They say that those who don’t learn from their history are born to repeat it. Sadly, the ugly chapter of Asian-American hate is being repeated in both the United States and the world.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, hate crimes against Asian and Pacfifc Islanders rose 107 percent in California post-COVID. This, on top of the recent Atlanta-area shooting of six Asian women at a massage parlor, despite President Joe Biden signing to law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.
Whether online or offline, Asians have long been a group that has been targeted and scapegoated in the U.S. since World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, despite helping to build much of today’s modern-day Western United States and forming large communities in major West Coast cities such as L.A., San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle.
Due to the rise of Anti-Asian crimes, notable Asian and Pacific Islander Hollywood celebs such as “Grey’s Anatomy alum Sandra Oh, “Lost” star Daniel Dae Kim and “Riverdale” star Charles Melton spoke out in a series of public service announcements in an effort to address such attacks.
One other notable Asian celeb and personality who is also using their platform to address such issues is Welsh-born fashion model/designer and influencer, Jarry Lee.
Lee, who has appeared and featured in publications such as VOGUE Italia, The New York Times, PopSugar, 360 Magazine, MALVIE Magazine, CBS and Fox, in addition to being a former deputy editor at Buzzfeed, gives Lee a very unique and interesting perspective on both sides of content production.
In addition to modeling and writing, the 28-year-old beauty is also a reality star, having appeared in Season 1 of Netflix’s dating show, “Dating Around”, working on her up-coming album, as well as developing and working on her own jewelry line, PSYCHO KITSCH.
Below is my Q & A with Ms. Lee as we talk about dealing with Anti-Asian hate online, her upcoming projects as well as being creative and hoping to work with Annie Lebowitz!
Who Is She?
Name: Jarry Lee
Measurements: 32-24-34, dress 0
Birthplace: Swansea, Wales
Instagram: @jarrylee | Twitter: @jarry | YouTube: www.youtube.com/jarrylee | TikTok: @jarryleeofficial | Clubhouse: @jarrylee | Official website: www.jarrylee.com
Notable Media/Publications: VOGUE Italia, POPSUGAR, Mic, Elite Daily, BuzzFeed, NY Daily News, AM New York, Women Fitness Magazine, 360 Magazine, Cliché Magazine, The New York Times, Thrive Global, Pop-Culturalist, CBS, FOX, Jejune Magazine, PUMP Magazine, STYLÉCRUZE Magazine, BODE Magazine, Fem Founder, MESS Magazine, RIVAL Magazine, Mann About Town, MALVIE Magazine, MOVER Magazine, etc.
Greetings from INSCMagazine here in Cleveland! How are you, how’s it going? I’m well, thanks for having me!
As someone who has a lot of very close Asian and Asian-American friends, how has the recent rash of anti-Asian violence and rhetoric affected you, and your family? I received more harassment from strangers while walking around NYC, including comments about Asians being responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully there haven’t been acts of violence against me or my family, but friends of friends have been attacked.
Have you gotten any pushback or attacked online? If so, how have you responded? My social media is heavily moderated, so not really, as far as I’ve seen. Of course, there’s always the occasional harassment when you’re a public figure online, but it hasn’t seemed specifically tied to the increased wave of anti-Asian sentiment.
As a model and influencer with such as large presence and platform on social, have you used it to address what is going on in the Asian-American community? I try to amplify others’ voices in the community who are sharing informative posts about specific actions we can take to support and help enact change. Hate Is A Virus is a great organization that has provided useful information and resources across their social media channels, for example. Knowledge and awareness is the first step to fostering empathy and unity outside the AAPI community.
In reference to modeling, what has been the best time and experience working on a campaign? I’ve enjoyed so many shoots but it was especially fun getting to meet and work with legendary makeup artist Bobbi Brown herself on a shoot for her lifestyle/wellness brand a couple years ago.
With summer now here, what fashion tips and trends do you see becoming big? I’ve been seeing lots of big shoulder silhouettes, bold colorful prints, and luxe athleisure lately!
Favorite place to shoot? In my own studio! I love self-styling with creative props and fun accessories.
Money on the table: You have one location, photographer and campaign to shoot. Who, what and where would you like to do this with and at? Location: remote, private island with clear waters and wild pigs. Campaign: Gucci. Photographer: Annie Leibovitz
What has been the best and most enjoyable aspect of modeling and being an influencer? Being in control of my own schedule has been really freeing and empowering. I love being my own boss and choosing which projects to take on.
Do you have any future projects or collaborations coming up? I’m currently working on recording a new music album, finishing a new acrylic painting, and launching my jewelry brand PSYCHO KITSCH.
You seem to have quite an interesting background in being a former deputy editor at BuzzFeed, how has that helped you in your modeling, acting in terms of producing content? Learning how to tell other people’s stories is integral to acting as well as in writing/journalism, and it was also helpful to be surrounded by talented creatives and video producers while working there (and I got to appear in a few videos).
Congrats on being on Netflix’s “Dating Around” Season 1! What has that experience been like for you both personally and professionally? It gave me a lot of exposure for which I’m grateful, and I’m glad I was able to publicly speak out about the stigmas surrounding bisexuality in our culture. For the most part I didn’t encounter negative reactions in my personal life, and funnily enough, strangers still recognize me in the street from the show sometimes since it’s still streaming.
What is your favorite music instrument to play and listen to? I love classical piano, both playing and listening. Ukulele is also fun, but I’m not formally trained in it.
As an actor, who were your role models growing up? Who inspired you to get into acting? Acting classes and writing/performing for a playwriting festival inspired me to pursue it (as a hobby initially) in NYC. I admire many actors but some of my favorites include Sandra Oh, Daniel Kaluuya, Bae Doona, Meryl Streep.
Fave director? Difficult to narrow down! Some of my all-time favorites: Stanley Kubrick, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Special thanks to Jarry Lee and JL Publicity for their time and assistance during the interview. Images courtesy of JL Publicity and used with permission. Photographs are the property of their respective photographers. All copyrights reserved.