ASAM_FINAL

ASAM_FINAL - Alfred Mai Asian American Studies 146 Final...

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Alfred Mai Asian American Studies 146 Final Paper Dec. 11, 2008 Killing the Lotus Blossom and Dragon Lady American mainstream media has always had a helping hand in the generalizations of certain groups of people . Hollywood has contributed a lot to stereotypes about minorities in America, especially with Asian American females . Throughout early Hollywood to the present day, two unique stereotypes of Asian American women have stuck on in films: the Lotus Blossom and the Dragon Lady . When Asian females first appeared in film, those two stereotypes have generally been the faceplate for future actresses to follow . Past films such as “The Toll of the Sea” and “The Thief of Baghdad” begin to assemble the stereotypes of the Lotus Blossom and Dragon Lady respectively, while newer films such as “The Transporter” and “Charlie's Angels” are more or less a slightly different reflection of them . Even today, with all the media watchdogs that Asian Americans and minorities have, the Lotus Blossom and Dragon Lady personas seem to be hard to kill . Through the media and through historical events, these two strong yet contradictory stereotypes have haunted Asian American females . The basis and seemingly perpetual status of these two stereotypes can not only be attributed to Hollywood but also historical events between the East and West that have occurred . From the early explorations tot he colonizations to even the modern wars that the West have fought in Asia, Asian females were thought to be of certain characters . Starting from earlier Hollywood films to films that have more recently come out, the two polar generalizations have seen little and not a drastic change in 1
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their basic structure . The Dragon Lady is still the cunning, powerful and sexually seductive while the Lotus Blossom is still quiet and submissive, waiting for her White savior . The actresses that portray these characters are quite known and of course realize the roles they have portrayed . Actresses like Anna May Wong, Nancy Kwan and more recently Lucy Liu have discussed about these stereotypes and have led battles against these portrayals of Asian and Asian American females . The Lotus Blossom and the Dragon Lady stereotypes has changed slightly as modern views of Asians settle in, but American mainstream media has still retained the core views of Asian females as being sexualized and exotic while the hint of the Lotus Blossom and the Dragon lady is ever present . The two predominate stereotypes are yet are almost on polar opposites . The Lotus Blossom is the submissive Asian female, who's only existence seems to be to please the man, or in most cases, the white man . She is very sexual and very submissive, willing to do anything for her lover . Often in films, she quickly falls in love with the White man who is portrayed as some sort of knight that saves the Asian female from her backwards and oppressive culture . The woman is portrayed as a very sexy, feminine and petite woman who is quiet and willing to serve
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ASAM_FINAL - Alfred Mai Asian American Studies 146 Final...

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