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!