How Political Correctness Ruins Hollywood

by Nursyamimie Sofi

There has been a declining viewership of western films in recent years as majority of American film fanatics and international viewers have turned to alternative entertainment programmes that are not from Hollywood (Fu, 2013). The rise of the Asian film industry, such as K-drama or Hallyu, has driven Western viewers to move away from Hollywood films. Film genres have remained stagnant (Neale, 2005). But Hollywood today is reinstating its dominance in the world by trying to promote a genre that highlights the Western lifestyle and maybe slowly injecting its social living standards in non-Western countries. This is shown on both traditional and new streaming platforms, such as television or at the cinema, as well as Netflix, Hulu etc.

What is political correctness? Roberts (1997) described it as language, policies or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. The term refers to avoiding language or behaviour that can be seen as excluding, marginalising, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race. In public discourse and the media, it is generally used as a pejorative, implying that these policies are excessive or unwarranted. In laymen’s term, it is an act deemed by liberals in America as a righteous virtue in upholding the minority race and sexual preference (Spencer, 1994).

To understand the current political correctness of today, one must look back at the origin of the movement. The term was first coined in the late 19th and 20th century under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin in Soviet Russia. Its function was to implement a condition of a socially contrast way of thought in the nation in the form of being socially and theoretically correct to give little room to any opposition opinion with the rulers. The indoctrination is heavily injected into factors that weigh heavily in a society, such as culture, social norms and race.

By late 1980s, most Western media and reporters criticised the term as a “usage that was deemed by the left to place censorship in the language being used in the news”. They argue its existence and usage is to “protect” ethnic minority culture and sexual preference.  This has led to the undermining of its credibility and reliability as it intends to appease the left wing of politics in the US and European countries. Certain phrases or words are deemed “racist” or “intolerant” to minorities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) group (Raehn, 1997).

Hollywood is the latest to adopt the virtues of political correctness to appeal to the younger liberal masses. By the end of the millennium, Hollywood and entertainment industries in America face rigid competition from other entertainment businesses in producing music or films that cater to a wider audience outside America. Unlike the 1970s and1980s when Hollywood thrived globally, the viewers today are tuning less to Western production and are giving their support to local industries. Given also the fact that quarter of the US population is ethnically non-European ancestry, this demographic has demanded more representation of their own kind to be portrayed in TV shows and films.

As the US tries to uphold its “righteous” values and force them other nations, this too has been considered as another factor why the US entertainment industry is losing its fans.  Viewers outside the US cannot comply to or accept the virtues displayed by Hollywood. Recent Hollywood films even displayed distorted historical facts.  In late 2018, English director Christopher Nolan released his historical World War II film Dunkirk. The film was about the Britain army stranded at the shores of Dunkirk in France. They were trying to flee to England from the German army. Keep in mind this is a World War II film based on a true story. The distorted historical figures in the movie were the Britain army being portrayed. A few of the army men were actors of the African-American race. However, during the war, the Britain army did not consist of non-European ethnic fighting at the front line in Europe. This bad portrayal falsified history and gave a false view of the event to generations who watch the movie.

Another form of political correctness culture in the media is the diversity image Hollywood is trying to uphold in presenting a more diverse cast in today’s shows, compared with 20 years ago when most of the cast were Caucasian actors and actresses. The diversity that is being shown in TV shows and films from Hollywood often depicts an interracial cast instead of a cast that is fully non-whites or blacks. It is apparent that diversity reflected in Hollywood today only highlights multiracial cast when the make-up of the world population consists of different races with its own unique cultures, traditions, ways of living and behaviours.

But what has taken Hollywood by storm is a movement that is tied closely to politics in the US. The recent Oscars was one of the platforms used for such a political movement. One of the prominent women figures, Oprah Winfrey, used her airtime to preach women empowerment to the masses as opposed to receiving the award. What’s intriguing in this isn’t just how politics suddenly and explosively intersected with an awards-season release, it’s how the studio failed to punch back. Universal execs could have argued that the film is a celebration of an American hero; they could even offer to screen the movie at the White House. They did neither, partly because filmmakers refused to compromise their principles, and partly because they knew that placating conservatives would backfire at the Oscars.

What is obvious from the observation of political correctness is that Hollywood has a lot to study on the matter before adopting it senselessly onto its production and causing an uproar among the majority of audiences that can’t relate to the virtues of political correctness. Also, the adaptation should be freed of any political agenda to gain favours in the political American spectrum.

References


FAIRCLOUGH, N. (2003). `Political Correctness’: the Politics of Culture and Language.

Discourse & Society, 14(1), 17–28.doi:10.1177/0957926503014001927 

Fu, W. W. (2013). National audience tastes in Hollywood film genres: Cultural distance and

linguistic affinity. Communication Research40(6), 789-817.

Neale, S. (2005). Genre and hollywood. Routledge.

Raehn, R. V. (1997, June). The Historical Roots of Political Correctness’. In Free Congress

Foundation (Vol. 44).

Roberts, P. (1997). Paulo Freire and political correctness. Educational Philosophy and

Theory29(2), 83-101.

Spencer, M. E. (1994Spencer, M. E. (1994, December). Multiculturalism,“political correctness,” and

the politics of identity. In Sociological Forum(Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 547-567). Kluwer Academic

Publishers-Plenum Publishers.

DORAEMON: JAPAN’S SYMBOL OF CULTURAL DIPLOMACY

by Mohd Rafi Awang Senik

Japan as one of the country in the world who had enormous producing of anime and game characters. The market for its anime and games had been tremendous accepted and flourished around the globe. Furthermore, Japan as the core country existed with the advancement of technology and development (Adhikary, 2015). Hence, it could penetrate and influence other country in the perspective of cultural diplomacy.  Cultural diplomacy is a part of public diplomacy. Diplomacy itself is an effort to gain the national interest in international society and to have foreign relations (Kim, 2017).  Diplomacy is an effort to struggle its national interest through cultural dimension, such as education, science, sport, art, and other (Warsito & Kartikasari, 2007).

In this paper context, Doraemon one of the examples from many types of Japanese anime that have a popularity and famous worldwide. Doraemon is a Japanese anime series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio. In early publication, the series only in printing method and appeared for the first time in 1969 in Children’s Monthly Magazine in Japan. Before the series was took part in television series, the English translation came out for comic version. Animated series in television was debuted on 1973 by Nippon Television (Miho, 2014).

Why Doraemon anime as a part of Japanese Public Diplomacy? According to (Snow, 2009) , the countries now impress others with their soft power potential. These include of science, art, culture, sport, education and other things. If we look from the Doraemon anime series, every angle of Japanese culture been portrayed from its family relationship, varieties of food, school environment and positives side of Japan. This image portrayed as a representative image of Japan to the international world (Adhikary, 2015).

In one study conducted by (Kartikasari, 2018) stated that Doraemon as an anime ambassador through the International Anime Award in 2008. It was recognized by the Japanese Foreign Minister on that time because of the big influence of Doraemon. This recommendation and decision made by the Committee of Pop-Culture Experts and the Japanese Cartoon Association with the collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) and Ministry of Culture of Japan (Kartikasari, 2018).

The appointment of Doraemon as the anime ambassador, the Japanese government hope that the world community can know the positive side of Japan through the Japanese anime. In addition, it could promote and introduce Japan to the world since it one of successful example of creative global industry. The government of Japan also hope that the presence of Doraemon raises the attractiveness of foreign society towards Japanese culture, tradition, music and technology. All this then formed a fans community that also spread in Asia and America (Kartikasari, 2018).

Source from: (MOFA, 2018)
Source from: (MOFA, 2018)

According to (Nye, 2005), in order to co-opt other groups and parties, the element of attraction is essential. Soft power is the ability to attract, and attraction often leads to acquiescence. Based on this statement, we could see how other foreign countries accepting the Japanese sources like anime, fashion, work culture and food in the local values. In Malaysia, the vision of Look East Policy has been chanted long time ago by Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia Prime Minister. This to imitate how successful Japanese work ethics could be implement and practice in Malaysia (MOFA, 2002).

In Doraemon series also we look how the father’s role in the family as a leader or someone that hardworking and dedicated to his work. This has been portrayed how the cartoon wearing the office suit and sometimes coming back home in late time because of office’s work. Japan uses its anime as their public diplomacy actually because in this modern era, people tend to see the global condition by using simple way and also communication by using modern ways as media device (Mori, 2018).

Media is the place for getting the information or issues and also media can be used or giving the responds towards issues and information. It fits with the public diplomacy theory which is said by the U.S Department of State, Dictionary of International Relations Terms 1987 (PublicDiplomacy.org, 2016), Public diplomacy refers to government-sponsored programs intended to inform or influence public opinion in other countries. Its chief instruments are publications, motion pictures, cultural exchanges, radio and television.

Even the series mostly translated into the respective language in specific country, but the environment and message from the animation could be understood and digested. This effectiveness can be seen from the number of foreign students studying Japanese language for example. According to (Mori, 2018) when the anime features particular places as locations. The locations not only get to the viewers’ heart, but also motivate their behavior to visit there. Hence, develop P2P (People to People) diplomacy through international exchange between foreigners and local people. P2P diplomacy involves all the ways in which governments and private individuals, organizations and groups influence foreign policy directly and indirectly (Mori, 2018).

To improve Japanese figures abroad, MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan) took the policy by organizing several programs to attract people in other countries. The purpose of these programs actually to enhance the image, enhance mutual trust and respect for the Japanese government and its society. MOFA and Japan Foundation as the actor of public diplomacy to executes programs and strengthening their objectives in enhancing to promote of learning Japanese and culture (MOFA, 2018).

The Doraemon series started it franchise on 2005. At this time the agreement between TV Asahi Corporation and The Walt Disney Company arranged for the series get aired in Disney XD television channel in the United States. The popularity of Doraemon not just appear in television series, but also video games, musical, merchandise and film. From Japan’s view, the acceptance of their product in foreign country not only give a positive image, but from franchising of Doraemon character will boost their economy, particularly in merchandise and copyright (Miho, 2014).

With the large of Japanese anime fans outside from Japan, certain program arranged in local area to attract and showing a positive image of Japanese culture (Kartikasari, 2018). In Malaysia, the Japanese anime fans such as Doraemon, Sailormoon or One Piece could participate and show their interest by participating in the event like Japan Expo, Comic Fiesta and World Cosplay Summit (Paidi, M. Akhir, & Ping, 2014).

These platforms provide a connection and interaction among the fans and indirectly will spread the positive image and views about Japan. The programs usually supported by the Japanese organizations by giving a grant. In Malaysia, the cultural grant aid provided by the Japan government from 1975 to 2016 approximately JPY 1,561.5 Million (MOFA, 2018). Japan Foundation as one of the organization that provide full support as it function in bridging between local people and Japan government. Moreover, its existence located in every country in the world.

In conclusion, the Japanese anime series will give a significant view in the cultural diplomacy. Even if watching the anime could not bring the audiences directly to the Japan’s policies, but in certain level, the message of positive image successfully deliverable. The formation of Japanese identities in every part of the world proved that, without a military weapon also could influence others to accept the characteristic based on the attraction that have in the cultural values.

REFERENCES

Adhikary, R. S. (2015). Impact of Japanese Cartoons on Primary School Going Children: With Special Reference to Doraemon. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 20(6), 01-09.

Kartikasari, W. (2018). The Role of Anime and Manga in Indonesia-Japan Cultural Diplomacy. University of Tsukuba, 41-47.

Kim, H. (2017, August 2). Bridging the Theoretical Gap Between Public Diplomacy and Cultural Diplomacy. The Korean Journal of International Studies, 15(2), 293-326.

Miho, T. (2014). Educational and Technological Perspectives in Doraemon – Hope and Dreams in Doraemon’s Gadgets. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(11), 3723-3728.

MOFA. (2002). Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan. Retrieved from Look East Policy – The Challenges for Japan in Globalized World: https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/malaysia/pmv0212/speech.html

MOFA. (2018, July 25). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Retrieved from MOFA: https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/malaysia/data.html

Mori, H. (2018). How Does Anime Realize Public Diplomacy?: The Potential and Future Prospects of Anime Pilgrimage. International Journal of Kitakyushu City University, 87-104.

Nye, S. (2005). Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. New York : Public Affairs.

Paidi, R., M. Akhir, M., & Ping, L. P. (2014, 8 5). Reviewing the Concept of Subculture: Japanese Cosplay in Malaysia. 163-181.

PublicDiplomacy.org. (2016). PublicDiplomacy.org. Retrieved from PDAA – An Association of Public Diplomacy Professionals: https://pdaa.publicdiplomacy.org/?page_id=6

Snow, N. (2009). Rethinking Public Diplomacy. New York: Routledge.

Warsito, T., & Kartikasari, W. (2007). Diplomasi Kebudayaan: Konsep dan Relevansi Bagi Negara Berkembang. Yogyakarta, Indonesia : Ombak .

Cultural Imperialism of Disney

by Shahiirah Atiqah Sharom

Nowadays, within the modern world, it can be seen that the culture of Disney has spread all over the world, aided by its popularity. But the questions that raises to our mind is what are the main cause of it? It is greatly well-known that Disney is one of the most powerful organization that owns around billions of the amount of media assets. As stated by Wantasen (n.d.), the term of “Disneyization” usually will be defined based on the bad way and it also indicates the homogenization of the emotional labour, consumption and merchandising. According to Bryman, (n.d.), there are four dimensions of cultural imperialism of Disney, which are theming, emotional labour, dedifferentiation of consumption and also merchandising.

Firstly, theming of the theme park. As nowadays, most of the leisure activities have becoming standardized and also homogenized, therefore due to the fact that it is well-known theme park, it could be the product, together with the shifting of the society’s needs. Nevertheless, they have come up with the visualized cartoon in forms of physically exist in order to attract more visitors. It can be said that one of the reason of the development of this industry is due to the high demand among society to stay away from stressful daily environment (Bryman, n.d.).

Meanwhile, as stated by Bryman (n.d.), the term dedifferentiation of consumption defines that the general trend, in which the forms of consumption associated with different institutional spheres becomes interlocked with each other and increasingly difficult to distinguish”. In other words, the main attraction is not totally focused only on the industry of theme park, but also restaurants, accommodations, shops and so on. The combination of those services may be defined as the “consumption of hybrid” that represents the merging of various kinds of the consumption. Plus, the main key objective for the organization is to attract more on the spending among visitors, therefore they can produce more profit. The higher the needs being fulfilled, the longer period of time that people will prefer to stay. Same goes to their spending. As for example, those visitor, their main idea is just to go to the theme park, however, they will still need to spend more on the food, souvenir and others as well. This is the same thing as you dropped into the airport as it can also become your shopping spots. So, your main point here is to take flight, but still you want to spend on the other things as well like foods for example.

Besides that, the other elements is the merchandising that also represents the franchising. As stated by Bryman (n.d.), merchandising acts as the part of the promotion of the products in the form of or holding the images and also logos of copyright, which involves those products that are made under the license. It can also mentioned that it’s one of the main reason that Disney becomes the leading and also very popular organization throughout the whole globe. Besides that, they have a lot of different kind of products for their merchandise which was sold at all of their outlet. Therefore, the key contributor of their profit comes from the sales of their merchandise like books, hats, mug and so on. As stated by Bryman (n.d.), rather than the general type of business solely, the sales of merchandising surely will encourage towards better profit.

The fourth element that was proposed by Bryman (n.d.), was the emotional labor, in which he explains that the employees are given no choice but to behave within the behavior that has been set by them. As for example, portraying the good and joyful behavior as the employee of the theme park whenever they are communicating with the visitors of the theme park. Those employees need to comply with the specific behavior that has been set by them, in terms of the helpfulness, friendliness and cleanliness. However, this kind of behavior in working was finally turn into the stereotype of contemporary culture. This is to convey the idea that the theme park employees also feeling happy as well, therefore it produces the loyalty among the visitor based on the medium of conversation among them.

As for conclusion, through the advancement of technology, it can be said that there’s no longer barrier to spread the culture all over the globe, that people can reach the information at any of their convenient time. The influence of this culture can be seen through the domination of Disney culture towards the world. Within Malaysia, it can be seen through the transformation by Malaysian make-up artist, Saraswati, through her Instagram account, Queenofluna into few characters of Disney princess (Malaymail, 2016). This was somehow shown that we actually being affected by the diffusion of culture. This is a very rigid examples of how Disney culture is being integrated into our own culture. In which, people adapted and also accepted the culture and at the same time this shows how powerful the Disney’s hegemonic across the globe nowadays. The society however, could be either negatively or positively affected by the culture of Disney. As for positive, it could be we get to learn new culture and negative effect is our own culture might lose its own original identity as mixed up with the other culture.

References

Bryman, A. (n.d.). The Disneyization of Society. Sociology Review, Vol 47, 125-26, 29-30.

Malaymail (2016, February 27). Malaysian makeup artist proves you can wear a tudung and be a Disney princess. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2016/02/27/malaysian-makeup-artist-proves-you-can-wear-a-tudung-and-be-a-disney-prince/1069325

Wantasen, I. (n.d.). Walt Disney as the Icon of the American Popular Culture. Sam Ratulangi University. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from http://www.niu.edu/international/_images/Isnawati%20Lydia%20Wantasen.pdf

Over & Over Again: A Radio Tale

by Nur Azureen binti Effendi

Advances in technology have given the youth more ways in access an increasing amount of information. Local and international news can be read in the newspaper, listened to on radio, watched on television and found on smartphones or online. For those with access to these options, a wealth of information and entertainment is always readily available. In areas where access to technology is expensive, radio continues to play an important role in information sharing.

Radio broadcasts can provide information and entertainment broadcasted 24 hours a day to provide the most recent updates about news or something entertainment related to listeners. Essentially, radio is virtually everywhere at any time of the day. It is very handy, easily accessible, cheap and it is a perfect portable information that is accessible at home, in the office or in the car. 

However, there are loads of grumble regarding radio station in Malaysia such as “why radio stations keep playing the same song over and over again?”, “why does most radio stations have a morning show?”, “why radio stations need a feedback from caller about the topic?” (Khasim, 2019). Those questions have answered by one of the former radio announcer named Nadia Nazir at her Twitter account.

Radio stations in Malaysia have pattern program which means radio station contain morning show, afternoon show, evening show and night show. This program is using music with a wide audience appeal and with an emphasis on the presentation of the announcers (Francois, Douglas , & Guillaume , 2009). Besides that, Astro radio introduced format radio into stations. The idea of having format radio is to cater the age of groups. Mature content and 90’s music with entertaining announcers, listeners would tune to Sinar and Mix. On the other hand, radio station such as Era, Hitz and FlyFM are suitable for younger generation.

Since people are enjoying with familiarity, this is the reason why radio format was introduced. It is easier for radio listeners to choose as all radio stations fall under different categories.   All radio stations have their own ways of targeting to private niche populations with niche content. Radio format refers to the overall content of a radio station and therefore it will prevent confused or mixed with programming. For instance, while a radio which plays fresh popular music for teens another which on air more news and talk content. The format gives an identity to the radio station and it is use as a marketing tool for the radio company through its audience and advertising market.

However, people may see complain on social media about the high repetition of songs, announcers keep on talking for minutes and they stated tuning to other radio. The truth is, every radio station has their own formula and already have their own target audience. Whenever you feel uncomfortable, do not like the music, do not like the repetition, that means you are tuning to wrong radio. The slogan “customer is always right” can apply to the radio as well because listener is king to your own ear. Whichever your choice is, you may tune to other radio station to suit your feeling. Radio stations do not just put anything on air because they feel like it. They do it because people want it.

The repetition of songs may give you feel bored, then again, this group of people are niche. The format of radio stations has large listenership as the formula works. In Malaysia, there were radio stations that play indie songs or random songs nevertheless, those radio stations did not last very long. It shows that some people may like indie and random genre, but the mass do not enjoy it. Malaysia is a small country as well as the entertainment industry itself, having 100000 listeners on radio will not bring in the advertisers which is the main way radio generates revenue.

Moreover, the most complain radio stations get from social media user is about announcers’ ramble to talk for two to three minutes. According to (Setiowati, 2018), the announcers play an important role as to reached wide listeners and to ensure content of the program present fresh ideas and not predictable. In fact, the announcers able in creating a consistent style which means they regulates the tone of the program by his/her individual approach to the listener.

Radio is a medium to reaching the public and it is immediate reaction. It is the modern equivalent to the village story-teller. Through words, sounds and human voice, radio talks to the listeners directly. Although it sounds like easy to reach the audience, need to have skills and strategies to make sure listeners not tuning to other station. One of the ways practiced by the radio stations to give freshness and newness to listeners and keep them tuned into their stations by hiring famous celebrities to handle the program. For example, Era.je hiring Johan, Sinar radio hiring Jep Sepahtu, Hot FM hiring Shuib Sepahtu and all of them are famous comedian in Malaysia. The question here, whether radio stations use celebrities for morning shows to ensure listeners become loyal to the radio station.

From the research held by (Setiowati, 2018), it is proved that the use of famous celebrities as radio announcer able to reach listeners. The celebrities have their own fans and followers thus, the listeners tune to the radio station is because of they want to listen and support their favourite celebrity. Other than that, radio listening habits of most people are when they leave or return to work or other activities. They used to listen to the radio in the car as of traffic density that makes them need more time in vehicle. Morning drive or morning show usually provide some chats and jokes to cheer up their listeners that is still sleepy while they have to go to their schools, campuses, or works. Theoretically, whether a station using celebrities to host the morning show, they must plan a consistent content of the program. A consistency in programming will form a positioning about the station in the minds of listeners.

References

Francois, M., Douglas , E., & Guillaume , D. (2009). Streerable Playlist Generation By Learning Song Similarity From Radio Station Playlist. 10th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference.

Khasim, R. (2019, March). Radio Market Structure and Music Diversity. (N. A. Effendi, Interviewer)

Setiowati, E. (2018). The Pattern Program of The Morning Radio Sequence: Study of Four Major Stations in Jakarta. KnE Social Sciences.

KL LIVE, INDEED BRINGS MUSIC TO LIFE.

Source: Fazlin Zulkifli

by Fazlin Zulkifli                                             

Let’s just say if you are an avid concert-goer like me, you will understand why KL Live is chosen as one of the preferred location for any musical events. It is a very well-known event space located at the heart of Jalan Sultan Ismail, which will surprise you with the ultimate live music experience you will need to encounter at least once in a lifetime.

Estalished in 2010, the concert hall have held over 63 concert events featuring local and famous, international acts such as Marshmello, Simple Plan, Sum 41, Zedd, Dua Lipa, and the recent uprising American singer that makes highschool kids be feeling proud of their young, dumb and broke self, Khalid.

KL Live is Kuala Lumpur’s fastest growing entertainment venue located at the heart of the city. With the standing capacity of 2500 pax, it is a multipurpose entertainment duplex event hall, with two fully licensed bars, KL Live is known to have hosted some of the most explosive live concerts, DJ parties, dance competitions and corporate events.

KL Live is located on the 1st floor of Life Centre at No. 20 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur. Through its conveniences, the event space is also easily accessed by car and taxi. If you are commuting using the public transport, the closest stop would be the Raja Chulan Station. It is around 5-minute walk from the preferred station and it is also on walking distance from both KLCC and Pavilion.

If you decide to attend any events at the venue, there are certain guidelines that need to be followed. Upon the entrance, there will be security body and bag checks. In order to enter the venue, it is advisable to only bring your wallet and your phone to the venue because there is a restriction towards drinking bottles, medications, packed cigarettes, anything flammable, foods as well as beverages. Extra points if you are ready to display your Identification Card (IC) in order to get the line going smooth and moving before gates starts to open for the show to happen. P.S, during event days, basement parkings are at RM25 per entry, however, there are other alternatives to park your vehicles nearby the venue.

And here I attach videos taken from attending concerts at KL Live. Enjoy!

The Malaysian Model Who Slays the International Modelling Scene

Written by Amir Ridzuan Mohammad.

Standing at a statuesque 5’9”, with sharp features blended on her exotic glowing tanned skin, the Sabahan lass, Atikah Karim is now living the dream of every aspiring model by expanding her modelling career in the vibrant New York. She began modelling at the age of 18 and relocated to New York in 2015.

Atikah, known as Tiks in the industry was discovered when she entered Ford Models Supermodel of the World Malaysia in 2011 and eventually won the competition. She has always wanted to be a model since she was little. She would pose every time her parents or maid took photos of her and that’s how she developed her interest in modelling. Plus, she used to watch videos of Chanel Iman on YouTube and practised her walk. To date, she has been featured in prestigious fashion magazines, modelled for distinguished fashion brands and graced the catwalk on every fashion shows.

Her international career took off in 2015 where she flew to London at her own expense and successfully signed with 3MModels, a London-based modelling agency. Up until now, her relationship with her mother agency is going strong. Among the notable jobs she booked upon arriving London were becoming Miley Cyrus’s dancer during the latter’s concert in Wembley Stadium as well as debuting on runways at London Fashion Week.

Source: Google

Atikah is currently being represented in all four major fashion cities in the world; Soul Artist Management (New York), 3MModels (London), Major Models (Milan) and Metropolitan Management (Paris). Besides that, she is also signed with VIVA Models (Berlin) and Book Management (Montreal). She is now based in New York after realizing that she found more job opportunities in the Big Apple and it’s definitely the best for her blooming career.

Source: Google

Throughout her international career, this 25-year-old stunner has worked with big names such as Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Costume National, Libertine and Vivienne Tam. She made another remarkable achievement when she walked for Kenzo at Spring/Summer 2018 Paris Fashion Week. Besides that, she has also landed a campaign for Milk MakeUp, an American beauty brand. Recently, she booked a campaign for Ted Baker, a house brand in the United Kingdom. Following her international success, Atikah described that people in the western countries appreciate her tanned skin more than in her own country. As a matter of fact, Atikah has a profile on models.com where not many local models are listed there hence it is considered as a big deal.

Atikah walking for Kenzo. Source: GIPHY

Atikah divulged that not everything was smooth sailing for her. In order for her to live her American dream, she sacrificed a lot. She first went to London at her own expense and looking for each agency one by one because they preferred face-to-face castings. When she’s abroad, she gets homesick all the time since she is away from her family and friends. Furthermore, she decided to defer her studies because according to her, “it’s now or never”. Well, it seems like her determination and sacrifice paid off as she is now very well-known internationally.

Ted Baker’s campaign featuring Atikah. Source: Instagram

Speaking of any challenges that she experienced throughout her modelling career, she started off with the scenario that’s happening in Malaysia. She found it quite disheartening that when it comes to homegrown fashion labels, Malaysians prefer foreign Caucasian models over local ones. When she started modelling, the local scene did not really appreciate her skin tone as they prefer models with fair skin most of the time. After Atikah established her name in the industry internationally, only then people noticed and booked her for jobs. But then again, Atikah said the industry is more diverse and acceptable now as plus-sized models, models of colour and models with disability are rocking the scene today.

Atikah for Milk MakeUp. Source: Instagram

Atikah believes that staying true to herself, being humble and having patience alongside the support from her family and friends is key to success.

Whenever she is being asked if having a tanned skin is a liability, she quickly retorts It’s an asset.”