By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
In our image-conscious society, it’s actually a little bit weird to go around calling certain people, “Pig people,” but you know what? During this time of year, it’s allowed and even appropriate!
In a number of Asian cultures, the year you are born reveals not only what personality you tend to have, but also your compatibility with other zodiac animals.
So what exemplifies a pig person? Well, good traits include being good-tempered, kind-hearted, and loyal. Pig people are positive, patient people and are prone to positivity rather than pragmatism. They are gallant and charming — some might even say they are the life of the party. People born in the year of the pig tend to have better fortune (more lucky with moolah) than other animal signs, but Pig people are also not great at wealth management. By some accounts, Pig people also like to nap.
As for so-called weaknesses, Pig people’s positivity may translate into naivete or being too gullible. Pig people also may not inspire the same kind of loyalty that they give so freely. Perhaps worst of all, Pig people are known for being hot-tempered, impulsive, and poor communicators.
Here, I picked out some of the most famous Pig people to see if they exemplify or defy their porcine traits!
Okay, so I started with a creep. That’s funny. So besides making films that many people of color scratch their heads over (“Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” and more recently, “Blue Jasmine”), Woody Allen is also known for cheating on former partner of 12 years, Mia Farrow, with Soon-Yi Previn, Farrow’s adopted daughter and Allen’s step-daughter figure.
They are now married. Allen had known Previn since she was a minor, and there is a 35-year age gap between them.
I think that Allen always comes across as affable and chill in interviews — almost like, harmless and hapless. That’s until a reporter brings up his marriage to Previn or other negative allegations against him, then he actually gets pretty combative. I think he exemplifies the two sides of this personality coin well.
She’s a dame. She used to have the face and voice of an angel. Now she is just a legend. Yes, it’s Julie Andrews, and I think her squeaky clean image lends itself well to the Pig personality. This is the woman known for being Mary Poppins and for singing in the hills while escaping Nazis.
Andrews has always stated in interviews that she preferred singing songs that were bright and sunny, rather than depressing or sad. Like, she’s so committed to that, she doesn’t really sing stuff written in a minor key. Pretty Pig-like, right?
So Pig people are known for being amazingly patient and for having tons of willpower in their career. This fits Hillary Clinton, does it not? Like, before she lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries and then waited eight years before going up against Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — she was Bill Clinton’s plus-one. She spent eight years as First Lady when she clearly had these massive ambitions. Say what you will about Clinton, but many other animals in the zodiac would have thrown in the towel — but she kept going.
Ah, Arnold Schwarzenegger made some of my favorite childhood movies. No, not “Terminator.” I’m talking about “Junior,” in which he played a pregnant man (fellow Pig Emma Thompson was his love interest in that movie), “Jingle All the Way,” and “Batman & Robin.”
But you know what else Schwarzenegger did? Yes, he threw the state of California into a hole of debt (state budget deficit of $28 billion) that took more than a decade to climb out of.
You may not know this name, but Satoru Iwata was the CEO of Nintendo, making him a big freaking deal (and also another huge part of my childhood). Unlike Schwarzenegger, this man seemed lucky and great with money management. Under his leadership, Nintendo achieved record profits in 2009 under his tenure, with the Nintendo DS and Wii.
Iwata actually seemed kind of shy (so not Pig-like). He used to forgo media appearances in his early years, until he got used to the limelight — then he was more visible.
Emma Thompson is kind of like Julie Andrews, except she swears and isn’t known for singing. I think I just mean that she is an English treasure and also a dame. She is so classy, so un-flashy, and so hard-working that she is kind of boring to write about.
One way that she defies pig traits is that she’s very much a serious dramatic actor, though she can throwdown with some lighthearted fair (see “Junior,” up above). She often takes on meaty, grave roles. She’s been nominated for an Oscar five times: “Howards End,” “The Remains of the Day,” “In the Name of the Father,” and she was nominated in two categories for “Sense and Sensibility.” (She’s won twice.)
Hero! Before she was a professional actor, Sandra Oh studied ballet. She first gained recognition in 1994, in the Canadian film, “Double Happiness,” when she was 23 years old. Oh wasn’t cast in her breakout “Grey’s Anatomy” role until 2005, more than 10 years later. And it was only in the last year that she’s getting some serious props for being a “serious” actor, with award nominations for her work in “Killing Eve,” on BBC America.
Oh is currently 47 years old. She’s had a long and hard-won career in the performing arts. I think she exemplifies the Pig traits of patience and willpower, don’t you think?
In May 2018, actor-rapper-comedian-writer-producer Donald Glover released “This is America,” a song that premiered at the number one spot in the United States. In the accompanying music video, Glover performs a series of gun shootings before he breaks out into an almost joyful folksy dance. The video was a commentary on gun violence and being Black in America — and we were all very much into it.
And I think that incisive critique of American hypocrisy (and other things) kind of defies the stereotypical pig traits of affability and positivity. This is a dude who sometimes tries to alienate and make people uncomfortable in his work.
You probably don’t know this guy by name, but this is the young YouTuber that went into a Japanese forest, filmed an individual who committed suicide, and then kind of laughed about it until the public got mad at him. He then went on a massive apology tour. He is still on YouTube.
What can I say about this guy? I suppose he exemplifies the financial luck of the Pig sign.
Other Famous Pigs*
Elton John (1947)
Stephen King (1947)
OJ Simpson (1947)
Mitt Romney (1947)
Simon Cowell (1959)
Michael Kors (1959)
Bryan Adams (1959)
Mike Pence (1959)
Tupac Shakur (1971)
Jada Pinkett Smith (1971)
Selena Quintanilla (1971)
Mark Wahlberg (1971)
Elon Musk (1971)
Ricky Martin (1971)
Chris Hemsworth (1983)
Carrie Underwood (1983)
Mila Kunis (1983)
Kendall Jenner (1995)
Gigi Hadid (1995)
*not a comprehensive list, just people I think you’ve probably heard of
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.