Katy Perry is racist now?

This performance at the American Music Awards has been called racist, apparently, because you have a white singer wearing Asian inspired garb. It’s Asian inspired, due to the fact that it seems part Japanese kimono, and part Chinese cheongsam.

Katy Perry is a Japanophile. In a broad sense, that could be seen as a fan of all of Asia. She made her choices not due to ignorance, but because the kimono is hard to dance in, and well… she loves Asia. I too know the love for the east, as I’ve visited the country and seen the sakura blossoms in bloom. It’s very powerful. Her performance is beautiful. If she had done this saying that it was authentic Japanese dance and garb, that would maybe be understandable. I think when one takes influences from another country and performs it for their own, in this case American, it alienates them. Because of this feeling, they lash out at the source.

If Katy Perry’s performance is racist, so is Felicia Day in Indian garb in her Guild music video ‘Game On,’ where hell… she even does an Indian accent at one point!

What’s next? Is the anime character Ranma, a Japanese character who wears a Chinese shirt most of the time, racist for wearing an Indian dress in a picture from an artbook?

For those who think that I’m just ‘not getting it,’ I am. I wish to end this post with video of comedian Lucille Ball, attempting to pull off being an Asian geisha. Why? Because THIS is what can be considered offensive!

And Ms. Perry? Keep twirling your umbrella towards the heavens in the storm of sakura blossoms!

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2 thoughts on “Katy Perry is racist now?

  1. For me, being someone who has been studying the Geisha/Maiko culture for a year now… I have to say I feel very indifferent about this video. I understand why she loves the culture, being someone who loves it myself, I think for the audience that she was performing it for, she did a great job. The colors were beautiful, the song was pretty, the choreography was very beautiful. I know for a fact that before she performed this, she went to Japan and went to Tokyo where she met and was entertained by a couple of Hangyoku (Tokyo’s version of Maiko) And possibly a Geisha. She probably discussed their lives and ways to walk in Tabi so as to not trip on the Kimono, And I do understand why she went with the slits going down the side of the “Kimono” so she could move more freely, if anyone has ever worn a Kimono, they are very constricting and a challenge to move in, unless you are performing a Japanese style dance with the legs close together and the steps small, which she obviously didn’t do. I think it would have probably been nice to see some traditional Japanese dance moves since it seems largely geared towards Japan instead of China. I think the only thing tat more or less “irked” me was all the closed handed bowing, that is’t done in Japan at all and as far as I know, isn’t done in China either. Instead, they usually bow with their hands laid flat in front of their hip area. And the sleeves… I don’t know why they’re so thin… It’s like the thing that halloween shops do. Kimono sleeves are actually as thick as the length of the sleeve, and by that I mean maybe a little thinner than the distance from the shoulder to the wrist. Anyway, if the question is, is this politically correct? Maybe not in the purest form, there are always going to be inaccuracies when things get westernized (Just look at Memoirs of a Geisha) but I also don’t really find this offensive as it wasn’t saying anything like “Japanese women are defenseless and Geisha are prostitutes” It was just using some Asian flare, as inaccurate as it was.

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