understated cool

vorpalgirl  asked:

Mod Jess said in the 1st chronological post in the "Dragon Lady" tag: "I think when it comes to Asian ladies, they immediately fall into the Dragon Lady stereotype whenever they get angry, no matter what kind of angry it is." Been pondering that, b/c everywhere else lists it as a specific set of traits derived from racist pulp fiction portrayals (not just "angry"), but that sounds more like "Asian equivalent of Angry Black Woman". Makes me wonder. What're your current thoughts/feelings on this?

Anger in the Dragon Lady vs. Angry Black Woman Stereotype

It’s tempting to make superficial comparisons like this, because hearing about specific emotions that fall into multiple stereotypes leads you to think that the root of stereotyping is tied to individual emotions and how they present. Stereotypes are, instead, meant to reinforce a behaviour or belief set about an ethnicity, and as a result cannot be compared on traits.

As a result, our thoughts are that you’re drawing a false comparison without understanding the history and beliefs behind the stereotypes.

Asian women are taken as submissive, and Dragon Ladies are understated, cool anger… when Angry Black Woman is the polar opposite of this, as being loud, brash, and bold. Whiteness views them as extremely different people, and uses the tools to reinforce completely different behaviour sets.

While some stereotypes do indeed share root similarities— Magical Negro and Magical Native American both fall under “x ethnicity has special powers inherent to being x ethnicity"— most do not. Making comparisons like this without understanding the behaviours that are being perpetuated leads to only revealing more ignorance, instead of making you sound educated.
Stereotypes do not come from “x people express emotions in y way”; stereotypes come from “x people should behave in y way, which influences all emotional expressions allowed and imagined.” Of course stereotypes are going to cover the same emotions, because people only have so many emotions. They just express them in different ways, and different people will have different default sets of behaviour.

What racist stereotypes do is limit the set of default behaviours allowed down to a single note. Angry East Asian women are Dragon Ladies because white people assume all Asian women are submissive and restrained in their behaviour, and that falls in line with the Dragon Lady stereotype— clinically calculated, refined, seductive, and deadly. Angry Black Women are their own stereotype because all Black women are loud and hot-tempered— motivated by exploding at the smallest provocation from a chip on their shoulder.

Most racist stereotypes are reinforcing different sets of behaviour, founded in totally different beliefs from centuries of white people creating certain images for certain ethnicities. Dragon Ladies have their roots in the “dangerous Asian who will seduce then kill you” stereotype, while Angry Black Women come from “slaves complain about everything” stereotype. The two do not mix.

You need to have a much deeper understanding of stereotypes before you go throw around comparisons such as this. It is hurtful to try and flatten individual ethnicities’ experiences with “both of these stereotypes impact the same emotion, therefore you’re similar, right?” It’s the same logic that drives “Japan and China are close enough I can blend the two cultures easily, right?” or “Native Americans are all the same, right?”. Just because we have some tenants of shared oppression and limitations in our expression does not mean our experiences are the same. Individual stereotypes should be taken as individual stereotypes until proven otherwise.


I'm Stuck on My Baby
Irene and the Scotts
I'm Stuck on My Baby

Irene And The Scotts - I’m Stuck on My Baby (1967)

There are lots of things I like about this gritty soul song - Irene’s wailing vocals, the guitar, and the horns. But I gotta say that I am most enamored with the sax solo. No, not an impassioned, honkin’ solo, but a cool, understated solo in which every note counts. Produced by Motown Funk brother Bob Babbitt .
As The xx gear up to tour their new album, I See You, Oliver Sim reflects on a new version of himself

It was during The xx’s residency at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in March 2014 that Oliver Sim found out what stardom really looks like. “Those shows were crazy,” he says of their 25 performances at the former military headquarters on the Upper East Side. “The response we got, the people who came, the whole experience was mind-blowing.” Each night - at an event more like an art installation than a gig - the band performed encircled by an audience of just 40 people, who watched them play in complete silence. On the last night, A-list attendees included Jay Z, Beyoncè, Björk, Anohni and filmmakers Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. “Throughout the show I was facing (co-vocalist) Romy, and Madonna was standing directly behind her,” he says, reliving the moment. “Every time my gaze went up an inch, I was staring straight at her. It was surreal.”

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Bullitt (1968)

Plot: San Francisco undercover cop Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) and his team are assigned to keep a witness safe, only to see him shot and killed. Now Bullitt is in a race against time to bring the killers to justice.

Review: Bullitt is one of those movies that has become iconic, and a film which everybody should watch at least once.

The film isn’t perfect, but it has so many moments which ooze class and quality. Not least is the now famous chase scene that sees classic cars tear through the streets of San Francisco at high speed - with McQueen doing as much as possible without a stunt man. And while it may have put the insurance costs up, it was worth it for the authenticity it brings to the scene. But then McQueen is great as the titular policeman, giving a lesson in understated cool that a lot of actors now could really learn from.

The problem isn’t in the iconic moments that the film gives us, but is instead between them. Robert Vaughn thinks this is the best work of his career, and it might be, but apart from a sneer in a suit, it’s hard to see what he gives the picture besides a proxy villain in place of a real one. The lack of a mastermind to a grand scheme is obvious, and while the story moves at a nice pace, a true nemesis would have been nice.

The plot of Bullitt has aged pretty well, no doubt in part due to the fact it was so influential for a generation of filmmakers that followed it, allowing it to seem more contemporary. The word icon is thrown around so much and so needlessly, it’s a pleasure to be reminded of what it should mean. 

I am now going to read way too deeply into Solas and his gloves.

I made this its own post? Lol.

@the-emerald-halla replied to your photoset “the-emerald-halla: World of Thedas: Volume II - Solas “He decorated…”

Ever since I read your thing about him fussing with his gloves during his personal quest, I’ve really noticed it every time!

Oh my god, halla! I mean why does this feel like such a defining feature to me? I need to unpack this a bit. Keep in mind a lot of this may just be me, lol. But I feel like his behavior during “All New Faded for Her” did more to craft my reading of Solas than any other single moment in the game. The glove-fussing in particular almost seems like this combination of focus and decorum with real pent-up aggression. Possibly because he’s angry when he does it–it’s almost like he’s channeling his anger into his accessories. How interesting.

To me, this indicates a deep kind of focus, as well as a practiced sartorial awareness, which then, to me, indicates his status. Dorian and Vivienne may bully him mercilessly over his “hobo” sensibility, but Solas is highly intelligent and, in more ways than one, seems groomed in a certain way that both grants him his charm and social confidence (like in his early flirtation with Lavellan and behavior at the Winter Palace), as well as enables him to enjoy the finer things (ie: frilly cakes!). Still, Solas is anything but flashy. He is understated. His clothing may not be “fashionable” per the modern standards of Orlais, but he pays attention to his accessories–whether they are furs or gloves or belts or the wrappings on his hands and feet or the fact that he wears that jaw amulet. All are carefully designed to communicate “apostate hobo,” but I imagine that everything Solas wears is made of high quality textiles and constructed with the utmost care. He is making a rhetorical choice not to stand out, and that well-controlled, “proper” etiquette he’s got is a handy guard, but then cue All New Faded for Her, and it becomes clear that when the shit hits the fan, Solas is not always the understated, cool cucumber we may think he is.

This entire quest, and this compulsion in particular, communicates to me another side of Solas, particularly the more reckless, aggressive side that we rarely see in-game. It makes sense to me that the name of the quest is an anagram of “Dread Wolf Fen’Harel.” I feel that this is one of the only times in DA: I that we get a glimpse at what Solas was like as a warrior and a rebel, before the Veil and before the Big Sleep, and when he was not playing the political game of allies and enemies. This entire quest (to me, at least) sort of captures Solas as a product of rugged, reckless youth and anger, combed over with this intellectually arrogant, almost high society sheen. He is angry as all fuck when those mages corrupt his spirit friend, but in his initial lashing out, he is collected. He focuses on his accessories. It is very particular in this way that I’m sure I’m reading too much into at this point, but hey what is reality when I have such sweet fantasy to cling to?

What To Wear While Streaming NYFW

New York Fashion Week is here—and while little compares to catching all the front-row action, watching from the comfort of your couch with your hair in a top bun comes pretty close. Thanks to the magic of livestreams, you can see the hottest shows instantly—but that doesn’t mean you need to skimp on style.  We’ve put together the perfect looks for your streaming parties—so grab your girls, get comfy and prepare for Spring/Summer ’16!


We’re in a LTR with everything sporty, and it’s getting serious. Think skinny joggers, bold logos, striped cuffs and waistbands. No hand-eye coordination required.


There’s no better way to get cozy than to curl up in a chunky knit sweater. Go for heathered shades and statement Nordic prints. Just add friends & ice cream.


Channel that cool, understated look that launched a thousand 90’s-inspired Instagrams. Soft tees & tanks meet loose, model-off-duty shapes and mesh details. Watch the runways for the next new simply sexy trend.

Need more cozy inspo? Check out our entire clothing collection.

Fancy Flats

In defense of the cool, understated dress flat

We’ll never swear off high heels for good, but a fun night shouldn’t come packaged with cramped feet and red blisters. There are a ton of great dressy flats out there that make heels look boring in comparison. You may not get the added height bonus, but chances are you’ll feel ten times more comfortable and look all the more confident for wearing something a bit more unexpected. The next time you dress up, think understated and elegant, and don’t rule out flats. Choose from the chicest new slip-ons, ballet slippers and loafers below and see where the night takes you.

Milan street style via Le 21eme


Pointed Flatform Sandals

ASOS LITTLE ROCK Pony Ballet Flats

Lace and suede point-toe flats

Amirah Flat

MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS contrast ballerinas

Ballet Flats

Deco Ballerina Flats

Leather Ballet Flats

‘Stephney’ T-Strap Flat (Women)

Mesh Suede Flat

Brigitte Flat


Farrah Loafer Flat

Gaston Slip-On Loafer

Slipped Heel Penny Loafers

MARNI Moccasins

Marlee Loafer

Shop more fancy flats here.

I gotta say, as much as I occasionally find myself seriously disagreeing with the president, I think he’s the most intelligent one we’ve had in my lifetime. I read his books, watched more of his major speeches than most folks I know, and heck, I’ve spent the night in his daddy’s hometown in Kenya. His story reminds me of mine. Single mom, living with the grandparents, grew up drawing Batman and Spider-Man for his classmates, tried not to turn into his father. I don’t have his job, and it’s easy for me to take pot-shots at his choices sometimes, but he tends to come out on top of a lot of his battles by playing a pragmatic long-game, which often *doesn’t* involve himself getting the credit. He’s not playing “the game,” he’s winning his. Again, I can relate. Also, it’s hard to understate how cool it is to have a president who has one side of his family tree dating back to the Revolutionary War, and on the other, is a first-generation American. That’s just boss as hell. Anyway. Little fandom moment. For all the things I wish he’d do or not do, or do faster, he’s been a pretty sharp president. I’m looking forward to reading the insider stuff after he’s out of office. You know, during Warren’s first term. ;)
—  Over on a pal’s Facebook wall, a few of us comics creators were chatting about the president, the old Birther arguments, and in the middle of it, I took a break from repeating the basic facts of the birth certificate issue (guys, he released it during the 2008 campaign. I have a copy of it), to articulate some of what I think about the man. I want him to be better, to do better, but I’d still pick him over any of the other folks who have had his job in the last three decades.
1. She was my mentor.

She and Lexa have been dating for six months before Clarke gets to meet the ‘famous’ Anya in person. Lexa might try to be understated and cool, but Clarke’s fairly sure she’s barely gone a day without referencing Anya.

“Anya gave me this record, you should listen to it…”

“So there’s a new restaurant I think we should check out, Anya recommended it to me…”

“Well I guess it’s technically a scotch but Anya says the taste is more reminiscent of an Armagnac…”

“I need a different jacket if I’m going to wear those flats, Anya says the cut really doesn’t work…”

Given Lexa’s exacting standards and practiced indifference towards many other things Clarke later found out she was adorably enthusiastic about (dogs, cooking, candles) her unbridled admiration throws all expectations out of the window.

Lexa makes Anya sound like she has every worthwhile quality in the world. Clarke’s not often intimidated, but she will admit to feeling a little disquiet about the whole situation.

“So who is Anya… to you?” Clarke asks cautiously, about five minutes drive from the restaurant where they’re meeting Anya.

“She was my mentor,” Lexa replies with a faint smile.