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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.”
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:
Filed under: Asians All Look Alike, Boobs, Fashion, Fashism, Geishas, Geishas Are Tired, Katy Perry, Katy Perry AMAs, Katy Perry American Music Awards, Katy Perry Geisha, Katy Perry Vivienne Westwood Gown, Katy Perry VMAs, Katy Perry's Boobs, Laziness, Mistasian Identity, White Geishas
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]
Filed under: Geishas, Geishas Are Tired, Halloween, I Believe That Children Are Our Future, Racial Drag, Racial Drag on Halloween, Racist Halloween Costumes, Students Teaching About Racism In Society Ohio University, We're A Culture Not A Costume, White Geishas
Incidentally, during her stay, a 6.6 earthquake hit near Tokyo, and Jessica tweeted about it. (If you Google “6.6 earthquake,” the first entry you get is “Jessica Simpson tweets about 6.6 earthquake while in Japan.”)
So, let’s see…Jessica Simpson visits Tokyo as a geisha, then a 6.6 earthquake hits. Hmm…
Promotional photo for Kylie Minogue’s upcoming tour, to promote the new album X:
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.
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.
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.
An Australian woman named Fiona Graham is training to become the first foreign-born geisha in 400 years. Graham, who has a D.Phil in anthropology from Oxford and speaks Japanese fluently, is a documentary filmmaker recording her experience as “Sayuki.” Part of what inspired her to do this was her disgust over the representation of geishas in Memoirs of a Geisha:
If you want to make Sayuki angry, mention the 2005 movie Memoirs of a Geisha, or worse, the bestseller on which it was based. “It is a ludicrous, totally fictional book that came out of a white, middle-aged American male’s imagination…”
If more white women became geishas, that’s one less dumbass stereotype we Asian women would have to deal with. I say, GO FOR IT, Sayuki. And stick it to these poseurs!
Click here for Sayuki’s website.