The Chinese never die, they only eat rice and they are all the same.
Not to mention the Asian women who in their shyness and reserve are dolls without personality. Do you know what all these statements are? Empty and useless stereotypes that, useless to deny it with false moralisms, are still well rooted in the minds of most people.
Why is it still so difficult today to erase a cliché from our mind that can only block the thought within a useless and more offensive mental scheme? The word stereotype derives from the Greek “stereos” which means hard, solid, rigid and “typos“, imprint, image, group hence “rigid image.” An image that when it takes root in our brain becomes complicated to eradicate.
We still use our beloved stereotypes a lot because these fixed, repetitive and always the same ideas are predictable and help us classify situations. So when we are faced with something new and unexpected we reduce it to quick considerations that others have decided for us, too lazy to activate our brain and think with our heads.
The Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee’s photographs want to think in an autonomous way from what people decides for us. Lee, of Chinese origin and raised in Singapore, collects photographs of the bodies and faces of Asian women questioning how they are portrayed in the media. He has the courage to build his own thought, different from what society imposes and only in this way is it possible to get out of the patterns that people have in their heads.
“I think it’s important to give an alternative view of the female figure in Asia, “Lee reflects.” Not all Asian women are servile, silent, humble and shy.”
With her last project, XING, the researcher and writer tells the stereotyping of a certain social group in a book of photographs. Here in the pages of this photographic collection the stereotypes that limit Asian women to sexual objects or desires are denounced and subverted. There is no doubt that the association of oriental women with sex is more than immediate.
It is from the 1800s that this stereotype that submits Asian women to the power and desire of men begins to take root in our minds. In 1980 the Japanese media defined Asians traveling overseas to reach the US as “yellow cabs“, a term that combines the use of the word “yellow” to refer to Asians and the image of the “taxi” which can be “chased” sometimes ”and taken to your liking.
XING photographies denounce this stereotype with its own currency: showing naked images without shame and any kind of censorship. Images that, by emphasizing and exaggerating a cliché that people have in their heads, manage to subvert it. Faced with the poses of these women, but above all if you meet their gaze, you feel ridiculous even just to have thought for a moment of reducing the complexity of a human being to a banal and limiting stereotype.
“I wanted XING to talk about the preconceptions of what the rest of the world thinks of Asian women, and letting a good portion of the project anchor itself to sexuality was the proper way to kickstart these kinds of conversations.”.
How to fight stereotypes then in the 21st century? One way may be to never get tired of talking about it. That of looking beyond and discovering a person’s true story without simplifying it and reducing it to how we would like it to be.
You might also like
More from Books & Magazines
Francesco Ragazzi tells the story of the new collection with a return to print. It’s not the first time that the founder chose a book, since in 2014 with the Rizzoli publishing house he published a photographic volume, with a
There are those who choose to show the models on the catwalk without the presence of the public for the current restrictions, those who opt for a digital video presentation and those who finally decide to make their debut for