Though people do understand that the media’s image of Asian men is not necessarily true, Tran specifies that society still inadvertently projects those images upon the Asian male demographic, affecting the Asian man’s confidence and self-esteem. A great deal of the problem, according to Tran, lies with Asian men themselves.
For many, the lack of confidence comes from their inability to break from traditional Asian values, especially for first- and second-generation Asians.
According to Tran, two sources in particular create a “feedback loop” that influences not only society’s perception of Asian men, but also how Asian men perceive themselves.
The first of these is the media, which has long offered an external representation of Asian men as non-aggressive, shy, and socially awkward.
As an added bonus, participants also get to hear about Tran’s early personal experiences in grappling with the same self-esteem issues, which Tran is always happy to share in order to motivate his students. And cursed with a small, ahem, “package.” Stereotypes about Asian men date as far back as 200 years ago when the first Asian immigrants arrived in North America to seek jobs and a new life.Nowhere is this more apparent than in the North American dating scene.“I understand how these men feel because it took me years to get past the same insecurities, and I find it really helps my students to hear about my own successes,” Tran tells me.“I’m 5’5”, and I wouldn’t consider myself a very attractive man, but I’m able to not let that affect me.Tran is part of a fairly recent movement where pickup artists (the technical term is PUAs) is gaining prominence.