AAPI Creators Encourage Authenticity Over Tokenism

In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the third webinar in our Quotient Creator Series puts the spotlight on AAPI creators. This ongoing series features content creators from Quotient’s network with diverse perspectives and expertise in influencer marketing. 

The “Uplift AAPI Voices” webinar, hosted by Quotient’s Creative Project Manager Leah Pentecost, brought together personalities from a range of social media spaces, including lifestyle, fashion, beauty and food. The creators—Elise Armitage (@wtfab), Annie Mescall (@anniemescall), Vannie Tran (@vannie.beauty) and Vy Tran (@beyondsweetandsavory)—discuss building their social media careers, finding their unique voices and working with brands. 

The conversation among creators highlighted issues with AAPI representation in the influencer sphere, and the creators shared their experiences collaborating with brands. 


Creators' Advice for Brand Managers

The panel had advice for brand managers, as many of them had personal experience with brands treating them differently than white influencers. 

Vannie Tran mentioned that a brand once decided not to work with her when they found out her husband was also Asian. In another instance, a brand accidently CC’d Elise Armitage on an email that said she’d be “good for inclusivity.” 

“I think it’s a fine line between being inclusive and straight-up tokenism. I don’t want to be selected for a campaign just to be the ‘token Asian’ representation. I want to be selected because the brand loves my content, they appreciate my photography, my unique voice.”
—Elise Armitage (@wtfab)

Vy Tran recommended brands be careful not to lump AAPI creators together but to see them as unique people. Armitage suggested that instead of seeing representation checking a box, brands can take the attitude of seeking out authentic content creators they haven’t worked with before who have different perspectives and may come from underrepresented communities. 

For more insights and candid conversations from the talented creators in our network, check out all the installments of the Quotient Creator Series.