Wednesday, February 27, 2013

China Doll Stereotype in the Film

      China Doll is defined by media as a hyper-sexualized Asian stereotype for quite a long time. It is considered one of the most demeaning characterizations of Asian females, and it imply the idea that Asian women are weak, shy, sextuelized, and always rescued by white men (Sheridan). Here is few examples that how film industry usually portray Asian American female, expecially the China Doll stereotype.

Return to Paradise
      The movie is about three white male Americans take a vacation in Malaysian. They spend their time laying on the beach, sniffing cheap cocaine and sleeping with the local girls. Then one of them was arrested for drug possession, and the other two trying to help him (Mahdzan). In the beginning of the movie, there are few Asian female showed as eager, sexy women who take pride in sexually serving white men because the men are white and rich. Even though the girls were not Asian American and only appeared for a few minutes it still delivered the idea that Asian women are exotic, feminine and eager to please man. When Asians are constantly seen as this way in media, it affects the way people see Asian Americans.

The World of Suzie Wong
Suzie and Robert 
      This one is pretty famous. The World of Suzie Wong, directed by Richard Quine. It is one of the few Hollywood production that can be analyzed as the movie full of Asian stereotypes. Suzie Wong is a prostitute who initially fits into the role of a typical Chinese seducer. She tries to get Robert Lomax (an white artist) to sleep with her to increase her own prestige. Later, as the film continues, she transforms into a fragile woman who needs to be cared for by her man, which lead to another classic Hollywood pattern, the Asian women being rescued by the white men. In the movie, Suzie’s seeming desire to be beaten by Robert. If she doesn’t want it to actually happen, then she’s more than happy brag to her prostitute friends about how Robert beats her in a jealous rage if she even looks at another man. Of course, Robert doesn’t do anything of the sort, but Suzie’s belief that violence equals love is more than a little problematic. It sure did enhance China doll stereotype some favor.
 Here is clip of Suzie Wong  doing Cha cha, how alluring, just see how men look at her
The year of dragon
      Another example that how film portray Asian American Female. See the post titled "The year of dragon" form my group mate for the further analysis.  
      Overall, the way haw Asian Americans female was portrayed in the movie are mostly negative. The negative stereotypes can lead to discrimination in romance relationships and low self-esteem. Even someone may argue that there are the some positive aspects of China doll such as allure, the stereotypes still could create negative self-evaluations due to a failure to live up to others' expectations, which comes from the implement from the film. The filmmakers should focus on how to represent Asian American female as multifaceted and uncategorized, instead of produce the same thing over and over again.
Work cited
Sheridan Prasso, The Asian Mystique: dragon ladies, geisha girls, & our fantasies of the exotic orient, PublicAffairs, 2005.
Elaine Kim, "Asian American writers: A bibliographical review". American Studies International 22 (2): 41–78. 1984.


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    hope you enjoy it!


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