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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:
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.
Special thanks to Helen for creating “Crystal Wenn”!
Filed under: Asians and Plastic Surgery, Body Modification, Crystal Renn, Crystal Renn Eye-Taping Vogue Nippon, Dolce & Gabbana, Eye-Taping, Eyelid Surgery, Fashion, Fashism, History of Yellowface, Liu Wen, Plastic Surgery, Racial Drag, Racism in Fashion, Vogue, Vogue Nippon, White People Trying to Look Asian, Yellowface
In December, American Vogue decreed that Asian models are all the rage. Six months later, British Vogue is saying the same thing in its June 2011 issue with Alexa Chung on the cover. (See what they did there? Asians, Asians, everywhere!) This is great and all–that Asians have become the new It Bag–but in hailing the so-called “rise of the Asian model,” British Vogue incorrectly identified Liu Wen, first Asian model to walk in a Victoria’s Secret show and be a face for Estee Lauder, as her Chinese compatriot Du Juan, first Asian model to appear on the cover of French Vogue.
Jezebel pointed out that this case of Mistasian Identity was uncovered the same day that Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! British Vogue Isn’t Racist, It Just Thinks We All Look Alike
Filed under: Alexandra Shulman, American Vogue, Anna Wintour, Asian Models, Asian Models On the Rise, Asian supermodels, British Vogue, British Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman, Chinese Models, Du Juan, En Vogue, Fact Checkers, Fact Checking, Fashion Trends, Fashism, Laziness, Liu Wen, Mistasian Identity, People as Accessories, People As Trends, Race and Ethnicity as a Trend, Racism and the Fashion Industry, Trends, Vogue Magazine
Another year, another Victoria’s Secret show.
This year’s Tits & Assfest, held at the Lexington Armory in NYC, featured Adriana Lima wearing a $2 million bra encrusted with diamonds, sapphires, topaz stones, and maybe a little mother’s milk (Lima had a baby last year)…
A performance by Katy Perry’s ubiquitous cleavage…
Filed under: 2 Million Dollar Bra, Adriana Lima, Asian Models, Chanel Iman, Earning Your Wings, I'm So Fucking Sick of Katy Perry's Tits, Katy Perry, Katy Perry's Tits, Katy Perry's Tits Are Everywhere, Katy Perry's Tits Are Omnipresent, Katy Perry's Ubiquitous Tits, Lingerie, Liu Wen, T & A, Tits and Ass, Underwear, Victoria's Secret Angels, Victoria's Secret Show
Hails from: Hunan Province, China
Occupation: Model and New Face of Estée Lauder
Why She’s a Babe: Because Liu Wen’s got quite possibly the prettiest pucker we’ve ever seen. And she books modeling jobs wearing no makeup (bitch!). And because she’s the first Asian model EVAR to be a “face” of Estée Lauder. And firsts of any kind–except First Loser, aka second place–are delicious. (You may recall that Liu was also the first Asian model to walk for Victoria’s Secret, where she somehow managed to look smokin’ while wrapped in what appeared to be an industrial air-conditioning duct.)
The 5′ 10 1/2″ Chinese model will be joining a gaggle of white girls–Gwyneth Paltrow, Elizabeth Hurley, Carolyn Murphy, and Hilary Rhoda–in representing Estée Lauder, whose ads often oppress with, let’s just say, their unbearable whiteness of being.
And also: about fucking time!
Filed under: Asian Models, Beauty Brands, Cosmetics, Estée Lauder, Finally, Liu Wen, Liu Wen First Asian Face of Estee Lauder, Liu Wen First Asian Model Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Marketing to Asians, Model Liu Wen, People That Can Wear No Makeup, The Unbearable Whiteness of Being, Victoria's Secret, White Girls
(Liu Wen is the “first Asian model” to walk in a Victoria’s Secret fashion show–if you don’t count Blasian Chanel Iman, who also made her VS debut at the same time–November 19, 2009.)