‘Subtle Asian’ Facebook pages attract attention

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Originally meaning to create a place to share jokes and memes about the Asian experience, a group of teenagers from Australia unknowingly created an extensive network that has spanned to all corners of the world. The Facebook group titled ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ began as a way to connect the Asian community through memes, tweets, and relatable content and currently has 1,139,435 members.

“I think it’s blown up so much because it’s the small things in life that many people have in common,” junior Tina Chen said. “When people see posts about those subtle Asian traits, they probably feel the need to tag their friends on the post to see if they can relate to it, and very often, these tags can generate very interesting conversations.”

Senior Chloe Chan said, “There have always been Asian memes, but the community has never been as big as this one. It’s amazing how even people who don’t even use Facebook know about Subtle Asian Traits and how it has even reached famous news platforms. The best part is [that] I feel more connected to my culture in a way.”

“The page is directed towards second-generation immigrants,” said senior Helen Lin. “The jokes/memes are relevant to Asian [descendants] living in English-speaking countries [since] the lifestyles of Asian descents [in some ways] differ from Asians living in Asia.”

Since its creation, the page has inspired several others sporting the Subtle Asian branding, such as ‘Subtle Christian Traits,’ ‘Subtle Asian Mates,’ and ‘Subtle Asian Leftovers.’ Of these spinoffs, one in particular has quickly gained traction since its founding.

‘Subtle Asian Dating’ began as a group where friends would jokingly “auction off” other friends in hopes of finding them a significant other in the Asian community. Reaching 336,110 members as of January 2019, the group is continuing to grow quickly.

“The posts usually play on the stereotypical Asian standards of a good college, a high-paying job, and being fluent in innumerable languages,” Junior Emily Tan said.

“When you actually look at the way that people auction off their friends, you can tell that the entire page is merely a joke,” explained senior Joseph Zhao. “The comedic captions that people will ‘gas up’ their friends [are] very entertaining to me because the entire caption will be filled with sarcastic phrases and emojis,” leading him to believe that “[it] is more for comedic purposes rather than acting as an actually dating page.”

Joseph jokingly added, “One of my friends asked me to find her a prom date on SAD, so I’m also trying to do her a favor by going on the page.”

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