Thursday, February 23, 2012
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco.
Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret’s father who writes joke books – in Korean. “Books like 1001 Jokes for Public Speakers – real corny stuff,” Cho says. “I guess we’re in the same line of work. But we don’t understand each other that way. I don’t know why the things he says are funny and the same for him.”
What Margaret did know is that she didn’t love being a kid. Racing toward adulthood to escape bullying, she began writing jokes for stand up at 14 and professionally performing at age 16. Getting picked on, and feeling disenfranchised, is a subject that’s very near to Margaret’s heart. She has become a sort of “Patron Saint” for Outsiders, speaking for them when they are not able to speak for themselves. “Being bullied influenced my adult life because I grew up too fast. I was in such a hurry to escape that I cheated myself out of a childhood. I didn’t want to go to school any more, didn’t want to be around those people any more. I want to use what happened to me to help other kids.”
In 1994 Margaret developed an eating disorder as a response to criticism about her body. She was so obsessive in her goal to try to be what she thought others wanted, she landed in the hospital with kidney failure. Since she's become an outspoken critic of unrealistic beauty standards.
"Just read an article about myself where I described myself as 'chubby' and I think that it is a fairly unacceptable description, and I want to apologize to myself for saying it, because that is just wrong. I am not chubby – and to call myself that is to endanger the lives of millions of young girls who look to the media to define who they are, who are constantly checking themselves for fear of wrecking themselves, who are afraid to be thought of as 'chubby,' who don’t realize that they are perfect as they are, and it is irresponsible. I fear they will read this article and look at my body and be scared because it is like theirs, and they will then think of themselves as 'chubby' and learn to hate themselves more. To call me 'chubby' is to call a billion women 'chubby' who shouldn’t think of themselves as anything less than hot and sexy and curvy and built. I am not 'chubby.' I am a real live perfectly beautiful woman, and just because I may be larger than the mostly anorexic female population in Hollywood, it doesn’t make me any less desirable or gorgeous because I like food. I take it back, as I must take back all the millions of insults that I hurl at myself without knowing it. I would never, ever say any of the horrible things I say to myself about myself to anyone else, not even someone I hated, because there is no one I could possibly hate that much. We must stop fighting the war against ourselves before we can truly start to love ourselves. We are not 'chubby,' we are perfect. We are beautiful. We are so very very beautiful."
Besides being a comedian, she is a fashion designer, actress, author, and singer-songwriter. Cho is best known for her stand-up routines through, which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race and sexuality. She has also directed and appeared in music videos and has her own clothing line. She has frequently supported LGBT rights and has won awards for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of women, Asians, and the LGBT community.