Yellowface strikes back, or Size matters (not)?
“Size matters not…Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?” Master Yoda
On 28 Nov 2013, something utterly unoriginal — and supremely bad idea (thank you for compliment, XiN magazine!) — took p…lace during one of those talent shows on Dutch television. The name is Xiao Wang, pronounced Xiao One, hence the eloquent Master Yoda saying.
Let’s take a look at the video fragment:
Next I would like to invite you to go through the systematic bias that controls the depiction of Asians in popular culture. A quick overview of some stereotypes and caricatures.
***When Asian immigrants first arrived in the West, especially the United States, they were welcomed as cheap labor. But after the California gold rush brought a flood of Asian immigrants to California, the cheap Asian labor began to be seen as a threat. What began as neutral or amusing stereotypical caricatures of Asians soon took on more negative connotations.
Coolie- The “Coolie” stereotype originated with Chinese laborers in the 1850s as a means of preventing Chinese from entering the skilled trades. The lowest-paying unskilled jobs were called “coolie labor” or “nigger work.”
Yellow Peril -The “Yellow Peril” or pollutant stereotype began to take hold in 1890s California. Asians were viewed as alien and a threat to wage-earners, and a movement began that had the goal of making California racially pure.
Deviant -The “Deviant” stereotype was a response to the movement of Asians from common labor to household servants, laundrymen, and operators of opium dens, and the importation of women for prostitution.
Dragon Lady -Asian women have often been portrayed as cunning “Dragon Ladies” — aggressive or opportunistic sexual beings or predatory gold diggers. Non-threatening stereotypes include servile Lotus Blossoms, China dolls, and Geisha girls.
Gook- The “Gook” stereotype originated with the US Military during the Korean War as a generic term for Asians, and became more popular during the Vietnam War. A gook is an invisible and powerful enemy with superhuman endurance and ability to absorb punishment.
Model Minority -The “Model Minority” stereotype originated in the 1950s as a representation of successful assimilation of Asians that was contrasted with the less successful assimilation of Blacks and Hispanics.***source: yellowface.com
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<Photo:Anna May Wong (黃柳霜 1905 – 1961) was the first Chinese American movie star>
Julie O’Yang | Editor-in-Chief
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