Look….. I’m sorry that this blog is slowly becoming the Gy and Hy Couple Power Hour where each post you see is only about us and the things we have gone through (here comes the but) But, this one is interesting. Last month she had an art show it was very empowering to see and help put up. It was the struggles of Asian women dealing with them being fetishized and the pressures of western forms of beauty. When they are overseas themselves. She’s been to Mexico, Berlin, Japan and United States but why would I tell you when she can. With the help of her roommate, she translated what I guess her “manifesto” into English.
“Going through Imperialism and the Second World War, international order was reassembled according to the male gaze, specifically that of the white, first world male. Such social construct may seem unfamiliar to us as South Korea has always been a ‘legendarily homogeneous’ country, but as soon as we cross another border we are exposed to it many times a day even though we may try to ignore it. Those of ‘color’, thus not of the leading white societies, are subject to racial generalization and degradation. When you are an Asian and a woman, the situation worsens. Asian women are easily fetisized and often expected to be submissive and passive. Objectification, idolization and standardization that stems from a misunderstanding of diverse beauty ideals follow us. Flawlessness – imposed conformation to be without fault – is a virtue that is particularly pressured upon Asian women. Natural phenomena and changes of the body must be hidden in a subtle way. Body hair must be eliminated without a trace; wrinkles and freckles must be disguised while thick makeup is forbidden. Anime-like ‘flawlessness’ must not be imposed upon living bodies and souls. We are flawless, just the way we are. We are easily objectified as either lovers obedient as sheep, empresses fulfilling sexual fantasies or females envious of ‘white beauty’. At the same time we are expected to keep up a perfect appearance. We must object to this reality by internalizing our identities while fighting against such western, white-exclusive, discriminating standards. We must build our own beauty aesthetic, one that we establish ourselves, for ourselves. This aesthetic will be the armament that connects us into a whole new power. Flawless is a story about us.” –HY