Media Representations of Tiger Moms as seen through Instagram

In an article by Huffington Post, the author discusses the first impression when the TV show “Fresh Off the Boat” first aired. This TV show was one of the first sitcoms to focus on an Asian American in about twenty years. Many people were holding their breath for the release of the first episode. However, there was an overwhelmingly positive response by Asian Americans because the show was applauded for being “bold, funny and not afraid to take on race”. Why was this show so praised and what does this reaction say about the representation of Asians in the media?

The author attributes this reaction to a very controversial book written by Amy Chua in 2011, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. This caused a multitude of reactions, but especially by Asian Americans. The “Tiger Mother” stereotype was beginning to evolve and spread among all platforms of the media. One Asian American woman critiqued “When the tiger mom book came out, I just didn’t want to touch it. It’s like, ‘Here we go again!’ We’re going to label a certain set of behaviors as belonging to this culture, and a certain set of behaviors not belonging” (The Huffington Post). Many Asian Americans desire to quiet this stereotype of all Asian mothers being tiger mothers and that is what produced such a positive response to “Fresh Off the Boat”.

This developing stereotype has become evident on all platforms of social media. Through the hashtag “tiger mom”, Instagram has elicited many different responses to this stereotype. My research found that out of 10 Instagram posts using #tigermom, the majority were posted by Asian Americans. Of the ones posted by Asians they were predominately positive toward the stereotype. Most of them alluded to having pride in being a tiger mom. Of the ones posted by white Americans the posts were predominately negative or used the hashtag joking to allude toward strict parenting.


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Video of Olivia Munn raised by Tiger mom





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