Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lime Crime, you still haven't learned anything

Oh LimeCrime, I'm pretty sure this isn't the best way to address the controversy surrounding the Chinadoll campaign. I'll address the blog post she just wrote further down but there's a bit of baiting on Doe's part that I want to cover.

addressing the haters at its worst
Image screencapped from DoeDeereBlogazine.com

It's nice to see that they're more concerned with selling their palettes first then addressing all the controversy surrounding it. Way to passive aggressively bait all the people who have felt so offended by the palette. I'm not offended just for kicks and I'm not hating on the brand just for kicks either so the fact that I and others are getting brushed off is ridiculous.

lime crime awful defense

These tweets by the Lime Crime Twitter were in response to these two tweets, this and this. @OutinaPout said this best, "Aladdin is a retelling of traditional Arabic folk stories, so historical costume is warranted. Not an apt comparison" and I have to agree with that. In what way is Lime Crime's stereotypical description "Don't let her milky skin, pouty mouth and flushed cheeks fool you; underneath the poised facade, there lies a heart of a tigress..." somehow on the same level as a Disney film.

I mean come on, really?

Someone needs to take the wheel of this PR nightmare.

I had written this post last night before they had written a blog responding to the controversy so I'll address the blog now. I took screencaps of the blog post which you can find here but didn't include the pictures attached, however you can see the pictures there.
doe's response part 1
Okay first off, I wasn't offended because it referenced China, I was offended because it was done so in a lackluster and lazy way. Referencing a culture 100% and fully isn't what we're saying, we're saying that you should do it in at least a respectful way!

doe's response part 2
Chinadoll is a character? "Don't let her milky skin, pouty mouth and flushed cheeks fool you; underneath the poised facade, there lies a heart of a tigress..." What kind of character is this?

doe's response part 3
Oh for Christ's sake. Did she miss the part where she describes the "Chinadoll character" in terms of having milky skin, a pouty mouth with flushed cheeks with the heart of a tigress? Many people have spoken out that the qualities she writes are in fact associated with the "China doll" stereotype of Asian people and just because it's not associated with any race in her opinion doesn't mean it actually isn't to others! Saying that she can never be, will never, be stereotyped is a little ridiculous to say when she's referencing stereotyped beliefs.

doe's response part 4

Did Doe miss the next few lines in the definition where it says:

"It describes acculturation or assimilation but can imply a negative view towards acculturation from a minority culture by a dominant culture. It can include the introduction of forms of dress or personal adornment, music and art, religion, language or social behavior. These elements, once remover from their indigenous cultural contexts, can take on meanings that are significantly divergent from, or merely less nuanced than, those they originally held"

I should also note that Doe has said she's read my blog post but I think she may have missed out this vital paragraph that I had written at the top of my post.

"I should preface this by saying that there's nothing wrong with learning about and enjoying another culture. I'm certainly not saying that other people can't be inspired by other cultures or in this case, that non-Asians/outsiders can't enjoy, appreciate, or be a part of an Asian or outside culture. We wouldn't be aware of other cultures if it weren't for people outside the culture seeking to study and learn about it and for members of the culture to want to inform others. Cultures are all different and they're meant to be appreciated for their differences."

She's completely missing the point when she says that the "notion is a little silly". It's other peoples' cultures, they should at least have the right to be offended or bothered when someone appropriates their culture, especially if they're doing it in a bad way. People who are hurt or offended by cultural appropriation aren't saying "You can't do this because you're not ___" it's "You shouldn't profit from my culture considering what we go through". Please read this article about cultural appropriation and how it discusses the concept of whether it's an homage or an insult along with this article on how to NOT culturally appropriate when you wear costumes.

Selling Native American headdresses when they're a revered part of the culture or selling clothing "inspired" by the Navajo is cultural appropriation at its worst. (This is referencing Urban Outfitters' attempt to profit from the Navajo)

Like I said, I don't believe that you have to be ___ to enjoy ___. Putting people into social roles is ridiculous.

doe's response part 5
Like I said above, there's nothing wrong with being inspired by a culture or inspiring another, but there is a fine line between inspiration and appropriation. Letting a dominant culture borrow from a minority culture and allowing them to do it in a piss poor and ignorant way is NO WAY to solve racism, bigotry, and misanthropy. In fact, it would just make it worse by perpetuating false beliefs and thoughts on the appropriated culture. It is a common for people think geishas were prostitutes because authors and others who culturally appropriated them portrayed them that way. That's not exactly what they were so I don't think that's an example of solving racism, bigotry or misanthropy.

Saying "I'm not going to kill her just because it makes some people uncomfortable -- that would require sacrificing my artistic integrity and sending a radical message I don't believe in to the community" is such a slap to the face to people who have expressed their legitimate opinions and thoughts to the company.

So you're not going to take down the campaign image because it's would require "sacrifice" on your part and that it'd send a racial message to the community? What radical message is that, that you understand why it offends people so you'll do the right thing and alter it or take it down so it doesn't offend others? That apparently requires sacrifice?

So you don't believe that if you culturally appropriate in a negative way and offend as a business owner, you have the responsibility to ensure that your potential customers and others out there aren't offended? You're honestly more concerned with making money?

This is utterly ridiculous. I don't think I will dedicate any more space on my blog to this bullshit. It's nice to know that she doesn't understand why we feel this way and wants us to deal with it because she'll do it any way she wants to. Honestly, how hard would it have been to cancel the campaign and apologize because really, I haven't seen any of that.

Whether it's offensive or not.

Thank you to everyone who's read, comment, retweeted, and retumblred my posts on the matter. Getting the attention of Hyphen Magazine and the Empowering Women of Color Conference is something that you guys managed to do! I wish this had a better outcome.

I know people will say that I can't ever be satisified with what Doe Deere/Lime Crime does but that's because they haven't done ANYTHING satisfactory regarding this. Apologizing and retracting the campaign is apparently too hard to do.

EDIT: Thanks to awesome commenters, they basically reminded me that I never posted about what I thought Lime Crime should do in response to the controversy. I had written this as a reply to someone but never put it in a post. I hope it'll be useful to read what I thought should have happened.

"I actually considered what she was going to ask me when she first messaged me and from that I talked it over a little bit with my boyfriend to postulate what was possible to do at this point (a little under a month before the palette's release and I understood that from a business standpoint, she wasn't going to withdraw the palette.

I know with MAC with the Rodarte Collection, they decided to not release the products at all and they took a financial hit but I know they're large enough to absorb the loss. Lime Crime on the otherhand, I knew was not going to be able to do that.

I thought that she might have asked me what she could have done and after giving it some thought I would have liked if she dropped the campaign and apologized, for real. It's late in the game to completely abandon the product and not cost effective to try to reprint new labels"

I should specify that at the minimum, I would have liked to see the "Don't let her milky skin, pouty mouth and flushed cheeks fool you; underneath the poised facade, there lies a heart of a tigress..." removed from the campaign along with a rewrite of the description for the Chinadoll look.

One last thing I want to add is that if you want to purchase from Lime Crime, then it's your prerogative. I can't tell you not to shop from a company that I personally don't like, I only seek to educate others about who it is that they're supporting when they make a purchase. Whether you shop from there or not, it's your money. Use it how you want to.

48 comments:

  1. Bravo, Mai. You've done such a great job breaking this down for everyone and responding to LC. Shame they can't even bother to be halfway decent to you or anyone else whose had a problem with this.

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  2. wow. :\ i really didn't want to comment on the entire thing, but WOW. I cannot comprehend the outright blatant and ignorant self-justification for ignorance and racism in the response. If she does feel that it is so vital to end racism then it bewilders me that she cannot wrap her head around the fact that her "asian inspiration" is borne from poor sexualized stereotypes that are still .

    Additionally, as someone who has had some kind of art education; to compare her vision to Japonism is completely unfounded and inaccurate.

    Japonism is the influence of Japanese art in WESTERN culture, western culture being the significant part of that. It was the usage of art styles, drawing/painting by western artist in western art.

    Her responses to you and to the whole incident has been shameful. Moreover, the justification for the campaign from the fan base has brought out such ugliness.

    As an Asian woman, I have not felt this disrespected in a long time. I am proud of you for speaking out and standing up to you. You have been the most admirable aspect of the whole debacle.

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    1. oops i was pretty fobby in that. I meant to say I was proud of your for speaking out and standing up for what you believe in :P

      I mostly commented on this because that is a trait I admire and respect.

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    2. "Japonism is the influence of Japanese art in WESTERN culture, western culture being the significant part of that. It was the usage of art styles, drawing/painting by western artist in western art."

      YES FINALLY SOMEONE HAS THIS RIGHT. And it was mainly started by the 19th century's obsession with "the Orient". It's why you get things about ninjas being able to run on walls and samurai being OH SO HONOURABLE (they were about as honourable as plague rats), and in China, things like kung fu being gravity-defying magic. The Victorian obsession was well-meaning and there were some great Western fashions and art bourne of it, but they also fetishised asian women and led to the stereotypes we still have today (that no one really addresses, not here in Australia anyway, where it is still acceptable for children to pull the corners of their eyes around and make 'asian noises' such as "ching chong chinaman" and pulling their eyes up, "my mother is japanese", down, "my father is chinese" and straight out "and I'm both of these!" YES THIS REALLY HAPPENS IT'S EMBARASSING).

      In saying that, the same obsession gave us purple dyes and pepper. There was also a lot of Victorian influence on Japan in the 1800s - the Meiji era had a lot of its events influenced by the outside world, not to mention new technologies such as steam engines and photographs.

      These are all-in-all good, well-meaning forms of the sharing of cultures. The Chinadoll campaign makes me wonder if Doe Deere even knows where China IS, since she has so gleefully mixed together many different aspects of "orientalism" from all over "the Orient". As for her WELL ARE YOU OFFENDED BY ALADDIN no, no I am not. I own a very old copy of The Arabian Nights, I have read it many times, and Aladdin is slightly appropriated in its costumes, but only slightly - Jasmine is not a stereotype, either. Furthermore, the movie was relased in 1992 - twenty years ago. This is 2012. Things have changed.

      I'm not an Asian woman. I am a mix-raced, white and Australian aboriginal woman. I am, however, still female. I get a lot of stereotypical comments that are very much intermingled with the Asian woman stereotype - that I am frail, fragile and incapable of work (while it's kind of true it's still bloody infuriating), that I'm "up for it" because I am goth (VICTORIAN goth. Yes, corsets and long skirts: MUST BE A WHORE) and because I am female, that if I am assaulted (physically or sexually) that it is my fault for not being loud enough/being dressed incorrectly/out without a man around.

      I am glad, in some ways, to have a white appearance, because then I don't have to deal with race on top of subculture and my sex and gender identity.

      Furthermore: >"I am a makeup artist, not a historian!"
      >"makeup artist, not a historian!"
      >"not a historian!"
      >"a historian!"
      >"a"
      >"historian"
      > 8|

      Sorry Yume for my blatant hijacking of your comment. It started me off on my main case for the post and I didn't notice until I had written it all out and couldn't work out how to break it up. :P

      And sorry Mai for my ridiculously long comment but, what can I say, I am really pissed off about this and I feel so angry for you guys too, for having to deal with this crap. ><

      <3

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  3. Lead by example. Maybe some suggestions as to how you would have portrayed it might be more useful to everyone, considering we all have a different amount of knowledge about a particular culture. In this case, and as with all of Lime Crime's campaigns, there is always an emphasis on fantasy and imagination and the original inspiration is just inspiration. Be understanding that what you may have seen as racist was not intentionally done so. Your posts are spreading negative energy and are counterproductive to your message.

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    1. If it was unintentional to offend and insult huge numbers of people then why does Doe Deere not give a shit? She'd rather sell her crap than positively and understandingly fix her wrong doings. If you accidentally bump someone as you walk down the street and you feel bad about it and don't want them to be hurt mentally or physically you apologize and help them up. If you knowingly bump someone and keep walking you're too self involved to give a shit about anyone else... Which one sounds like Doe?

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    2. easy.

      1. get an asian model
      2. make her wear qipao
      3. remove all description related to "china-doll" stereotypes, especially the "tigress" part. you do know that referring women as tigers is insulting in chinese, right? doe apparently didn't.
      4. doe could have done so much with this campaign since it's hot on the heels of chinese new year, a especially auspicious year no less. she could have done something with the dragon motif, but instead, hired a white girl and put her in some qipao/kimono hybrid, wrote some racist jargon and called it a day. that's just laziness (so is my lack of capitalization in this comment, i know.)

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    3. I had posted a comment in an earlier post about what I thought Lime Crime should do but I had forgotten about actually putting in the post. This is what I said though:

      "I actually considered what she was going to ask me when she first messaged me and from that I talked it over a little bit with my boyfriend to postulate what was possible to do at this point (a little under a month before the palette's release) and I understood that from a business standpoint, she wasn't going to withdraw the palette.

      I know with MAC with the Rodarte Collection, they decided to not release the products at all and they took a financial hit but I know they're large enough to absorb the loss. Lime Crime on the otherhand, I knew was not going to be able to do that.

      I thought that she might have asked me what she could have done and after giving it some thought I would have liked if she dropped the campaign and apologized, for real. It's late in the game to completely abandon the product and not cost effective to try to reprint new labels."

      In regards to the bit about negative energy, I'm not sure how I could ever talk about this in a positive way. I'm dealing with an issue of cultural appropriation (the negative kind since I have to make that distinction) and the racial and cultural insensitivity. I can't really put a positive spin on that.

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  4. She is so ignorant it's painful.

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  5. This woman is an insensitive moron. I think it's pretty obvious you're not being offended for kicks or because you're an overly sensitive person. The Chinadoll stereotype is offensive, it's that simple.

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  6. Thank you for continuing to report on this, Mai. I can see where this could have arisen from something very innocent, and I do think you can be innocently ignorant as well. There's just no excuse at this stage - it's fine to take elements from a culture and re-appropriate them, there are ways of doing that respectfully, or of taking a vague flavour without being offensive. But as a makeup company I don't think flinging around such a sexist, racist, outdated viewpoint is smart at all - your customers are WOMEN.

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  7. As usual Mai a beautifully worded, precise and polite response. Her response to it all however is like a weordy version of covering her ears and shouting "LALALALALALALALANOTLISTENINGLALALALALALALALA!"

    As other people have pointed out elsewhere. It's all down to ego. Someone pointed out she messed up, and she can't face it so instead it's a middle finger to the "Haters" (I'm assuming she's just thinking everyone must just be haters despite fans even saying they didn't find this right at all) and she's going to carry on her merry way. What an awful way to run a business!

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  8. How are Asians a minority? Look at this.
    http://tcs.wisebrother.com/tcstodaysTcs/fullArtShow/20274?cid=9853

    Also. If it's so racist for her to have a white woman dressed in Asian clothing, I think Asian people should lay off all the Disney stuff, clothing lines made by black people for black people, Japanese women should stop doing ganguro since it's basically imitating U.S. tan women and/or "valley girls", stop wearing shirts with random English words they don't even understand etc.

    This is all so ridiculous. People can't do ANYTHING without being offensive anymore. And you know what? You can't judge someone by skin colour. Hanna may very well be of some Asian descent. I, for example, have a black father and a white mother. I'm ghostly looking. A friend of mine is 1/4 Japanese. He looks completely white. Another friend is half Filipino. Also looks white. But even if she isn't Asian, people should still lay off. It's ridiculous. Aaaand. If you want to get all technical, Russia is considered Eurasia. Maybe you should step back and realize some ways that YOU are or have been "racist" and "ignorant". You and the rest of the people involved in this.

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    1. According to author Sheridan Prasso, the China [porcelain] doll stereotype and other variations of this submissive stereotype exist in American movies. This includes the "Geisha Girl/Lotus Flower/Servant/China Doll: Submissive, docile, obedient, reverential; the Vixen/Sex Nymph: Sexy, coquettish, manipulative; tendency toward disloyalty or opportunism; the Prostitute/Victim of Sex Trade/War/Oppression: Helpless, in need of assistance or rescue; good-natured at heart."

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    2. I think you're missing a lot of why it is that others so offended. It's not just the image itself but what it represents along with the text.

      Asians are a minority in the US population in many ways, not just in actual population counts but in representation. While I read what the link says, it isn't really relevant to what I'm talking about. Saying that the Chinese are numerous within the context of the world isn't true here in the US.

      I'm not even sure how to handle the drivel about Asians laying off all the Disney stuff, clothing lines for black people, ganguro, etc. If you did basic research, you'd see that ganguro is NOT some sort of mockery of US women, it's a response to the Japanese ideals of beauty, specifically the concept of pale skin, dark hair, and neutral makeup. I'm honestly not even sure what you mean by Asians laying off all the Disney stuff. What Disney stuff?

      I'm also not sure that accusing me of being racist will help with your argument.

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    3. Maybe they meant the Asians (Japanese specifically) who cover themselves in Disney related things? Such as carrying tennis cases with Mickey Mouse etc. You're trying to get people pissed off over this campaign worldwide while going on about Asians being a minority in the U.S. lolwut. I DO understand the text maybe being a bit... eh. But I really think that description could be offensive for a woman of any ethnicity. Women are portrayed in ways like that all the time. I'm not saying it's right. But she probably would have used a similar description regardless of her inspiration. I can see your side and the anon's.

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  9. Very interesting post Mai! I do really find things like this interesting and educating. However one thing I do have to disagree on is the fact that Doe simply cannot "cancel" her campaign. As she said she spent every day of a whole year concocting China Doll and I'm sure you are aware that Lime Crime probably has a warehouse full of these palettes with "China Doll", the postcards that have been sent out the past couple of months promoting the campaign, the photoshoot, the making of the palette itself. It wouldn't be a very good business decision and at the end of the day that is what Lime Crime is... a business. We cannot blame her for not wanting to waste a year of her time, her teams time and a lot of money by changing the campaign in anyway. If she changed the name she would be loosing money, if she reshot the image she would be loosing money and pushing the release of China Doll back. We have to think that Lime Crime has a lot of fans too, who like nothing more than just the make up in all of this. That's a lot of disappointment for them if she pushes the campaign back or cancels it altogether and again another bad PR decision. I hope you can see where I am coming from :) It is just a bad business decision to do all of those things so she had no choice but to make an apology (which in my opinion was a bit late... Doe really should have apologised sooner) and move on with the campaign. There was a lot of people offended but there was also a lot of people looking forward to the palette which also need to be given a thought. I would like to thank you however for providing another interesting read Mai, I myself prefer to stay out of all the Lime Crime drama, life is too short to be angry - thats my motto! Seriously though, you should think about a career in Law or something, you would be awesome, the way you present arguments and such! :)

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    1. My fault, I had written this reply to a comment in response to someone discussing what Lime Crime could do in this situation but I hadn't actually put it into a post. I'll edit it now but I'll attach it here so you can read it!

      "I actually considered what she was going to ask me when she first messaged me and from that I talked it over a little bit with my boyfriend to postulate what was possible to do at this point (a little under a month before the palette's release) and I understood that from a business standpoint, she wasn't going to withdraw the palette.

      I know with MAC with the Rodarte Collection, they decided to not release the products at all and they took a financial hit but I know they're large enough to absorb the loss. Lime Crime on the otherhand, I knew was not going to be able to do that.

      I thought that she might have asked me what she could have done and after giving it some thought I would have liked if she dropped the campaign and apologized, for real. It's late in the game to completely abandon the product and not cost effective to try to reprint new labels."

      Hahaha my sister is actually in law school, she can do that bit while I study what I do now :)

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  10. I just can't get over her response to all of this. I mean, I've seen her react to other controversies before, but you'd think she'd learn to act a little less passive aggressive by now. And to not even be able to see what she did was wrong? I bet she thinks all Ireland is leprechauns, all Japan is anime and Hello kitty, and all Africa is the Lion King.

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  11. Being Chinese, I 100% agree with you Mai, and you are very articulate. However, I see Marvelle's points as well: LC is a business. They're not going to stop being racist unless it really affects their bottom line. If being not racist is too much trouble, they're not gonna do it. It would take collective action on a lot of people's parts to make LC realize that they can't pull that shit anymore. Not sure if that critical mass is there when LC still has lots of fans.

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    1. Doe Deere is indie cosmetics' Chris Brown. No matter how horrendous she is, her fans come drooling back. It's amazing what people put up with.

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    2. Agreed, it's astounding how blind people can be in their adoration of ultimately trifling things.

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  12. Great post, Mai! :)

    As an Asian, I was offended by her stupid China Doll campaign. And as a former reader of her blog, I was offended by her two faced attitude toward racial stereotypes. Some of you guys might have known that Doe Deere aka Xenia Vorotova is Russian who moved to New York when she was 17(go check her videos on Youtube, you can catch her thick Russian accent) In 2009, she wrote a blog post titled "I'm not a Russian mail order bride" and mentioned how much she was disgusted at the guys who thought "she might be easy because she is Russian"

    www.doedeereblogazine.com/articles/i-am-not-a-russian-mail-order-bride

    Sure, she definitely believes that calling Russian women "mail order bride" is very offensive because she is Russian. However, she didn't hesitate to name her new product "China Doll" and add really offensive text because she isn't Chinese/Asian. If she was going to release "Russian Doll Palette", she wouldn't name the colors like "gold digger", "mail order bride", "Lenin red", "Moscow noir" because she doesn't want to humiliate herself and all the women in her mother country. She is such a hypocrite.

    BTW, I almost vomited when I read following text remembering creepy white guys who had "fantasy" for Asian women and tried to hit on me(don't you think it's interesting that she used the same word "fantasy" to describe about her palette? )

    "Don't let her milky skin, pouty mouth and flushed cheeks fool you, underneath the poised facade, there lies a heart of a tigress"

    Seriously, the text crept me out(am I only Asian who thought is was creepy?) If a creepy white guy approached me at the bar and said like "Your pouty mouth and flushed cheeks melt my heart. But I know there's a tigress under your milky skin...", I would vomit on his chest :P

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    1. Girl, my thoughts exactly. I was going to include something similar in my comment that touched upon her Russian roots. How could she *not* see the parallel between the stereotypical image that she assigned the Chinadoll campaign and the “mail order bride” image that she was so against. It’s the same thing, Xenia. If you were allowed to be offended, WHY CAN’T WE?

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  13. "Me and my team's goal was to create a fantasy inspired by China..."

    And that's exactly the issue. The fantasy of the fetishised 'China doll'. Ugh. Her response to the furore is almost as offensive as the campaign itself. Basically she's telling people they're idiots to be offended and she's not willing to entertain the idea that she might be in the wrong so ner ner suck it.

    This person has proven herself to be quite horrid both professionally and personally so many times - never in a million years would buy or use one of her products.

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  14. Thanks Mai once again. And as an Australian Asian where LimeCrime is trying to establish a larger presence through distributors aka makeupnet, I'm going to do my hardest to spread the word about all the shady dealings and poor PR. It saddens me to see support from a vendor for this bull. I shall start with my MUA friends and my own friends. We get ripped off enough with our outrageously priced cosmetics as is, no need to be ripped off a second time.

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  15. Mai, I think your posts were wonderfully written. You know you have my support. The ignorance and white privilege portrayed by Lime Crime has reinforced, AGAIN, why I personally choose to have nothing to do with the company.

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  16. My father always used to say it takes a man to admit their mistakes. I believe there's a respect when someone admits to their faults, I believe it is honorable.

    I believe if she acknowledged the sentiments towards the campaign, and not waited for it to escalate to a huge mess, it could have been helpful to her brand name. I am not sure if she is trying to see if she can pass on this one and take the damage given; or if she values the damage that she has done.

    Whether we stand on either side of the issue, we should respect each others stance.

    The fact is, many of her customers are offended, and as a company it is worthy to take that feedback in consideration.

    A real apology please, it is responsible it's business, it's not necessarily personal, but you just made it


    I thank you for your efforts in this campaign

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  17. But the term 'china doll' has nothing to do with a race. It refers to a type of doll that was made in the late 1800's. The word 'china' comes in because the head and sometimes the hands of the doll were made of china...like it porcelain.

    Should I have protests about St. Patrick's Day being a day for drinking and people will assume, since I'm Irish, that I drink and party hardy on this day? (Or all the time since many think the Irish are booze-hounds.) Naw. I just don't think of it as categorizing me, no matter what my heritage or nationality is.

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    1. I think it's important to make a distinction between a word's origins and its use currently. Word meanings have changed and adapted as a language changes and adapts. For instance, the term "gay" didn't used to refer to someone homosexual, it used to mean happy but its usage evolved over time.

      I touched on this in my original post but it is important to emphasize that I understand that the world "china" in regards to a china doll refers to porcelain, which did happen to originate in the country of China.

      However in this context, when it comes to with a race, the term "china doll" refers to a series of stereotypes perpetuated upon Asians, specifically East Asians.

      Whether you choose to be offended or not is your prerogative but it isn't fair to assume or to tell someone to completely ignore the stereotypes that someone puts on them. I shouldn't have to ignore them, people shouldn't make them.

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    2. Also, this isn't simply people reading their own stuff into an image. The LC "apology" makes it fairly clear that Doe's not simply referring to the china doll you describe Kimberley, but to a "fantasy" figure from China. Not to mention the image itself is clearly modelled off Asian influences and the swatches are clearly influenced by Asia. So please take a moment to actually look at the situation before you act like people are getting up on their high horse about nothing.

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  18. I'm so tired of this stupid racist-ass motherfucker... *sigh*

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  19. All of this saddens me. I just finished reading a articial about how mixed more and more accepted, and the society as a whole was slowly letting go of racism. Then I read all this crap..

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  20. Thank you for your posts on this subject. They are so vital in getting people to understand why this kind of crap is unacceptable.

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  21. Mai, thanks for this post. I'd forgotten about this palette at all until I saw Jangsara's review of it today. And then I wanted to see if you had any updates.

    This is going to continue to be an uphill battle for years to come. (I'm talking about racism and stereotypes, not particularly Lime Crime, whom I choose not to purchase from.) The best thing we can do is to continue to speak up and not let stuff like this go unmentioned.

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  22. Love this, but please re-check your link! It wasn't American Apparel with the fake Navajo clothes, but Urban Outfitters.

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    1. Oh thank you for catching that! I must have had American Apparel on my mind when I was writing the post!

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  23. i am chinese but to be honest i had to do a lot of research and a lot of fishing around before i could even remotely feel offended by this campaign. Don't get me wrong i stand up for the chinese culture and what not but i feel like this is a result of being too sensitive, this chinadoll figure (yes i can see where people may have felt offended) isn't overly racist in my opinion, not even all that steriotypical, maybe she just liked the look of geishas and liked the masked women china dolls are made out to be, who knows? and i feel like she didn't intend for it to be a image of chinese women, just ONE character. One reason i do dislike doe is becuase of the way she handled the situation, i felt that was done poorly. just my two cents

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  24. Doe Deere and her damned Lime Crime company are doomed with their ridiculous racist implications. Let's be blunt - ALL OF THIS IS RACIST, and do NOT make any excuses for people holding white privilege and being racist. White people do NOT need any excuses. This Chinadoll palette is 100% cultural appropriations (much like the Native American head dress that is super popular amongst hipsters and people who don't care about Native Americans).

    As a Chinese American, I cringe everytime I see orientalist and racist advertisements/campaigns like this. And to think - these white people behind all of it DON'T CARE TO STOP IT! They make endless excuses and always dehumanize us, and never STOP to think about our feelings and what we're really saying! Our feelings are always less important and valid because we don't have power. We don't have power because we're not white. We're not white because we weren't born that way.

    It's simple as that. Life is extraordinarily harder as a person of color in the US, and white people KEEP perpetuating the same gospel of racism. Well, not me. I will fight against it all, and all of you will join me one by one. Let's fight racism and ridiculous stuff like Doe Deere's Chinadoll palette together.

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  25. I was not aware of this controversy, maybe bc i live in Europe, but just was googleing and found out about a controversy so I searched some more. Honestly, I was expecting it to be something about them using terrible ingredients, or having terrible work ethics, producing their products for minimal wages by children in 3rd world countries, yet claiming to be Vegan etc. But this is what I find...
    If you look at Lime Crime it is a very fairy-fantasy label, that obviously I think only a very very small percentage actually feels identified with. Their colors are what makes them stand out, and the nice unicorn :)
    That said, all is a fantasy, its nearly childish, why would anyone get this upset by a fairy-taleish comparison? This is yes, stereotyping, of course not all chinese have flawless porcelain white skin and pouty lips. Neither have all westerns blue eyes and blond hair. Nor have all black people perfect athletic bodies and a bum to be envious for. This is not real! And then again, its not like this is an insult, saying that this chinese doll has beautiful glowy skin and silky black hair. How is this an insult? Make-up.Make belief.
    Anyway, theres just one thing that really made me laugh:
    """You shouldn't profit from my culture considering what we go through". Please read this article about cultural appropriation and how it discusses the concept of whether it's an homage or an insult along with this article on how to NOT culturally appropriate when you wear costumes.

    Selling Native American headdresses when they're a revered part of the culture or selling clothing "inspired" by the Navajo is cultural appropriation at its worst. (This is referencing Urban Outfitters' attempt to profit from the Navajo)"""

    Really? Isnt China known for appropriating products and bringing out pirated versions of everything? How is this acceptalbe? How is this not taking advantage of something that was created in another culture/country/continent. (and yes so have many cultures from the asian culture throughout history, of course. The famous pasta was brought to Italy by Marc O'Polo,its NOT ITALIAN!!! should they not eat any pasta anymore?) Are u saying and Asian wouldnt appropriate ever oh nononono! And, isnt this girl asian? Isnt she russian? Doesnt she use this in her own creative process?

    Appropriation has existed since the beginnings of human history. There would be no advancement without it. And you cannot only partially appropriate bc as creatives know its a trial and error thing that one goes through and an idea never comes from only within yourself. You see, you get inspired, you edit, you bring out your interpretation.

    If you didnt like appropriation you could stop listening to music altogether, because that goes so deep you dont even know of. You dont even know what you are listening to and where that comes from.

    This is human nature! Inspire, do, redo. Without this human feature there would be no progress (and here of course we can debate weather progress is good for human kind when one looks at the whole picture. But here we are communicated through digital space, and i want to believe that yes it is!)

    Id say put your energy in going over to some News website with people with real problems, go work for an NGO, do some charity work in China, theres a lot of injustice going on in many places of this planet. But this? Haha.

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    Replies
    1. I think you're having trouble differentiating between being inspired by and borrowing from different cultures VS. a marketing campaign based on racist cultural stereotypes.

      In Mai's original post, "Lime Crime, you're doing it wrong," she neatly explains why this particular instance of cultural appropriation is so offensive. Worth reading!

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  26. oh and btw, that palette look and advertising was pretty ugly anyways, not even worth. Start thinking outside of the box and seeing yourself only in boxes of who and what you are. This is make up for christs sake

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  27. Being mostly Chinese myself, I found nothing racist or offensive with the campaign or the names she chose for her product. If her colors were named "Gold digger", "Factory maker","Boy body", "Yellow fever", etc. THEN I'd be pretty offended. But like she said, she did not mean to offend anyone or offend Asian people. And lets be honest, we are all a little racist.

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  28. Well, i have to let it loose....you wish you had her marketing skills and that's what's bothering you. Somebody fully believing in themselves and creating something!

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  29. the term may have referred to a doll originally but what they're saying is through the many years of negative racial stereotyping the term chinadoll has come to mean something more overtly offensive to do with a stereotype that this make up is perpetuating, it's taking stereotypes of this culture and using it as an advertising scheme. In doing so making light of the cultural appropriation and coming off as fairly condescending toward it.

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  30. This company is infamous for a vast vast number of scandals and unethical behaviour this is just one example. Others are false advertisement of colour swatches and promoting vegan products when the products are not actually vegan, also claiming to not sell animal tested products when they, in fact, have been proven to do so. The CEO of this company sending numerous threats to people for no reason and false accusations, also making light of the salem witch burnings that are still going on today with the slogan "worth burning at the stake for!" incredibly insensitive and facetious. Just because a culture targeted in this campaign as the victim of appropriation, is known for doing the same thing, doesn't justify it or make it any better a thing to do.

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  31. she may not have meant to but it's the fact that she refuses to even admit that she's done anything that could be considered wrong, she's basically pointing blame onto those offended saying if they're offended it's their own fault.

    ReplyDelete

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