More Aesthetic Asians

Just to confirm how typically and conventionally stereotypical the set I described in my last post is, here’s a second set that repeats the same basic characteristics:  slanty-eyed Asians of uncertain gender, both dressed in exotic pantsuits, both wearing strange round hats, both sitting on the floor, both engaged in the acts of sensitive aesthetes–this time, both reading and with dreamy, contemplative looks on their faces.  So here, and in the shaker set of my last post, and in the wall plaques of my childhood that I also described in that post, the seated figure inactively and nonviolently in pursuit of the arts becomes an icon of Asian-ness–the Asian as a sensitive soul, a delicate flower, and essentially emasculated, at least as mainstream North American midcult understands masculinity.   The essence of Orientalism transformed into collectable home decor.

Published by pernodel

Children’s literature critic and author of books for children

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