By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Story time! Have you ever wondered where the 12 animals of the lunar calendar come from? It comes from this legendary great animal race.
See, many centuries ago, the Jade Emperor of China gathered the 12 animals to see which were the best and brightest (and most qualified to be part of his heavenly entourage).
The ox, diligent, consistent, and an early riser, was one of the first two animals to cross the heavenly gate, along with the rat. What went down with these two animals is reflected really well in their personality traits. (FYI, rats are known for being quick-witted and cunning. Oxen are known for being predictable duty-fulfillers.)
What happened was that both the rat and ox started early, so they were neck-and-neck—until they encountered a really brutal river. Obviously the rat was very small and the ox very big. So the ox did the rat a real solid and let the rat chill on his ear as the ox crossed the river steadily.
And then once they hit the other side of the river, the jerk rat betrayed the naive ox! The rat jumped over the ox’s head and just took first place without a care in the world!
Besides being a chump, here are other ox traits, the positive ones:
- Fairness and conscientiousness
- Calm and patient
Annnd here are the less positive traits:
- Overly serious and quiet
- Not sociable and kind of boring
The following are some super famous people born in the year of the ox. There may be many that exemplify their ox-like traits! Let’s see, shall we?
Mason Disick (2009)
Known for: Being the kid of two reality TV stars, Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick.
Reasoning: Of the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan, this child is one of the boringest, quietest members, which makes him seem pretty ox-like.
Kylie Jenner (1997)
Known for: Being Mason’s aunt. No, I’m joking. She’s actually apparently known for being a “self-made” billionaire.
Reasoning: Kylie is only mildly more interesting than Mason, and the kind of drama she brings to her family’s reality show is the one time she lied about getting lip injections and then was found out. I rated her high for her dependable blandness.
Simone Biles (1997)
Known for: Being an Olympic gymnast—one of the most decorated in U.S. history!
Reasoning: I don’t know much about gymnastics or being an Olympian, but I do know it takes a lot of training, commitment, diligence, and strength. Simone Biles fits this to a T!
Bruno Mars (1985)
Known for: Making the hits! (Also is Filipino on his mom’s side!)
Reasoning: Okay, if you’ve ever seen him in concert or on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment, you know that Bruno is not quiet, he’s not serious, and he’s not antisocial. He’s the opposite of all those things.
Chrissy Teigan (1985)
Known for: Great burns on her Twitter trolls. (Also is a model, from the Pacific Northwest, a TV host, married to John Legend, and her mom is Thai!)
Reasoning: Chrissy falls in the middle because she is the best friend I wish I had—seemingly trustworthy, fair, conscientious, and is consistent in striking down haters. She does so in a loud and emotional way, most of the time (also a trait I require in a best friend).
Other notable 1985 oxen
Actor Raven-Symoné, actor Anna Kendrick, actor Dave Franco, actor Gal Gadot, swimmer Michael Phelps, singer Carly Rae Jepsen, dancer Derek Hough
Tyra Banks (1973)
Known for: Bringing us “America’s Next Top Model.”
Reasoning: Oxen are known for being very calm … until they are not. Remember when the straw broke the camel’s back for Tyra, resulting in her screaming, “WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU! HOW DARE YOU!” at a “Model” contestant? Classic, ox!
David Blaine (1973)
Known for: Magic!
Reasoning: Look, if the original ox could’ve done some David Blaine now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t trickery with the rat during the great race, the ox wouldn’t have come in second place. That’s all I’m saying.
Other notable 1973 oxen
Musician Pharrell Williams, actor Kate Beckingsale, actor Neil Patrick Harris, rapper Nas, actor Portia de Rossi, actor Aishwarya Rai, football player Terrell Owens
Barack Obama (1961)
Known for: Being a way better president than his successor
Reasoning: He completely embodies all of the positive, hardworking traits of an ox. He is also pretty quiet and kind of dull in his personal life (yeah, I said it!).
Known for: Relaxing music
Reasoning: This woman’s discography is bananas and extensive! Do you think she won four Grammys by being lazy? No. She didn’t.
Other notable 1961 oxen
Princess Diana, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, actor George Clooney, actor and comedian Eddie Murphy, actor and comedian George Lopez, actor Michael J. Fox, singer and pop icon Boy George
Caitlyn Jenner (1949)
Known for: OMG, there are so many Kardashian-Jenners on this list, what is going on?
Reasoning: Caitlyn earns her ox rating both for her Olympic gold past life, and also for being curmudgeonly stubborn. (I’ve watched both of her reality shows!)
Other notable 1949 oxen
Actor Meryl Streep, musicians Bruce Springstreen, Gene Simmons, Billy Joel, and Lionel Richie, designer Vera Wang
George Takei (1937)
Known for: “Star Trek” and occasionally saying bizarre, problematic things on Twitter.
Reasoning: Man, when I think of George Takei’s spirit animal, a steady ox just doesn’t come to mind. He seems like he’d be a mischievous monkey or something.
Other notable 1937 oxen
Actors Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, Anthony Hopkins, and Dustin Hoffman. King Harald V of Norway.
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.