Chinese photographer praised for using Chinese model to break down Western people’s stereotypes of Asians

(People's Daily Online) 13:51, January 28, 2022

Recently, a Chinese photographer’s series of photos, which feature three models from different ethnicities using a similar makeup style, entitled “All in Love,” has won widespread praise on the Internet, after it made an appearance on a billboard in New York’s iconic Times Square.

(Photo/Luo Bing)

Netizens have spoken highly of the photographer Luo Bing for using a Chinese model without accentuated “slanted” eyes, which is often the product of makeup designs or racialized facial expressions that often appear in the commercial advertisements of international fashion brands and serve to perpetuate stereotypical images of Asians among Westerners.

In one photo, a Chinese model stands next to two other models, one of African descent and the other being Caucasian.

“This is how Chinese women are really like,” commented a netizen on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. “That’s the normal aesthetic tastes,” another Weibo user said.

The praise for Luo’s photo comes in the aftermath of recent controversial photos in commercial advertisements featuring models with “slanted-eyes,” all intentionally “fine-tuned” through the application of makeup, including another Chinese photographer Chen Man’s distasteful photos for luxury brand Dior and Chinese food brand Three Squirrels’ off-putting posters.

(Photo/Luo Bing)

In the West, there is a long history of using “slanted eyes” to discriminate against Chinese people and Asians. An early-20th century novel features a Chinese villain called Fu Manchu, who was pictured with prototypical “slanted eyes” and is commonly considered to be a personification of the “yellow peril,” a metaphorical concept that represents Asians as a threat to Western society.

The “slanted eyes” stereotype isn’t just a racist symbol of the past, and it still flourishes to this day. In August 2021, the Juventus women’s football team in Italy posted an offensive picture of a player making a “slant-eyed gesture” against Thailand players while wearing a training cone on her head. The online post of the incident later provoked fury on social media.

A few days ago just this year, a man flashed a “slant-eye” gesture at a group of Asian students from Northwestern University in the U.S. during a basketball game, and was soon ejected from the game.


Luo, who once took part in a Stop Asian Hate rally in the U.S. to protest against rising racism toward Asians in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, said he wanted to show that all women, regardless of their skin color, are beautiful.

He added that he would continue to take photographs to show the world what are considered real Chinese aesthetic tastes.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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