In the past year, Asian representation has been quite big since the premiere of Crazy Rich Asians, the return of Sandra Oh, as well as the mainstream popularization of K-Pop groups like BTS and BLACKPINK. But beyond the realms of entertainment and media, Asians are doing and creating amazing things — from glasses made to fit and suit diverse facial features to a smart vibrator that helps improve orgasms through data.
The Cosmos is a safe space and community of Asian women creators who seek to answer the question, "What does it look like for Asian women to flourish and thrive?" And the answer to that very question also happens to be found in the organization's members.
Here are five Asian women creators that you need to know:
1. Diane Day Kim
"Cannabish started out as a lifestyle and wellness newsletter for women who love cannabis. I started this because I was inspired by female community groups like Girls Night In and wanted to create a space for cannabis lifestyle content for the everyday woman. When I posted about Cannabish on The Cosmos network, I got a flood of responses from women who wanted to collab, and it's been the main reason why I decided to turn it into a larger initiative— expanding beyond the newsletter to include a podcast and a publication."
2. Jalena Keane-Lee
Co-founder, Breaktide Productions
"Alex Bledsoe, Reaa Puri and I came together to form Breaktide Productions because we recognized that we were all stronger, and better able to create quality content, when we worked together. We recognized that human history has been shaped by women left out of the history books and women who supported their men, counseled them, and sometimes even did their job for them. We shift that paradigm by creating work that highlights the achievements and struggles of women of color, and by supporting each other and fostering a new style of filmmaking that values and prioritizes community building. "
3. Anna Lee
Co-founder and VP for Engineering, Lioness
"Lioness is the first and only smart vibrator that helps you improve their orgasms through data.
I once met a male CEO of a different vibrator company and I asked him, 'How do you know what you're building works for a woman?' And he said, "Oh, there's an industry standard where you put the vibration on your nose and that simulates what a woman feels down there!' At that moment, I realized being a woman and an engineer was a superpower in creating products that actually worked for women. The taboo of women's sexual pleasure and lack of research done on women's sexual health leaves so many women, including myself, asking, 'Am I normal?' We created Lioness to help women self-experiment and explore their own body through data to answer the question with 'Yes!'"
4. Florence Shin
Co-founder, Covry Eyewear
"Covry is a handcrafted prescription eyewear brand celebrating diversity. Our frames are designed with our signature Elevated Fit? designed for diverse facial features. My co-founder and I struggled with eyewear that never fit quite right; frames always slid down our nose and hit our cheeks, leaving embarrassing cheek marks. We realized that most frames in the U.S. market are designed with a standard fit in mind, which did not cater to our low nose bridges and high cheekbones. This inspired us to create something that was not only stylish, but also fit comfortably using high quality materials."
5. Ami Park
"My personal advocacy is currently using my platform to help save the environment by spreading awareness on plastic pollution and living a zero waste lifestyle to the best of my ability. I am a plant based/ zero waste actor and I really do believe the two go hand in hand, and more actors are also pursuing this path as well (such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Zoe Deschanel) which is truly wonderful to see. Currently, I have been doing a 100 day zero waste challenge on my Instagram (@ami_park ) and it has helped myself and others strive toward reducing our carbon footprints and it has been an incredible journey."