The cultural stereotype of Asian women as sexual, exotic and submissive objects is historically dated back in the Western colonization of various Asian countries. Asian women were viewed as objects to be possessed. Asian women are portrayed in the media as sexual objects. Asian women identities of being Asian females no longer exist because their sense of individuality was viewed by Westerner as “Asians”. Asian women who immigrated to the United States were only seen as an exotic object. During the US involvement with wars in Japan, China and World war II, Asian women were perceived as prostitutes and sexual objects to American soldiers because they had provided sexual activities from the war zones. Asian women at home who are expected to be domestic by providing care, rest and recuperation. These stereotypes led throughout the years have been perpetuated in media and films. By showing Asian women as only sexual beings in films and the media, this then offers Asian women only two choices in films to either be naïve and hopeless or untrustworthy and devious.
Although throughout the years, the media had made improvements to eliminate stereotypes from films, televisions and advertisement of Asian women it is still arguable that the sexploitation of Asian women is still apparent. There are more Asian women who play in films such as actress Lucy Liu who plays in Charlie’s Angels. She is one of the most well-known Asian women actresses who play one of the main characters; however they still make her looks erotic in the film. There is also an actress name Brenda Song who plays a not so smart rich girl in the Suite life of Zack and Cody. Though, her character is a normal character and there isn’t a stereotypical portrayal on the show, it is very rare to see that an Asian woman plays a non-stereotypical character. I feel that I can name more movies that have Asian women in film that plays a sexual object in films oppose to Asian women that plays a non-stereotypical character of an Asian women.
Studies show that how Asian Americans are portrayed in the media began only in the 1990’s. Asian American representation is sparse and often virtually invisible and when Asian American is assigned a role they are narrowly defined roles based on the model minority stereotype. American entertainment media have defined the Asian image to the public, and usually, that image has been shaped by people with little understanding of Asian people and their culture and with the little foresight into how such portrayals would impact the Asian community. These stereotypes portray Asian Americans as lacking in leadership, innovation and motivation. More often, many Asian Americans encounter a point that prevents them from being promoted to a main character movie role or a top administrative position.
I didn’t think too much before about how the world portrays Asian women. I knew the typical stereotypes that Asian people had which was being nerdy and anti-social. I do remember when I was in high school; I was speaking to one of my teacher about how excited I was to go off to college. She then told me “to be careful because American men tend to take advantage of Asian women”. That was the first encounter I had with realizing that Asian women are portrayed as being exotic sexual objects. Also, Asian women are also known as being “mail order brides” meaning that Asian women are desperate to come to America so therefor they are willing to marry any American men. I notice that when people see an Asian woman with an American man they start to think that she was probably a mail order bride. That shows a valid reason how people portray Asian women. However, that is arguable because I know many couples who are in a happy interracial relationship and the Asian woman is far from a mail order bride.
Asian women aren’t only as portrayed as a sexual object but they are also portrayed and being nerdy or anti- social. People tend to think that Asian people are all smart and usually Asian women are raised to be perfect and successful. That is because their parents emigrated from another country and didn’t have the chance to go to college so therefore they push their children extra hard to study, finish school and find a good job. Asian women come off as being quiet and vulnerable, which they are portrayed as being anti- social. That dates back to how Asian women are brought to be domestic house wives and they are raised to respect their husbands and elders to not speak back, it’s their culture. Being raised the way they are, makes them be anti-social to society.
After analyzing one of my sources the TV show “Fresh off the boat” it made me to believe the stereotype of Asian women is still an issue. The TV show is based off a memoir of Chef Eddie Huangs life. Since my identity is Asian women, I mainly analyze the Asian woman that plays the mother. I think the show makes good points on which some things as being Asian in general I can relate too but I also feel that some things on the show can be offensive. The mom on the show portrays many stereotypical ways of how an Asian woman is portrayed. She is a stay at home mother, which is typical for Asian women. She has a heavy accent which is something I can relate too growing up because my parents are immigrants. They made her be very “cheap” which another stereotype of Asian people is. They didn’t make her as submissive as most movies with Asian women in them because this show is more of a family show.
My secondary source was a YouTube video I found on YouTube called “18 different types of Asian girls.” After analyzing this video, it wasn’t helping the stereotypes of Asian women. This video explained basically every type of Asian girl there is. Of course, the submissive Asian women were analyzed as being import models which are basically models wearing little to no clothes and the model with cars. The video also explains how Asian women dress, of course they dress provocatively. They also state the nerdy Asian women that are the smart ones and also they state the quiet good girl Asian girl. After analyzing the video, they were Asian people that made the video and it was an Asian girl that portrayed all these Asian women. The go into detail with each different Asian women and how they are all different. Though, the video was obviously made to show the different types of Asian girls, they brought up obvious stereotypes of Asian women that are still portrayed in our society today.