“according to this logic, i am a foreigner worshiper bitch” – watch a film inspired by cross-cultural romance in taiwan

Candice Lo’s Irregular Supermarket traces the trust, love, understanding and tolerance of a cross-cultural relationship.

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19 October 2017, 3:04pm

Irregular Supermarket is a short film inspired by cross-cultural relationships. Based on the firsthand experience of filmmaker Candice Lo, who took her western boyfriend home to Taiwan for the first time this summer, it touches on the prejudices of traditional dating culture and the pressures felt from Asia's restrictive beauty standards.

"In Taiwan, we use the phrase 'ㄈㄈ尺' [pronounced Ff chǐ] to describe an Asian women dating a westerner man," Candice explains. "It's a Mandarin version of abbreviation for cross-culture romance, CCR, and has so many hidden, negative emotions. Interestingly, 'ㄈㄈ尺' applies only to the woman."

In her words, Candice is seen in Taiwan as "a foreigner worshiper bitch", whereas a male in the same position would be viewed with pride. She feels frustration that, "although we are now living in a generation where knowledge is a wide-open book and almost everyone speaks a second foreign language", she still sees many young people perpetuating the stereotypes of the past.

"Ultimately, it relates to the beauty standard in Asia," Candice continues, of the double standards. "Are we only allowed to date in a certain way, a certain process, that suits Asian society? Do we have to be in line with Asian beauty standards, where big eyes, white skin and a slim body are beautiful enough to date a foreigner? The truth is it doesn't matter how close or how far you are to those standards. The key thing in bringing two people together is what's written in the book, not the cover."

The resulting film -- featuring footage shot during the last three years of the pair's relationship -- is an honest look at how a cross-cultural relationship can be: a process of trust, love, understanding and tolerance. "My intention in creating this is to spread the idea that love is love," says Candice. "There are no barriers when two people are connected. I really hope that someone will see it and maybe change their perspective more or less."