October 19 2014, 8pm
Lynn Nguyenis an artist and illustrator living in Sydney Australia. She attended The National Art School and graduated witha BFA in Visual art, focusing on drawing & photography.
October 19 2014, 6pm
The East Asian women + colored hair trope
(An extension of extraextraex’s post.)
Looking at the pictures above, it’s pretty easy to find the similarities. East Asian women with dyed purple/blue/red hair, usually in a streak. No matter how you look at this, this is an uncomfortably specific trend in media. Yeah, it looks cute, but after seeing this over and over again, it becomes a boring, racist trope. This originated from a variety of possibilities: the creators trying to “Americanize” the East Asian character, make them more “exotic”, or to show how unique this character is. She’s not a giggling schoolgirl or a delicate lotus flower, she’s different! See, she has a streak of purple hair (god forbid she dyes it any other color), look how radical that is, look at our modern Dragon Lady!
And yes, Knives dyed her hair to look like Ramona, and yes, Somni-451’s hair is like that to mark her as a clone, but these characters do not exist in a vacuum. You can justify why a character has a specific appearance, but in the end, this character was created, and contributes to stereotypes no matter the intent.
So the moral of this story is that your Asian character with a strip of purple hair isn’t original. It isn’t unique. No matter how innocent this appears to be, it can be detrimental to East Asian girls, since the characters that look like them have the same exact traits. It’s time to explore different ways of designing East Asian characters, instead of just slapping on some purple and calling it a day.
FIRST OF ALL
IS AN ASIAN WOMAN WEARING PART OF HER HAIR COLORED “RACIST????”
Does it OFFEND East Asian people?? Does it make fun of their culture?? Their race??? Becuase hearing bullshit like a piece of colored hair being RACIST it literally the most ridiculous fucking thing i’ve ever heard.
Sure it’s a popular stylistic choice but holy fuck don’t go accusing a popular stylistic choice and deem it as being racist without proof that it’s offending asian women for real jfc
I’m Asian, and i personally believe that wearing colored hair would look beautiful regardless of what race you are. Black, white, hispanic, asian, etc.
So please don’t go shitting on a stylistic choice and deem it as fucking racist. How about you go attack someone that’s deeming a race as “exotic” with proof that it is instead of complaining about the little shit involving characters in media. Y’all are never pleased
I am a Chinese-descent Indonesian, and I’ll just tell you why this offends me.
Now of course everyone can have their stance on anything. Some people may be offended by this, some may not be. This issue in particular do not at all make fun of East Asian Culture, so it’s not racist in that manner.
What it is, however, is simplifying and stereotyping. Now I only know a few of these female characters, so do correct me if I’m wrong, but what I’m seeing is that all of them except for Tina from Glee are some sort of “strong athletic fighter Asian woman”. I mean, sure, being athletic, strong, and confident isn’t a bad thing in itself, but when every other asian woman is portrayed that way, people start to develop a stereotype.
I’ve known many women of the Chinese ancestry through my lifetime, living here in South East Asia, but I can tell you that not once have I ever seen a woman with that coloured streak thing. not once.Instead I often see women with their whole hair dyed brown or golden, and I can understand. that. Getting that coloured streak requires you to bleach only that single streak of hair, which I think is just a lot of work. People would rather get their whole hair bleached and coloured.
I am not saying that the coloured streak thing is a bad style or whatever. I’m just asking, where did that even come from? Why is every other Asian woman in media like that? Even from this list alone, Blink and Psylocke from the same franchise has almost exact same hairstyles with exact same colours .
East Asian women and pretty much Asian people in general is more than that. We’re not just some “Kung Fu-fighting eccentric-haired purple-loving people” you know. Even just in the matter of hairstyle alone, a lot of us actually like it to stay black. Some of us like it a bit lighter, and only a handful of us actually want to dye it some unnatural colour. So yeah, I personally hate this trope, and I’d rather have Asian people represented as we actually are.
Another asian here to show you these other characters that do not have this hairstyle
Seriously guys, if you take all the Asian characters WITH that hairstyle OF FUCKING COURSE it’s gonna look like EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM look like that
There’s so many other Asian characters that don’t have that god damn hairstyle like-
Seeing how many people follow DualityDiscretion’s logic, just because they didn’t see it means they aren’t there at all.
Have you ever considered which part of the country you are in. I live in Malaysia and in the big city and, heck, even in my state AND neighbouring state ( Johor Bahru ) there’s a lot of people there that coloured their hair LIKE THIS. No, their hair isn’t purple, it’s usually red or blue.
-Also consider the time of the year. Asian countries usually have stricter rules than the Western ones when it comes to jobs and education. You cannot have dyed hair when you’re schooling and/or working so during that time period, a lot of them will have to dye their hair black.
During the holidays, there’s a SHIT TON of people with dyed hair. Heck, there’s even MALES with tips coloured like that.
Quit pissing over a few characters that have been like this and focus on the other ones if you are REALLY that offended at how Asian characters have a single stripe in their hair, yeah?
Also whining about characters having this stripe in their hair isn’t going to fucking change anything, the movie/game producers aren’t going to go through your blog and look at that, nod and then immediately change.
i have read both sides of the argument and am coming away from it very confused because both sides have valid points
In the end I think it’s tumblr just stirring up shit where it doesn’t really matter again
I’m Asian. I dye my hair. Am I a stereotype?
I’m white, so I can’t claim to have much of a opinion here (because I’m not the one being stereotyped) but both sides frankly make a lot of sense. This could either been seen as a problem that needs to be addressed\changed, or not. Meh. Personally I don’t think it’s a big deal, but again, I’m white so I obviously can’t speak for Asian women about how they feel they’re being portrayed in the media. I’ve seen a lot of Asian characters without dyed hair, it definitely isn’t EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER as the original poster suggested.
I’m also on the ‘Everyone’s making valid points’ fence, but there’s a few things that have bothered me since I saw this post in it’s smaller form.
First… I like this hair style.
It was literally my go-to hair colour for years before I started working places that wouldn’t let you have ‘unnatural’ hair colours. I’ve had everything from blue, to pink, to purple, to red, to blond, to grey.
Where I’m from, women of all sorts of backgrounds have wild colours in their hair. I usually see 8 of these women in passing on my way home from work. Though the newest trend is to shave portions of the hair and leave the rest really long. It’s all very… 90s comic book hair.
Which brings me to my actual reason for replying…
Blink - Clarice Ferguson
First appearance - October 1994
The entire reason for her creation was that Marvel needed a likable character that they could kill off. Joe Mad was asked if he had any in his arsenal, and he chose Blink, because she’s fun to draw. Blink is an elf girl with pink skin and pink hair and pure green eyes. She is not, in fact, Asian, but rather was born in Cartusia, Bahamas, before moving to Miami when she was 4.
The woman who played her in the movie happened to be Asian. This had no baring on the character having pink hair.
Psylocke - Elizabeth Braddock
First appearance - December 1976
Elizabeth Braddock was born a blonde, white woman. She was the sister of Captain Britain, a professional model who dyed her hair purple.
In 1993, Marvel writer Fabian Nicieza created another character named Kwannon. Kwannon was the lover of Matsuo Tsurayaba. Without getting into details, the two ended up fighting each other, and during the fight he accidentally left her brain dead.
Matsuo was told by Spiral that Betsy was the best option to save his lover, because of the fact that both of them had psionic powers. He agreed, and Spiral used alien technology and magic to mess with their minds and with their DNA, until the two looked like they could be twins.
So, yes, Psylocke looks Japanese, but she was not born that way, and her purple hair has been part of her back story since the 70s.
Akima Kunimoto suffers from 90s hair. See Marvel’s AoA Rogue and Image/DC’s Freefall (both of whom are white) for more examples of this hair. Yes, the movie came out in 2000, but when do you think the initial character concept was created?
Miko comes from a very strict Japanese family. She resented them for trying to put her into this specific good little girl bubble, which is why she jumped at the chance to move to America for a year on an exchange program. Like you might expect from a jr. high school kid getting out from their parents’ watchful eye, she latched onto all things different, including metal music (She’d been raised on classical) and dying her hair. This is something that, according to my Japanese professor (A woman with a masters in developmental psychology from Ochanomizu University, Tokyo), is common place in Japanese children visiting foreign places on their own for the first time. Granted, that was 12 years ago, so maybe things have changed?
Tina spends the entire series of Glee exploring who she is and who her family expects her to be. I’m fairly certain that they get into this exploration in the series, though she is so poorly written and unlikable by the end that I don’t really pay attention to her story anymore.
I don’t remember Nikki’s full backstory, but I’m pretty sure hers also has something to do with her family. They get into it in an episode where she’s supposed to go see her grandmother(?) but I’ve only seen it in pieces when flipping through channels, so I’m not certain on that.
It’s been a while since I saw Scott Pilgrim, but doesn’t Knives’ blue hair have something to do with a Ramona obsession? I mean, she goes from this:
Now, some of these other pictures you’ve displayed leave me wondering. I don’t know why they felt the need to give Yukio red hair (Other than the fact that it makes her look like Lady Deathstrike from that old 90s cartoon, and maybe someone was confused…?). I imagine it has something to do with making her stand out as a main character. Like how when you see a bunch of soldiers in a movie, you can pick out the main characters by looking to see who’s wearing a helmet. Same thing with Mako Mori; obviously she’s going to be someone special, she has BLUE HAIR, and if anime has taught me anything, that means she’s a main character.
I don’t know the characters GoGo Tomago, Juniper Lee, or Somni-451, so I can’t comment on those three. I imagine that they fall somewhere between ‘Because it looks cool’ and ‘Why not?’ but who knows. Maybe it was as simple as wanting to do something different for merchandising.
But then, what do I know. I grew up in the 80s, and our heroes all had crazy hair colours. I never really took offense to Asha or Frosta or Crystal Starr.
October 19 2014, 9am
I waited and waited and then I realized that life isn’t as simple as fairy tales made them. That the knights in shining armor will not come because they don’t exist. There’s only a lone figure sitting on a cold empty bench, gazing listlessly into the dark canyon as the crickets chirp softly to the sound of nothing.
October 19 2014, 8am
Tilt and balance.
Back when I first started drawing them in 2011, the Keeper had antlers and the spellmaker had horns. I’d phased them out by 2012 because I kept thinking about how uncomfortable it would be for them to sleep lying down. Their current antler/horn-less states are more mundane, but I sleep better knowing they also sleep better.
October 18 2014, 2pm
(… one could also follow me on Twitter for the drama that is the birth of these /sigh)
Edit: Luffy is playing TWEWY!