Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog #3

Blog #3
Christina Nguyen

Week three of this challenge went by like a breeze! I have been extremely busy so had not had any time to shop or even venture onto fashion aggregate sites that would tempt me into purchasing something I don’t need. I think it is these sites that get me in the most trouble.  When I look at sites like Pintrest, I start to spot pieces that I like and so want. But since I am on a budget, I would write these items down and bring them with me for when I go thrift shopping and try to look for them there. But in times when I do not have time to shop or money, I spend time trying to mix things up with my outfits and playing around with the items that I already have. In doing so, I have found that I have a handful of clothes I no longer wear and so I hope to be able to find new homes for them.

When thinking about my sense of style, I realize that I rarely own anything with words on them (unless it is from a conference/retreat/club t-shirt). I really dislike sporting brands, graphics, or words. I think I grew up that way since my dad is like this as well. While my father and I won’t be seen in these types of clothing, I understand that others are quite comfortable with this. When reading Jenny Strasburg’s article, “ Abercrombie & Glitch: Asian Americans Rip Retailer for Stereotypes on T-shirt” I was astonished that something like these shirts could be created and sold. The statements and images printed on these shirts perpetuate stereotypes of “Asians” and as the author writes “denigrates Asian men” (Strasburg). I am also at awe at how the company can justify such an action by saying that they tease everyone equally. While they issued an apology, it would not have been done without the social pressure placed on the company. It is saddening to know that without this external pressure, it may not have been seen as an issue.  I showed this picture to a friend who identifies as API. I asked him what he thought of it and he did not find it offensive. He thought it was humorous and did not take it seriously. It was not until explaining its implications did he become aware that it could be offensive. Fashion can have such a large impact on society since it is far-reaching. How else has fashion perpetuated stereotypes?

Victoria's Secret "Sexy Little Geisha" Lingerie 

Back in 2012, Victoria Secret released their “Go East” Lingerie Collection, which included their “Sexy Little Geisha” outfit. This set included chopsticks, fan, and removable obi sash. On the Victoria website, this outfit was advertised as:“Your ticket to an exotic adventure: a sexy mesh teddy with flirty cutouts and Eastern-inspired florals. Sexy little fantasies, there’s one for every sexy you” (Amaya 2012).  Negative backlash grew in response to the release of this collection. This lingerie has been seen as racist and perpetuating negative cultural stereotypes. While some see this geisha-themed lingerie this way, others do not see it this way. Scrolling through comments some express discontent for the people who seek out racism. One comment reads “There are those that will find racism in everything. That's because they make every effort to find it. I am a little curious as to how they know an "entire continent" was offended” (“imgrumpy2” Fox News).  Another individual, states “It's lingerie, not politics” (“nomoreniceguy” Fox News). It is quite interesting how this individual makes the distinction between the two because as I have learned in this class, fashion is indeed tied to politics and that the “Sexy Little Geisha” is an example of cultural appropriation.

Inside source: "Abercrombie & Glitch: Asian Americans Rip Retailer for Stereotypes on T-shirts." SFGate. N.p., 18 Apr. 2002. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.

Outside Sources: Amaya. "BrabbleRabble." BrabbleRabble. N.p., 12 Aug. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
McKay, Hollie. "Is Victoria's Secret 'Go East' Geisha-themed Lingerie Racist?" Fox News. FOX News Network, 27 Sept. 2012. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. .

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