oriental trend

anonymous asked:

what are your thoughts on white people who are not usually white passing and even in the US could be/are often mistaken for poc and their cultures do not fit in stereotypically western-white societies due to their country's different history and past?

I think that outside of the West, dichotomies of white/nonwhite (or especially white/poc, since “person of colour” is a Western political term) don’t always apply in the same way, and it’s silly to try to collapse regional systems of ethnic or ethno-religious supremacy into any such dichotomy. “are x white” is not always a useful question to ask and it’s not always going to have an easy answer.

as far as people from these regions who are living in the West goes, I think that it’s possible for some of them to pass for/be read as brown just for their phenotypes, which is kind of related to the liminal spaces I talked about re: being white-passing. and at that point, again, you have to consider how free you are to walk through the world (are you able to do that as a “white body”?) vs. material circumstances (how does the way that you’re racialised affect you? are you / your family immigrants and does that affect the way you’re treated, the way you dress/speak/think, the way you navigate the world? is this xenophobia without racism or is there evidence that it’s something racially liminal?) vs. how you think of yourself (do you think of yourself as white or have you been given reason–beyond just your phenotype (bc some people who are def racialised as white in the West and fit into “white” as a political category relating to histories of colonialism, e.g. Spaniards, can be “brown-passing”)–to see yourself as a racial “other”?)

as far as culture goes, I do think that Western Europeans have historically had attitudes towards countries on or at the southwestern borders of Europe that could be called exoticism or Orientalism (see: the trend for Turkish Orientalism in the 18th century, which was of course heavily tied into views on Islam), and that set the stage for how these cultures are viewed in modern Western Europe and even the U.S. (albeit in different ways since our approaches to race and ethnicity in general are different). I’m sure that there’s a lot more to be said on this last point but I am neither a European nor a historian.

warpstargazer-deactivated201510  asked:

I hope im not the only one who notices this, and maybe im just being picky but...has anyone noticed that the only asian mermaids are always koi fish? Like, it seems to me like everyone else gets to be the interesting things like octopi, sharks, squid, betta fish, but asian mermaids? Oh noo only koi fish because its more ~oriental~. Sorry but this trend makes me so sad and a bit uncomfortable. I want to see E & SE asian mermaids that arent just koi fish. Am i just being weird?

No, you aren’t being weird. Orientalism is a real thing, and just like the other facets of colonialism and racism; it trickles down into stuff like mermaid art rather subtly. Thanks for seeing that, thanks for saying something. I’ll make more of a conscious effort to include images that speak to a wider range of east/southeast/API asian experiences, not just a colonial perspective.