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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
‘The Last Airbender’ May Be The Worst Movie Of All Time Which Means There May Be Such A Thing As Karma
Did I invoke “karma” in the title of this post because M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Last Airbender, is Indian? Sure. But given how, in the 24 hours since the movie’s opened, it’s already being heralded as quite possibly The Worst Movie Ever, he may not be for long, as soon people will be forming long lines not to see his latest cinematic debacle but, instead, to take away his Indian card, his Asian card, his DGA card, his WGA card, his AmEx card, and– why stop there?–even his SUBWAY® card, if he’s into that sort of thing, and something tells me that if white bread’s involved, he is.
Having already pissed off his brethren by casting white actors in the movie’s lead Asian roles, not getting why that was such a big deal, and hiding behind terms like “culturally diverse” and “multicultural” without understanding how his casting decisions actually ran contrary to those principles, Shyamalan’s now managed to get himself disowned by pretty much the rest of universe. Here are a few excerpts from the public drubbing The Last Airbender‘s received so far:
“The dearth of racially appropriate casting in the U.S. simply means that fewer Asians were humiliated by appearing in what is surely the worst botch of a fantasy epic since Ralph Bakshi’s animated desecration of The Lord of the Rings back in 1978. The actors who didn’t get to be in The Last Airbender are like the passengers who arrived too late to catch the final flight of the Hindenburg.”–Richard Corliss, TIME, ‘The Last Airbender: Worst Movie Epic Ever?’
“…the best way to watch ‘The Last Airbender’ is probably with Continue reading ‘The Last Airbender’ May Be The Worst Movie Of All Time Which Means There May Be Such A Thing As Karma
Filed under: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Bringing Shame to Your Family, Cultural Diversity, Desis, Disownment, Dubious Distinctions, FAIL, Failure, Indian-Americans, Last Airbender Worst Movie Ever, M. Night Shyamalan, Multiculturalism Can Be More Than Lip Service, Public Drubbings, The Last Airbender, The Racial Draft, Whitewashing, Worsts, Yellowface
Iron Man 2‘s Mickey Rourke revealed in an interview last week that he is set to play Mongol badass Genghis Khan in a biopic written by Apocalypse Now writer John Milius.
Now, this could be considered one of the most egregious examples in recent history of an actor in yellowface, IF you considered this…
…an actual face, that is.
Filed under: Genghis Khan, Hollywood and Yellowface, Mickey Rourke, Mickey Rourke To Play Genghis Khan, Mongol Rulers, Mongols, Racial Drag, Shameful Movie Roles, Were There No Asian Actors Available?, Whitewashing, Yellowface
Variety reported this week that a three-part Bruce Lee biopic is in the works. When we asked you guys on Twitter who should play him, a few of you got all clever and, in light of the Hollywood tradition of white-washing Asian characters (ahem, 21, Dragonball, and The Last Airbender), offered up some inspired casting suggestions:
“Jack Black. Or Woody Allen on steroids.”
“Paul Walker w/a tan!”
“Eddie Murphy in an Asian suit?”
“Zack Efron or some other ‘yellow face’”
“Robert Downey Jr. he already went black”
Y’all will be relieved to know that Bruce Lee’s family is actually working on the biopic, and a Chinese company is producing it. Still, if they were going to fuck it up Hollywood-style, our vote for the man to play Bruce Lee would go to…Ryan Gosling. Because we hear he’s really good at kung fu. And it’s been his lifelong dream to play Bruce Lee in a biopic. And…
Kung Fu (1972-1975) centered around Carradine’s justice-seeking character, Kwai Chang Caine, aka “Grasshopper,” a half-white, half-Chinese orphan raised by Shaolin monks. During that time–and long after in syndication–Carradine seemed to be the only Asian star on TV. That’s no joke. It was a joke, of course, that Carradine was white, but his character was kinda all Asian people had to root for, for a while.
Carradine, who had no knowledge of martial arts before the show, became a lifelong practitioner of Tai Chi and Qi Gong.
I had a totally crazy dream last night, and I think I might actually have come up with a brilliant concept.
How’s this for a movie idea?
Where’s our hero… the handsome American pilot? (And who can we get to play him? Perhaps just a hack comedian as a stand-in for now.)
Okay, take out “handsome,” keep “American.” But somebody’s got their target set on the American. A JAP! A JAP in another fighter plane is trying to take our guy down! (But who can we get to play the Jap on such short notice? Let’s just use the same hack comedian.)
Oh wait. Shoot. Shoot. I think I got confused. I didn’t dream this up at all. Some jerkoff from Birmingham, Alabama (which is an actual city with an actual university, and not an all an excuse for such ignorance) shared this “movie” bit with the mediocre audience of Last Comic Standing just this week.
Needless to say, the judges were not amused, nor impressed.
They were so unimpressed, in fact, that they gave Hyche a rather hefty public shaming (stating an allergy to ethnic stereotypes and a desire to commit hara-kiri if they had to listen to an extended performance) before booting him off the show. Heck, they pretty much did our job for us!
But did they turn around and shame all of the crowd members who think yerrowface is still veddy veddy funny? GONG! They should have.
See Hyche’s performance in the full episode (click on #607) here.
Filed under: Assholes, Bad "Bits", Hack Comedians, Heath Hyche, Last Comic Standing, Mickey Rooney Would Be Proud, Public Shaming, Reality TV, This is Bullshit, TV Crowds Filled With Sheep, WTF?, Yellowface