15 AAPI Women Artists You Should Know
We've curated a list of 15 AAPI Women Artists You Should Know:
#1 Actress, Lana Condor
#2 Visual Artist, Christine Sun Kim
#3 Poet & Writer, Jenny Zhang
#4 Designer, Rei Kawakubo
#5 Actor, Writer, Producer, Mindy Kaling
#6 Singer & Songwriter, Mitski
#7 Visual Artist & Animator, Uzumaki Cepeda
#8 Actress, Rapper, & Comedian, Awkwafina
#9 Designer & Sculptor, Maya Lin
#10 Singer, Rina Sawayama
#11 Visual Artist, Yayoi Kusama
#12 Musician, Michelle Zauner
#13 Actress, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
#14 Artist, Sue Tsai
#15 Actress, Park Run Bin
Are We Really Doing Better by Women in the Arts?
On January 7, 2018, women made history in the arts community. The internet was ablaze with talk of Oprah Winfrey running for president after her Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech went viral. Many attendees at the Golden Globes wore black to support the #MeToo movement.
Reports in the media hailed the event as a triumph for women, but was this really the case? In that year, there were only four female nominees for the Golden Globes. According to women and Hollywood, the 325 nominees for the 2022 awards were almost entirely male (91.1%). There were 29 nominees, but only nine were women, and only three were women directors from traditionally underrepresented groups who took home awards.
It is our duty to work towards a more just and equitable industry. This is especially true in the arts and entertainment fields, where discrimination is still common due to deeply ingrained cultural and social norms. Let’s talk about the current situation of women in the arts and call attention to the gaps that still exist. We will continue to emphasize the role of women in the arts, and we'll talk about how you can get involved. We're hoping this helps you understand the gravity of why advocacy and allies for women artists is critical and moves you to action.
How Have These Disparities Persisted for So Long?
Since the early days within the arts, women have been working diligently in various capacities. Yet, they continue to face disparities in pay and recognition. Researchers at Williams College recently looked at the collections of the most important art museums in the United States. They found that only 13% of the artists in those collections were women. But according to information from the job site Zippia, about 55% of artists who work in the museum are women.
This is a problem that needs to be addressed. Art spaces should have collections representative of the women who are also working in those museums. We need to have more discussions about the role of women in the arts and how to best support them from the curators to the artists. This includes encouraging girls and women from a young age to pursue an artistic career. By raising awareness around these issues, we can progress toward a more equitable future for women in the arts!
What Are the Disparities in the Arts and Entertainment Industries for Women?
According to FORBES, Between 2008 and 2019, an estimated $196.6 billion was spent at art auctions, but only $4 billion went to women artists.
Men largely dominate the arts and entertainment industries. This is true not only for actors and directors but also for stage managers and production assistants. As a result, women face many disadvantages within these industries. These disadvantages can dramatically impact their careers - even when they reach the top levels. Lack of visibility is one of the main problems women face. This is because women are often underrepresented in the media, reviews, and ratings.
Gender bias and sexism are also big issues, as women often experience discrimination and inequality. However, there's still a long way to go before parity is achieved in the arts. We must continue working hard to achieve it, starting with awareness and understanding.
The Strides Being Made by Women in the Arts
The world of the arts is complex and diverse, and it's no wonder that women have had a hard time breaking through the glass ceiling. However, there's been some progress made in recent years. The Center for Women in Television and Film reports that women have made great strides in the entertainment industry, with more women working in behind-the-scenes roles and more female artists achieving mainstream success.
Women comprise most professional art museum staff; but despite recent gains, they remain underrepresented in leadership positions. Again, there is still a lot of work to be done. The importance of women in the arts cannot be overstated. They have been essential in shaping our society and culture for generations.
They continue to make valuable contributions to art, dance, music, literature, and we need them more than ever. It's time we started taking action and supporting women in the arts. Women need more opportunities to get exposure and gain recognition for their talent. We need to support their work intentionally so they can make even more progress in the future.
The Challenges That Remain for Women in the Arts
The arts is important for both individuals and society as a whole. Art can help us express ourselves in ways that are unique and can offer therapeutic benefits. However, many challenges remain for women artists.
- The National Museum Women's Association reports that from 2005 to 2015, the percentage of museums headed by women increased from 32% to 47.6%, though this increase was concentrated among the smaller institutions.
- According to Billboard. women are undervalued in the music industry and do far too much work. 57% of those polled work more than one job, 24% work 40-51%, and 28% work more than 50%. Approximately one-third of those polled earn less than $40,000 annually, and nearly half believe they should be further along in their careers.
- One of the hardest things for women to do in the design industry in 2022 is to find strong role models. According to the National Museum Women's Association, Women make up a majority of professional art museum staff; despite recent gains, they remain underrepresented in leadership positions.
To make real progress, we need to be more aware of the challenges that exist and take action to address them. We need to support women artists and help them reach their full potential. This will be challenging, but it's essential to see real change in the arts industry! Thankfully, people are working collectively to change these things.
The arts are a part of our history and culture and should be inclusive for everyone. Arts are a powerful medium for expression and can help break down barriers. Unfortunately, women have been largely left out of the arts scene -more specifically in equal pay and opportunities. That's why it's so important that men play a significant role in advocating for women in the arts. Here’s how men can help to support women artists.
- Realize that there is no one cause of inequality but many. Do your research and learn the space you wish to influence.
- Address toxic masculinity in creative and work spaces.
- Spread the word about and pay for the work of women artists.
- Cultivate the talent of skilled women artists by offering opportunities.
- Work alongside women in the arts. If we work together, we can give everyone a place to share their ideas and make sure that everyone can also enjoy great art.
The art world is full of women who have worked hard and succeeded at the highest levels. These women are leaders in their fields, reaching new heights every day. But we still have a long way to go before women are treated equally and fairly. Despite all the progress we've made as an industry (for better or worse), there's still more work to do regarding gender parity in Hollywood and beyond—and now more than ever, we need your help! We would love to hear from you!
If you’re a woman artist, let us know how we can support you by taking our survey. If you want to learn how to support women artists, join the conversation by subscribing to The State of Fem Art podcast.
Representation Still Falls Short For Black Women in Hollywood
Many questions come to mind when I reflect back to when I was a young little Black girl. I would watch Disney Channel TV shows from ICarly to Hannah Montana, and the only resemblance of something close to home was That's So Raven.
A great show in its entirety, though I've come to realize that I didn't have much representation in my youth of myself or my culture.
What started off as the best shows on television turned out to be the only shows on television.
There was never an option to switch between channels or movies of black families on Lifetime Movie Network or ABC Family. Instead, it was only on BET.
I would turn the channel to BET and watch the Awards with my mom and sister, watching Beyonce perform Deja Vu at the Grammys and Jennifer Hudson delivering powerful vocals from the film DreamGirls. Though BET had it all: live performances, black movies, and even hilarious rerun episodes of Martin and The Jamie Foxx Show - it was the only source of Black television.
And that came at a cost for Black women.
The provocative outfits of women wearing long v-neck slits across their chest dress outline or the too-tight fitted dresses that complimented their curves set a poor standard for the image of Black women.
Take, for example, R&B music videos like 50 Cent's "Candy Shop," where black women could be seen dancing sexually and acting out the submissive fantasies of men. Dancing blindly to the subliminal messages covertly intermingled with fancy cars and witty lyrics - it continues to be hard to overcome what society has deemed to be the archetype black woman.
The depiction of Black women has been hyper-sexualized for so many years throughout the media scene.
Surgically produced bodies, larger-than-life boobs, and even longer wigs, becoming the next black Barbie–THAT became the version of the Black woman most often seen in the media. No longer seeing the diversity or range that represents Black women in all our different flavors - the depiction is starting to fall far from reality.
We still don't have enough diverse representation of us in the media, and the little we do have prioritizes hypersexualization.
The management teams responsible for casting black women for roles are predominately white men, according to TheHill.com. The study also found that about 92% of CEOs in the entertainment industry are white, and 68% are white men.
It's already a slippery slope when the selected depiction of Black women is decided amongst a group that does not represent them in any way.
How do we go about this issue?
I've read numerous articles and watched countless interviews where Black artists in the entertainment industry share their frustrations.
They face encounters behind the scenes that they've expressed as "too damaging to their authentic selves."
Disney star Monique Coleman, known for her role as Taylor in High School Musical, shared in 2021 to Insider Entertainment in an article Monique Coleman reveals her High School Musical character wore headbands because the crew didn't know how to style Black hair that "We've grown a lot in this industry and we've grown a lot in representation, and we've grown a lot in terms of understanding the needs of an African American actress. But the truth is, they had done my hair, and they had done it very poorly in the front."
She then went on to mention that while playing Taylor, the team of hair stylists always insisted that she wear headbands to "maintain" her hair. Her character was always presented with straightened hair. In order to "define" her look to appear more naturally pleasing, a headband was granted by executives on the show.
Why are so many young Black women taught at a young age that their hair is "too difficult" to handle?
Gabrielle Union, well known for her role in Bring It On, stated in a discussion with Glamour that she realized too early on in the industry that "there were many people in hair and makeup trailers who were totally unqualified to do my hair." She openly shared that hairstylists would use products dedicated to white hair that would leave poor results on her black hair. Union recalled an encounter where a hair stylist used Aqua Net too frequently on her hair, causing chunks of her hair to fall out while on set.
Rather than accepting the distinction between natural black hair vs. white hair on screen and off, the "favorable" look always ends in the way of the white image.
Accurate representation and management of authentic depictions of Black women aren't just stripped away by dumbing down our appearance to meet misogynistic stereotypes or not allowing us to wear our hair in all its many textures and styles, but it's also historically lightening our skin post-edit or not having our shade of makeup on set to begin with.
Often while watching films that feature a far from diverse cast or even in magazines, Black women are seen with slight color distortions that do not match their correct skin shades. As Black women, we range in all different sizes and colors, and how we show up in films, on stage, and in photos should reflect that.
Leomie Anderson, a model for Victoria's Secret came forward in a recent Live stream via Instagram. She spoke with Insider Magazine, showing the makeup completed on her face after a day's work. What caught everyone's attention was the drastic discoloration from her normal skin tone and the orange shade that was added to her complexion. Anderson expressed her embarrassment by explaining the original look that the cosmetics team had completed on her and told the viewers that she had to fix the makeup to prevent walking out in such a disappointing way.
Since when did it become the models' or actresses' responsibility to "correct" their glam due to the lack of hair and makeup teams not being culturally fluent in their craft?
It is beyond disappointing to hear more stories about how black beauty and the representation of women who look like me are not widely recognized, understood, or embraced.
How many women will have to share their stories?
The pressure that black artists already face in the industry is overwhelming. But it becomes an ever more significant issue when many people in positions of influence have yet to acknowledge and address that this is, in fact, STILL an issue.
But, rather than pass the issue to someone else, why not strive to change it? Educate yourselves on Black beauty and the entire essence of who we really are, not what society has depicted us to be.