I think that day was when it hit me that what we are doing is special. Everyone sort of looked around and I kept hearing people say ‘who would have thought?!’” says Peers, the calendar’s project coordinator. “It’s interesting to have these guys come up to us after the shoots and say thanks for the creating an opportunity for them to be themselves and to feel sexy being themselves.”
“This calendar is sexy, fresh, and fun!” he adds.
The calendar has received pledges of support and endorsements from various well-rounded organizations, non-profits and online media such as MIWON (Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network), the JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), GAPSN (Gay Asian Pacific Support Network), and VietShowBiz.com. All sponsors are committed to help them spread the word out about the calendar and save their community health center.
“We are a project by the community, for the community,” Peer exclaims, “fortunately the community has recognized that, understood the importance of supporting out mission and goal, and how simply giving a little can contribute or create a lot!”
View behind the scene footage and pictures at www.myspace.com/apmcalendar or become a fan on Facebook under “ApmCal.” For more information about the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture visit www.aphcv.org.