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The Sexual Bonds of Racial Stardom

The notorious Hollywood machine has been adopting blind approaches toward the portrayal of racial stereotypes and the enhancement of sexualization and objectification in movies. The problem of representing women of color and female characters in movies, in general, has not been resolved fully since the conception of the problem, although certain positive tendencies can be observed currently.

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In her work, Celine Parreñas Shimizu addresses the issue of objectifying Asian women in Hollywood cinema, pointing to the presence of a deeper and more troubling concern of the contemporary media. Although Shimizu acknowledges the positive shift in the representation of races in the Hollywood cinema, she also makes a legitimate statement concerning the idea of the sexualization of women of color in the Hollywood cinema as an ongoing trend, thus calling for the necessity to introduce change to the current perception of Asian women in media.

The phenomenon of female sexualization coupled with the tendency to dehumanize women of color in Hollywood cinema has been discussed extensively. Nonetheless, adding the perspective of a representative of the specified vulnerable group contributes extensively to the discussion. The significance of Shimizu’s analysis is very high since she provides her perspective on the problem and outlines possible solutions to it (McLoughlin 62).

Specifically, the qualities that are typically associated with an Asian woman, including being servile and self-sacrificing, as well as a perfect representation of a devoted wife, are predominant in the characters that are created for Asian women to impersonate in movies (Shimizu 59). The lack of diversity in the movies that are geared toward general audiences and, therefore, are likely to gain the greatest number of views is a legitimate source of concern when viewing it from the standpoint of equality and equity in modern culture.

The stereotypes concerning the role of women, in general, and women belonging to racial minorities, in particular, run the gamut from mildly uncomfortable to downright harmful and causing a disturbing effect on the perception of the specified demographic by the rest of the American population. Thus, with modern cinema not only failing to subvert these tropes but also perpetuating them, it is critical to build awareness and encourage change in the contemporary representation of Asian women in movies. The Hollywood standard of character creation and moviemaking needs to be changed, starting from how Asian women are framed, and continuing with the alterations of the roles that they play (Dave et al. 48).

Although several active characters portrayed by Asian actresses have been introduced in the contemporary film industry, the specified instances are not enough to create a new image of an Asian woman in American society. By shifting the focus toward exploring trends in the portrayal of Asian women in the American media, one will be able to make a positive change and promote greater diversity.

By pointing to the succession in the portrayal of Asian women in Hollywood cinema, Shimizu makes a very compelling statement concerning the unceasing process of sexualization as the key trend with Asian actresses in the Hollywood domain. The lack of voice in shaping characters and making them less stereotypical and more dimensional affects the portrayal of Asian women in the American cinema, thus contributing to the reinforcement of racial stereotypes and the enhancement of biases within American society. Thus, it is critical to consider the strategies for introducing changes to American cinema and the approaches toward depicting Asian women in movies.

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Works Cited

Dave, Shilpa, et al. Global Asian American Popular Cultures. NYU Press, 2016.

McLoughlin, Linda. A Critical Discourse Analysis of South Asian Women’s Magazines: Undercover Beauty. Springer, 2017.

Shimizu, Celine Parreñas. The Hypersexuality of Race. Duke University Press, 2007.

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