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Katy Perry At The AMAs: If It’s Asian, It Must Be Geisha

November 22nd, 2011 | 14 comments | Posted by Jen

Katy Perry wore a gown printed with East Asian calligraphy to Sunday’s American Music Awards, which garnered her all kinds of comparisons to a “geisha.” HuffPo and Celebuzz called her look “geisha-inspired,” the SF Chronicle called it “glam geisha,” My Fashion Life put their thang down, flipped it and reversed it to “geisha glam,” and another site said the dress was in the style of “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

Ever see a geisha with her boobs pushed up under her chin? Didn't think so

Only problem is, the Vivienne Westwood-designed gown Perry wore has nothing to do with geishas, and was actually “inspired” by a Chinese flower painting. The calligraphy on the dress Perry wore is Chinese, not Japanese. The dress is from Westwood’s Spring 2012 Gold Label collection, which drew from “Chinese calligraphy, Mao jackets, Berber dress, and 17th century corsets as influences.”

This isn’t the first time Katy Perry wore something Asian-looking that writers lazily labeled “geisha.” Back in August, Perry attended the VMAs carrying a parasol, dressed in an Atelier Versace cheongsam mini, which was also dubbed “geisha-inspired.” The cheongsam, however, is Chinese. Perry’s look was lifted directly from 1920′s-30′s Shanghai, a look immortalized later in the 20th century by home decor posters printed from vintage Chinese ads:

Continue reading Katy Perry At The AMAs: If It’s Asian, It Must Be Geisha

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No Racial Drag This Halloween, Please (Okay, Maybe Just A Little)

October 24th, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Jen

Students Teaching About Racism in Society, a student organization at Ohio University, has just produced the awesomest photo campaign against dressing in racial drag on Halloween.

The thing is, it’s actually kinda okay with us, so long as, in return, we can punch you in the geisha-face for looking like an asshole.

[via Angry Asian Man]

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Asian Women Aren’t Just Fetish Objects, We’re Brain-Dead, Too

August 13th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

What can I say about Ying Chu’s recent Marie Claire piece “The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women” that hasn’t already been said?


Our pals Joz at 8 Asians and Latoya Peterson, editor of Racialicious who’s guest-blogging at Jezebel for the next two weeks, have both written terrific posts on Chu’s story already, pointing out how, in an effort to dispel certain stereotypes, it only further reinforces them. (Click here for Joz’s post and here for Latoya’s.)

Not to mention the fact that “The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women” is just a hot mess of half-baked, garbled ideas: Asian women of different ages with incredibly diverse backgrounds and experiences are all lumped together as alike fetish objects; Chu quotes Richard Bernstein, author of the recent book, The East, the West, and Sex, as an authority on the subject–”author Richard Bernstein found that the Orientalist illusion continues to influence”–even though Bernstein’s book has been taken to task in multiple publications (here at Salon and here in the NY Times and here at Slate) for perpetuating that very “Orientalist illusion”; “globalization” is cited as an influencing factor in the fetishization of Asian women, but only some random collection of mumbo-jumbo about the popularity of Mandarin classes, Malcolm Gladwell’s theory on why Asian kids are good at math, and China’s dominance in world trade is provided to support that argument; oh, and how about the fact that this whole phenomenon is being presented as something that’s “new”?!

But, for me, the idea put forth in the Marie Claire piece that really chaps my ass is in its closing line:

“Asian women dating white men may never really know if it’s a fetish thing.”

Um, excuse me? Really? So Asian women are not only submissive Suzie Wongs and geishas, we’re also fucking brain-dead, too?

The complications of sexual politics notwithstanding, fetishists are easy to spot. They come at you with their prayer-bead bracelets and their suspiciously in-depth knowledge of your “culture.” They come with transparent dating histories, and many of them are more than happy to offer up that their last eight girlfriends have been Asian and unabashedly expound–based on their dating experience alone–on the fundamental difference between, say, Korean women and Chinese women. Fetishists tend to talk about you like you’re only a member of a larger group; e.g. instead of saying, “I really like your shiny hair,” they’ll say, “I really like Asian girls’ hair.” And, frankly, they’re creepy, like noticeably-remarkably-right-off-the-bat-creepy, like konichiwa-ni hao ma-what are you?-as-an-opening-line creepy, and stalk-you-on-Facebook-where-they-have-381-friends-who-all-happen-to-be-Asian-women-creepy, and follow-you-to-your-car-in-a-parking-garage-after-you’ve-shared-two-minutes-riding-an-elevator-together-creepy. It’s not rocket science, people.

And if we’re going to traffic in stereotypes here, did Marie Claire forget that Asians are supposed to be smart, too?

[Marie Claire: The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women]
[8 Asians: Marie Claire article declares: Asian Women are The New Trophy Wives]
[Jezebel: Stereotypes Run Rampant In Marie Claire's Asian Trophy Wives Article]

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America’s Next Top Model Needs a Little More Diversificasian

March 4th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 12 starts tonight, and we’ll be watching even though it doesn’t appear there are any Asian sistas on the show this season, which is weird, since the fashion world is supposedly embracing more of our peeps. (I was holding out hopes for “Fo”–did someone say noodles?–until I watched her audition tape.) But we all know ANTM isn’t about fashion or diversity, it’s about hissy fits, drrrama, and smiling with your eyes.

At least the promo images for the show have the contestants looking like us. And when I say “like us” I mean they’re in full geisha maquillage, an orgy of origami flying all over the place.


And that’s something, right?

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

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The Geisha iPhone App: Useless Applicasians

February 3rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I hate iPhone apps. I only have Facebook and Pandora on my phone, because I don’t want to masturbate all day with it. Isn’t it enough that I simply have a phone? (Remember when Diana prayed to the Technology God to give me an iPhone? Well, it worked. Believe in the power of prayer, kids.) Do I need it to be a harmonica, too? Do I really need it to tell me my mood (answer: no, because I’m usually pissed off) and calculate a tip for me (answer: no, because one should never be too lazy to do simple math)? And can someone please tell me what is so amazing about that stupid chalk man and why I would want to see him dancing around like a bone-less, cracked-out raver? Or what, pray tell, is so cool about making my phone fart?

Grrrrrr.

Whatever. I get that that’s my issue. I guess it’s also my issue that I don’t get the Geisha iPhone app. She’s a geisha! And she dances just for you! Yeah, she dances just for you. Imagine a horrible version of The Robot crossed with Benjamin Button’s glide-step when he was on crutches accompanied by ching-chongy music that will make you seriously contemplate ritual suicide. I know this because I had to buy the damn thing to bag on it and now it’s cluttering my phone and, I fear, my life.

Grrrrrrr. Again.

But why stop at geishas? Why not have a stripper app? Or better yet, a lap dance app? Why not have the iPhone also be a dildo? It already vibrates, so you’re halfway there.

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Wacky New York Behavior

July 15th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

I’m not one to be a stickler for quality control in any of VH1′s fucktarded celebreality programs–if I was, I couldn’t possibly enjoy the bounties of mindless hits like Rock of Love and the now-defunct Charm School.

But I do wonder what genius came up with this season’s new ideazzZZzz to book I Love New York‘s namesake star for an energy drink commercial in Japan (how wacky!), painted up like a Geisha bobblehead drag queen, and asked to break a board with her hand by a fisting/shouting/wacky Jap director? (Skip to 00:50 of the video to watch.)

And I do ask myself why, to do research on Japanese culture, New York went to a dry cleaners and nail salon on Hollywood Boulevard (much to the geisha-bobblehead-drag queen-fearing dismay of the respective Korean and Vietnamese store owners), when Sushi Row was just meters away?

Sure, New York is that stupid, but do her producers have to be?

Oh, so many questions, questions, questionzzzZZZZzzz.

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Kylie Mi-NO NO NO NO NO…

May 1st, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Promotional photo for Kylie Minogue’s upcoming tour, to promote the new album X:

Conversasian between Ms. Kylie and her publicist:

KYLIE: Sigh.

PUBLICIST: So that didn’t work, did it?

KYLIE: You mean my foray into the American market? No fucking way. I got so burned. What a pisser.

PUBLICIST: I really don’t understand it. People love hot legs. And you have such smokin’ gams.

KYLIE: I know, right? They’re almost as good as my ass. You’d think legs and an ass would be enough to sell more than 6,000 bloody albums in America. It worked for Jessica Simpson, and that bitch can’t even dance.

PUBLICIST: Or sing!

KYLIE: Or spell “sell.”

PUBLICIST: It can be a tough word.

KYLIE: Sigh…

PUBLICIST: Listen, let’s just focus on the album, and the tour. So I’m thinking… it’s called X. What can we do with that, conceptually, for the promo photo? Maybe we could do something in the vein of X-Men. You could wear an intense bodysuit and white wig and cape, and look like Storm! She’s hot!

KYLIE: Hmm. I’m not really sure I like that.

PUBLICIST: Or maybe you we could put you on one of those rotating wheels, spread out like an “X” while wearing a knife throwing assistant’s uniform! and there will be knives all around you and even one that you’re holding in your teeth. Amazing! That would be like visual sex.

KYLIE: It just doesn’t feel right to me. It just didn’t fit.

PUBLICIST: (annoyed) Okay, Ms. Kylie. Do you have any better ideas?

KYLIE: Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

PUBLICIST: (chuckles) That’s what I thought!

KYLIE: I’ve got it!

PUBLICIST: You do?

KYLIE: GEISHA… meets Dynasty!

PUBLICIST: Uh… wha?

KYLIE: I want to wear more white makeup.

PUBLICIST: You did that in 1997, though, and uh…

KYLIE: Nobody will remember.

PUBLICIST: Um, yes they will. And I don’t think–

KYLIE: People will love it. Geishas are so fascinating! Everybody loves a Brit in geisha makeup! Call up the artist that does those Hoojacuckoo Gals with Gwennie.

PUBLICIST: Ms. Kylie, I don’t think geishas really have anything to do with X

KYLIE: Yes they do.

PUBLICIST: How?

KYLIE: They just do. Stop asking questions. Let’s get this show on the road. I’m so frantic that I’m tired.

PUBLICIST: You’re tired? Hunh. That’s funny, so are geishas.

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Memoirs of a Geisho

April 7th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Interesting news from Japan–male escorts who entertain and amuse female clients, commanding as much as $50,000 a night, are becoming a cultural phenomenon. These “hosts”–or geishos, as I like to call them–are paid to take their female clientele out on the town and pump up their egos (and only their egos, apparently). Which is great news for women around the world. Women who want to have a good time this side of an oily male stripper. Women who don’t want to be thought of as geishas any longer. Women who want gender equality and like to say stuff like, “I Am Woman, Hear Me Get a Lap Dance.” Women who don’t have gay best friends to remind them how fabulous they are. And women who want to date men like Yunosuke (pictured), who, with his artichoke haircut, surgically-slimmed down nose, tweezed eyebrows, and lipglossy lips…looks exactly like a woman.

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Thanks, Josh!

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Just Wondering…

March 19th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

Dear Christina Aguilera,

Kind of a weird question for you: You aren’t… no… I mean… It just seems like… kinda you’re slowly morphing your look into… no…this isn’t an accusasian or anything but… no…you wouldn’t be doing that… would you?

Would you?

Would you?

Just curious,
Diana

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Suzie Wong’s…Going the Way of Lucky Cheng’s?

February 5th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Last Friday, we reported on the opening of Suzie Wong’s, a downtown NY restaurant where the servers were originally slated to dress like geishas until someone must’ve told them that that idea is fuckin’ lame. Looks like the Disgrestaurant is taking things in another direction with…

…Female Impersonators lubbing you long time!

This particular Suzie Wong got all up in actor Djimon Hounsou’s grill during Friday night’s Baby Phat party at the restaurant:

Kimora is gonna be pissed when she sees this!

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Suzie Wong’s

February 1st, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

A new Disgrestaurant/club opened last night on West 27th in New York called Suzie Wong’s, named, we presume, for the infamous Hong Kong hooker with a heart of gold.

Raise the Red Puketern


Although earlier buzz on the 4,000 square foot, bottle-service club promised waitresses dressed as geishas, Suzie Wong’s has since scratched that idea. Those fretting that they might not get the full Ornamental experience here (e.g. fits of covered-mouth giggling, tiny women mincing about in feet-binding shoes, massage with release) sans geishas need not worry. According to New York magazine, Suzie Wong’s offers Geisha and Madame Butterfly cocktails, as well as a four dim sum-variety Love U Long Time platter! Now that’s what we call some pan-Asian conflasian!

And guess who’s throwing a party there tonight?

The Guilty Party


We wish we could say we’re surprised, but…sigh…we’re just not.

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Low-Rent Alert

May 18th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Ever since the UPN-WB networks merged into the CW, it’s all gone to shit. They’ve canceled Veronica Mars, which became trivial this year after abandoning the format of a year-long, whodunnit story-arc, and long-running shows like Seventh Heaven and Gilmore Girls (don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful on both counts). Smallville and One Tree Hill are both returning and they’re tripe. It says something when America’s Next Top Model is the CW’s only crowning achievement, and when they’re conducting ANOTHER SEARCH for the next Pussycat Doll. Aren’t there enough already?

Look at them. They’re a small army. We could send them to Iraq in these numbers. Ooh–there’s an idea.

Fittingly, the CW Upfronts party, held at the Buddah Bar in New York, was a sad affair. This poor girl had to serve drinks there:

The first time I saw this photo, I wasn’t sure if this cocktail waitress was dressed as a Geisha or a suicidal clown about to stab a kid in the eye with a balloon animal. Is it my subconscious talkin’ or does she look like she’s got a cleaver stuck in her skull? What do you call that hat/fan/cleaver? Is that what people are talking about when they say “ASSHAT”? And why do those drinks she’s serving look like POO?

Here’s the upshot. Laura Palmer’s dad was at the party.

Or should I say “BOB”?

Oh shit. I just scared myself.

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Source: wireimage

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