In an interview with Schema Magazine, TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim discusses life in wrestling as an Asian woman, sharing who she finds inspiration from and whether she’s faced stereotyping in the business.
How she inspires others, and which Asian women inspire her:
“I definitely feel as though I’m representing Asians everywhere and not just Asian, but females. Especially in such a business that is so male dominated. I always said I don’t want to be the stereotype of what an Asian is portrayed and so far, I feel like I’ve been happy with the way things have gone. I really admire people like Maggie Q and Grace Park. They are two women in the entertainment industry who are not only beautiful, but play strong women on television. I love the whole femme fatale role Maggie plays, and I get inspiration from her for my character in wrestling. The only difference is that I play a villain right now. I also love Margaret Cho. She’s outspoken, funny and I think she says what’s on her mind and I love that. Kimora Lee Simmons comes to mind too. She started in modeling and runs an empire now while being a mom to 3 kids. That’s an amazing woman right there!”
On whether she feels that she has been placed in stereotyped role:
“I don’t think I can remember a time feeling uncomfortable because I was never forced to play the stereotypical role but that may be because I didn’t know how. I can’t speak fluent Korean (I regret quitting Korean school as a child now!) So it was difficult to put me in that role. The only time I felt uncomfortable was when I was asked to do things that were overtly sexual or anything dance related lol! I think I’m sexiest when I’m myself. As for the dancing part, I have 2 left feet!”
She also adresses that oft-mentioned Battle Royal self-elimination, giving a concise but telling statement on her view of the WWE at the time:
“To clarify, that [not being featured enough] was not the reason why, there were many reasons why including some disrespectful situations and the way women were treated; so I decided to move on.”
You can real the full interview by clicking here.