Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations. If you've been on the blog, you know how this Tumblr works, too. Including the moderation policy.
Recent Tweets @racialicious

In case you missed it, Victoria’s Secret recently launched a new lingerie collection. Entitled “Go East,” it’s the kind of overt racism masked behind claims of inspired fashion and exploring sexual fantasy that makes my skin crawl.

From the website: “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.” The collection varies in its level of exoticism. The “Sexy Little Geisha” is a perversion of its reference, featuring a sultry white model donned in lingerie, chopsticks in her hair, fan in her hand. Other items in the collection include red sleepwear and nightgowns with cherry blossoms. I might have glossed over some of these pieces entirely–except the catalog descriptions had me reeling. “Indulge in touches of Eastern delight.” Translation: “Buying these clothes can help you experience the Exotic East and all the sexual fantasies that come along with it, without all the messy racial politics!”

When someone creates a collection like this, making inauthentic references to “Eastern culture” (whatever that means) with hints of red or a fan accessory or floral designs, it reinforces a narrative that says that all Asian cultures–and their women–are exotic, far away but easy to access. It’s a narrative that says the culture can be completely stripped of its realness in order to fulfill our fantasies of a safe and non-threatening, mysterious East.

But when a company takes it one step further by developing a story about how the clothes can offer a sort of escape using explicit sexualized and exploitive language, it takes the whole thing to another level. It’s a troubling attempt to sidestep authentic representation and humanization of a culture and opt instead for racialized fetishizing against Asian women.

  1. twiggy4774 reblogged this from muchanimal-veryfeminism-wow
  2. highersensations54 reblogged this from muchanimal-veryfeminism-wow
  3. tempiraniandiasporas reblogged this from yourfriendlycomrade
  4. legocaltrops reblogged this from unwinona
  5. cuves4daze reblogged this from zappedandrowsdowered
  6. aimysidney reblogged this from ribojessi
  7. zappedandrowsdowered reblogged this from ribojessi
  8. grimdarkside reblogged this from vaprwave
  9. vaprwave reblogged this from yourfriendlycomrade
  10. h--alcy0n reblogged this from spagnoot
  11. zoeclegg reblogged this from stupidstagramm
  12. stupidstagramm reblogged this from emojniall
  13. colourfromtheheart reblogged this from criesbc1d
  14. emojniall reblogged this from feministbuffy
  15. feministbuffy reblogged this from samanticshift
  16. samevvada reblogged this from unwinona
  17. zerianquestionssleep reblogged this from unwinona
  18. ericurryisinahurry reblogged this from stupidandcynical
  19. wvnderfuck reblogged this from stupidandcynical
  20. stupidandcynical reblogged this from unwinona
  21. danniscorner reblogged this from unwinona
  22. cryptix23 reblogged this from out-there-on-the-maroon
  23. spiderfox reblogged this from unwinona
  24. thepeoplesmemecircus reblogged this from boyexemplified
  25. myradish reblogged this from yourfriendlycomrade
  26. out-there-on-the-maroon reblogged this from yourfriendlycomrade
  27. doodlebugsburn reblogged this from yourfriendlycomrade
  28. yourfriendlycomrade reblogged this from tajflova
  29. tajflova reblogged this from samanticshift
  30. mergowyn reblogged this from unwinona
  31. natecrowder reblogged this from unwinona
  32. cosimalepetitchiot reblogged this from alchemicalqueer
  33. alchemicalqueer reblogged this from samanticshift