DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Eye-Taping Is So Candy-Ass

September 9th, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Last week, a YouTube video surfaced of former plus-size model Crystal Renn–no stranger to controversy vis-à-vis physical transformation–taping her eyes back in what appeared to be an attempt to look Asian during a Vogue Nippon photo shoot.

While Refinery 29 wondered if eye-taping wasn’t akin to blackface, a disturbing phenomenon that’s reared its ugly head in recent photo shoots, Renn tried to clear things up this week in an interview with Jezebel, maintaining that eye-taping is a model trick frequently used to achieve a “straight brow” (as opposed to an Asian eye):

No one told me at the shoot to tape. It is something that I often do to add to the look of the character if I feel that the look makes sense, and often I suggest it. I have very heavy brows, and they’re more curved than straight, and sometimes when you’re doing a character it might require more of a straight brow. Which sounds like such a small detail, but it can completely transform the face. Lots of actresses do this, models do this — I don’t know how willing models usually are to do it, or if other people suggest it, but I am willing, and I even bring [tape] it in my own kit.

Even though Renn seems sincere, since eye-taping was employed for so many years as a way to make white actors look Asian–in the place of actually hiring Asians–I’m not sure it can ever escape its racist connotations. In fact, in the same interview with Renn, Jezebel points out that eye-taping isn’t even a thing of the past.

So what’s a would-be eye-taper to do?

What Asians have been doing for decades to achieve a, ahem, “curved brow.”

Yes, I mean eyelid surgery, but reverse-engineered:

Crystal Renn + Liu Wen = CRYSTAL WENN

Extreme, sure. Though people will be too awed by the commitment this sort of body modificasian requires to ever think it’s racist. And it may be expensive, but think of the money one could save over a lifetime on tape!

Or, you know, Vogue Nippon could just hire an Asian model with a naturally “straight brow” the next time and avoid this sticky situation altogether.

[Refinery 29: Is Taping Your Eyes To Look Asian The New Blackface?]
[Jezebel: Crystal Renn Wasn’t Trying To ‘Look Asian’ In That Eye Tape Shoot]

Special thanks to Helen for creating “Crystal Wenn”!

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5 Responses to “DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Eye-Taping Is So Candy-Ass”

  1. Hello Kitty says:

    When I spotted the original video that was bad enough. Then Jenna’s interview in with Crystal made the matter worse, like someone insulting me, then kicking sand into my squinty eyes.
    Looking at the world through the white lens much, Crystal and Jenna? Better untape those eyes and shift your focus.

  2. Mach1 says:

    Entertaining article.

  3. Larry says:

    I dated a girl who taped her eye-lids. Needless to say we are no longer together =)

  4. Lilithius says:

    I mean i think this is wrong in all. Yes i am white replying to this, i guess its wrong of me , but i just love Asian culture an everything about it, and my boyfriends Asian, and sometimes i feel left out but, thats not the point. My point is i thinks its ok for people to want to be apart of a different culture then their own race, i mean people do it with african american culture all the time. To me its ok to want to have a different culture but be a different race, but to change the way you look by ‘ taping’ your eyes is stupid and she looks dumb.

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