Asian Women Speak Out About Excessive Sexualization – The Blue Banner

Jemima malote

Arts & Features Writer

[email protected]

Photo by Alex Lord
UNCA student Alex Castillo-Lai describes her experiences as an Asian woman.

19-year-old sophomore Alex Castillo-Lai experienced firsthand the dangers of hypersexualizing Asian women when she was 14 when she was treated by an older man.

“It’s really dangerous because of young children being looked after and treated like that kind of sexualized thing, like a loli,” she said. “My race was a huge part of it. “

Before reaching the age of consent, we often said to Castillo-Lai “you have very big breasts for an Asian” and “you look like an anime girl”.

“It was a victim’s blame and like, ‘Well, you were in there, because you were in it all and you’re in these Asian things where girls are portrayed like that, you were exposing yourself there. -bas, ”she said.

Karuna Li, a 19-year-old sophomore, said the media infantilizes or supersexualizes Asian women.

“These are two adjectives that should never be in the same sentence together,” she said.

Li said the media portrayed Asian women as shy, weak or shy or as tough, exotic and hard to tame.

“Asian women will do martial arts moves like Kung Fu and hit bad guys, but they’re also too sexualized that way, so they’re seen as a sexual conquest,” she said.

Li said an anime, like Lucy from the series Fairy tale perpetuate the infantilization of Asian women.

“They often act very childishly, very needy, badly need a white man to help them who is also a bit like a sexual predator,” she said.

Li said she does not tolerate the way Asian women are portrayed in cartoons because of the expectations they place on Asian women.

“Consumption of anime by non-Asian people who don’t understand Asian culture and start to set expectations in their own minds towards Asian women based on anime can be detrimental,” she said.

Gillian Chiang, a 20-year-old sophomore, said the resulting infatuation with Japanese culture is problematic, especially for weebs. A weeb is a non-Japanese or Western person who has an infatuation with portraying Japanese culture through anime and often uses Romanized Japanese words like kawaii.

“It’s really problematic because they’re like ‘I love Japanese culture’, I’m like ‘no, you like anime’,” she said. “You think everyone is walking around in kimono or yukata and bowing in front of you.”

Chiang said the resulting generalization that people unconsciously learn from watching certain depictions of Asian women in cartoons contributes to the belief that Asian women are submissive.

“We don’t necessarily need to be submissive to them, but we need to listen to others and value their opinions and things above our own,” she said.

In high school, a boy approached Chiang, sexually harassed her, and cornered her as he spoke in a condescending tone.

“I can never tell if something is going on because I’m Asian because I’m always afraid of being paranoid,” she said. “He touched me at one point on my leg.”

Chiang said the most damaging anime trope is the loli that paints prepubescent girls in a sexual way.

“It is literally considering them as children even if they are not and if they are it is even worse,” she said.

Li said the infantilization trope affected her the most because she looked young for her age.

“I have to watch out for possible pedophiles because I look young for my age. Do the people I date think I’m younger than me and that’s why they date me?

Li said the standard of white beauty was so ingrained in her that she found herself hating her features and wondering if she should conform to fetishized stereotypes.

“It continues to be a hindrance for me to accept myself as an Asian woman and not have to feel the need to adjust to the standard of white beauty or the standard of fetishized Asian beauty,” a- she declared.

Castillo-Lai said the growing trend in Asian peach, when a person of non-Asian descent uses makeup, usually fox gaze, to accentuate common features of East Asia, adds to oversexualization. of real Asian women because of its use as an alluring aesthetic.

“A lot of people do it as a makeup look. It’s one thing, but a lot of the women who do it try to hide their real race when it’s very clear that they’re white and they’re trying to adjust to that and sexualize themselves in that role, ”he said. she declared. “For them, it’s just a costume. At the end of the day, they wipe off all the eyeliner and take the wig off and it’s back to white privilege. We cannot do that.

Some like Belle Delphine even make an ahegao face, which is an exaggerated face of satisfaction or ecstasy used in hentai and erotic manga during an orgasm.

“People had a hard time about her and it spawned this whole resurgence of white girls fishing in Asia and trying to look like these cute anime characters,” she said. “You cheer these guys on, you add in, you lead them and say, ‘It’s good to fetishize Asians. “”

Chiang said “uwu” girls are also problematic due to the spread of Japanese culture. A “uwu” girl is a girl who dresses and acts in a cute and childish manner, but also alluring, similar to some depictions of anime girls.

“I really think of the cosplay girls who really fit into ‘Japanese culture’ and act super cute in a way that’s characteristically Asian women that they would probably see in an anime or something,” she said.

After realizing that more Instagram filters were tilting the user’s eyes specifically, she spoke about it in an Instagram post on December 28.

“Stop trying to mimic facial features of races that are not your own and most importantly stop trying to use them in a way that reinforces the fetishization of Asians or in a way where you enjoy the fetishization. Asians “, we read in his article. .

Both Castillo-Lai and Li have said they have problems with dating due to stereotypes that fetishize Asian women.

“One of my tests is asking the guy if he watches animes. For example, if he’s watching an anime that’s kind of a red flag for me because then I have to start thinking if he loves me because I’m Asian and he fetishizes me, or is he in me for me, ”Li said.

Castillo-Lai said she has suffered a lot of emotional abuse in her relationships due to people’s expectations that she is a pretty, lively girl.

“No I’m not gonna be your fucking sex slave shut up,” she said. “I had to deal with a lot of abuse with people who were just trying to break me emotionally in these roles.”

While trying to find a cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress for the ASIA night market event, Castillo-Lai noticed how too sexualized traditional Chinese clothing had become.

“The name for that is“ sexy women’s long light blue flowered Chinese dress. ”And the slit, the slits on them, usually they go up a bit where you can walk around. No, there was like the slit Chung Li going up to the hip, ”she said.

Castillo-Lai said there is no respect for Asians for their traditional clothes as they become hyper sexualized.

“In other cultures you respect that idea, but there is just no respect for Asians in that sense,” she said.

Chiang said she encountered similar issues after looking for a Lunar New Year cheongsam. She said she noticed that a lot of non-Asian people were selling them.

“It would be a really big keyhole top and it would be like a crop top, it would have cutouts and stuff. It would almost be like lingerie, ”she said.

Castillo-Lai also said that the excessive sexualization of Asian women and the resulting stereotypes pushed by the media played a role in the Atlanta-area shooting that claimed the lives of six Asian women on March 6.

“It is very clear that this idea of ​​what Asian women are has become so standardized that he associates massage parlors with it and it is very clear

that Asian women were the targets there because he saw them in a sexual way and thought to himself, “Oh, I have to kill them to try to purify myself,” she said.

Castillo-Lai criticized the coverage of the shootings over the shift from the issue of fetishizing Asian women to COVID-19 hate crimes, which she said were both understated events.

“People try to act more like it’s a COVID thing, but when you really look at him and what he said and how he was trying to cleanse himself of sexual temptation and specifically targeting massage parlors,” she declared.

Chiang also said the objectification and sexualization of Asian women influenced the shooting.

“He said they were too tempting and he wanted to get rid of the temptation,” she said. “One, you objectify them and you only see them as sex objects, so you don’t think there is anything wrong with getting rid of that or killing that because you don’t think they are. people. “

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