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SexyCyborg FAQ

SexyCyborg Jun 11th, 2015 (edited) 227,872 Never
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  1. SexyCyborg FAQ
  2.  
  3. I’m flattered that anyone is curious but it was taking a lot of time to answer the same questions and this way I can post one version with decent, proofread English that’s a bit more readable.
  4.  
  5. *Who are you?
  6. I'm Naomi Wu, a DIY and tech enthusiast.
  7.  
  8. *Where are you from?
  9. Shenzhen, China. Your cell phone and a lot of your household electronics were probably made here, or nearby. I’m Cantonese. My pictures and videos show life here. It’s a pretty great place and I am happy here.
  10.  
  11. There are some interviews online that go into detail about me:
  12. http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-china-sexy-cyborg-2017-story.html
  13. http://www.forbes.com/sites/fernandoalfonso/2016/06/30/for-chinese-reddit-bombshell-tech-is-sexy/
  14. https://radiichina.com/shenzhen-maker-naomi-wu-on-twitter-wars-chinese-tech-and-her-growing-profile/
  15. http://www.atimes.com/article/meet-chinas-sexycyborg-goddess-geeks/
  16.  
  17. I no longer give interviews to any Western media after my experience with Vice:
  18. https://medium.com/@therealsexycyborg/shenzhen-tech-girl-naomi-wu-my-experience-with-sarah-jeong-jason-koebler-and-vice-magazine-3f4a32fda9b5
  19.  
  20. My videos are here: http://www.youtube.com/c/SexyCyborg
  21. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ReallySexyCyborg/
  22. Facebook (but I don't answer DMs sorry): https://www.facebook.com/reallysexycyborg
  23. I used to post on Twitter a fair bit: https://twitter.com/RealSexyCyborg
  24. Some of my pictures are posted here: http://sexycyborg.imgur.com
  25.  
  26. I have a few t-shirts and stickers here: https://www.teepublic.com/user/naomiwu
  27. Thingiverse (3D design files for my projects): http://www.thingiverse.com/SexyCyborg/designs
  28.  
  29. I have no Snapchat, Kik, or Weibo account, anyone claiming to be me there isn't.
  30.  
  31. *What is your job?
  32. I was a web developer. Mostly using Ruby on Rails but was transitioning to JS. I am now a full-time YouTube creator. I am passionate about Open Source. I worked at home doing freelance work for overseas companies. None of my clients knew about my online "SexyCyborg" persona. Coding was becoming increasingly challenging given the Internet access issues we have here in China so I had to transition to something else so I became much more involved in DIY fabrication, 3D printing and reviewing the latest tech coming out of China.
  33.  
  34. My projects are still very simple but I enjoy working on them and people seem to find them fun. I am well aware that most of the attention they get probably has little to do with their technical merits. I do my best to promote STEM careers and tech as something that all women, from all walks of life can comfortably participate in should they be so inclined.
  35.  
  36. *Where did you learn all this technical stuff, are you an engineer?
  37. Nope, English major. Nothing I do is harder than Western teenagers typically do in a Makerspace/STEM class, I just tend to combine a bunch of simple "hacks" in interesting ways. I was first exposed to 3D printing through a partner, later when they lost interest I picked it up and went further with it. As for the rest, learning to make things in Shenzhen is about as hard as learning to act in Los Angeles- nearly the entire city is devoted to it. People from all over the world come here to build their hardware because of our concentration of engineering talent. As a local it's pretty easy to tap into that and get what I need. I'm not particularly gifted, I just live in a location that makes doing these things much, much easier. All of my ideas are my own, and I do all the hands-on fabrication myself, but of course, for most complicated projects I have to get on chat and ask around how to go about doing what I want.
  38.  
  39. *I don't believe you do this
  40. No problem, I'm open to proving myself in any reasonable way and do so on a regular basis. I've met here in Shenzhen with dozens of hardware engineers and been vouched for, my videos are shot with far more detail than nearly any of my vlogging counterparts- no sudden jump cuts to nearly completed projects. The goalposts have been moved countless times as the irrefutable evidence that my work is my own piles up, but I'm always up to the challenge.
  41.  
  42. I understand that much of the problem is Women in Tech are supposed to look a certain way, be from certain places, and have gone to certain schools. In the minds or many people, Chinese cannot be creative and on top of that flamboyantly femme women with body-mods cannot be competent and intelligent. Nothing I say or do will ever change the minds of everyone who thinks this way, but maybe I can cause them a bit more discomfort by piling on yet more proof of my authenticity- so requests are welcome and I'll do my best to honor them.
  43.  
  44. *Why do you look like...that...
  45. It is my chosen form of gender expression. Some women hate dresses and prefer short hair, some prefer more femme appearance, some like me go High-Femme- way past that. We're all women, we are just comfortable expressing that identity in different ways. In my case, it's important enough that I persist despite it being a source of considerable difficulty.
  46.  
  47. Aside from this, visible body modification, weight issues and odd (or even inappropriate) taste in clothing are pretty normal for technical and creative types. I just take it in a direction that makes some people a bit uncomfortable (which artistic expression kind of should sometimes I think?). I live in a city of 12 million and not a single other person has my style clothing or my body mods. I don't know a person in my profession who looks like me. As a creative person that is a source of pride, as a person living in a society where we are taught from an early age to value conformity above all else, it is also very challenging.
  48.  
  49. "If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity." Bill Vaughan
  50.  
  51. *How can you wear those clothes?
  52. Not an issue here in Shenzhen. No one bothers me. They notice but there is no problem. Our sex workers do not wear this kind of clothing as Chinese men prefer an innocent/cute/childish look. You can see from my 360º videos on YouTube that aside from curious looks no one bothers me or cares very much. Mostly they enjoy the novelty and ask to take pictures with me.
  53.  
  54. Beside personal taste, the other issue is my appearance is effective. Women in Tech doing fabrication and DIY are rarely featured in Chinese news, it's just not something that gets much interest. "Sexy" girls are still the delivery vector for nearly all messages in tech here. If I want to get my message out- that these new technical tools are accessible, and that there are well-paying jobs available for women that master them, I have to do so in a way that will actually reach my audience. I'm sure the high road is nice- but in China, no one will hear a word you say while you are on it.
  55.  
  56. For people making negative comments- while sex workers in your country might wear some similar clothing, women in your country also wear and do things that only sex workers in other, even more conservative countries would do. While we all would like to think our country sets the standard for the World it’s not polite to impose our standards on each other- no matter how surprising the differences. You can be sure if I visited your country I would dress so as to not cause offense.
  57.  
  58. *Does it cause problems?
  59. It has when dealing with a Western audience. Open, and more subtle efforts at exclusion have been a constant over the last few years. I don't think I am hurting anyone with the way I look, I've looked like this since long before I started vlogging. I never show up to any professional function inappropriately attired. But despite considerable progress in recent years, there is still a strong idea of how women in tech should look, I make a choice not to meet that norm. The consequences of that are entirely on me.
  60.  
  61. *Why are you so skinny?
  62. Genetics. Like a lot of geeks, I have less than ideal diet and exercise habits. I eat an enormous amount and never exercise. My mother is the same. I mostly eat meat and vegetables though. I don’t like bread, rice or pasta very much. No, it's not fair- so I make a deliberate effort to show solidarity with larger women and speak up when I can.
  63.  
  64. *What are your measurements?
  65. I’m only 161cm tall :-( 41kg (5’3” 90lbs).
  66.  
  67. *Are you a model?
  68. No.
  69.  
  70. *Were you a guy before?
  71. No, I was always a girl. Cis-gender as they say.
  72.  
  73. *Are your boobs real?
  74. No. They are 1200cc saline implants. I got them when one of my 800cc cohesive gel implants ruptured. I talk about them here: https://youtu.be/zVAjbJGd4GE
  75.  
  76. *Why did you get breast augmentation?
  77. I could not get longer legs (height is most important for women in China) so I decided a big chest was the next best thing for looking more femme. I am a transhumanist with an interest in any kind of human augmentation. Any robot parts I can get I would- that’s why “Cyborg”.
  78.  
  79. *When will you visit America/Europe etc.?
  80. Right now my income is tied to my builds and reviews and it's hard to do that away from home. Location tours and interviews are not very popular content. A week away from my shop is quite costly. Safety is also a pretty serious concern when I travel.
  81.  
  82. *Why do you speak English? Were you educated abroad?
  83. I was educated entirely in China, I was an English major in college. Normally my English is just ok- particularly if I am writing quickly and trying to answer questions typing on my phone keyboard. I have been working almost entirely in English for a few years now, that helps. For most of my online writing, blog posts, this FAQ and online interviews where it's important that I not be misunderstood, I have my English proofread and corrected by friends who are overseas educated or native speakers.
  84.  
  85. Not writing in the broken English expected of me has been the source of some criticism. I am extremely articulate in Chinese. I have no idea why I am expected to be less so in English if help is willing and available. People who speak a single language ridicule you if your English is not native level, then declare you a fraud if you carefully enlist help to make sure it is. I've learned it is pointless to try and accommodate them.
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