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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Margaret Cho is a Korean American comedian and television personality who has made a career out of turning a series of failures into material for her public persona. In 2010 Cho appeared as a celebrity contestant on the reality television dance competition Dancing with the Stars, where she attempted to critique the structure of the dance competition and the expectations for performing proper Asian femininity. This chapter examines Cho’s failure to win as an attempt to rewrite the conditions of Asian American success, which is most often construed in narrowly defined terms of model minority excellence in opposition to complete failure.

Keywords: Korean American, Asian American, Margaret Cho, Dancing with the Stars, Asian femininity, model minority, dance competition, celebrity

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