Shimizu Chapter 3: Hypersexuality of Race

Howard Diep | 10209864

In the third chapter of Shimizu’s The Hypersexuality of Race “The Sexual Bonds of Racial Stardom”, Shimizu addresses the topic of U.S. society and media and it’s relation to Asian American Women, specifically using Lucy Liu, Anna May Wong, and Nancy Kwan as examples. I had missed this weeks class because I had caught the flu that was going around campus, but I had try my best to fully grasp this chapter and its context.

Shimizu discusses how the Asian American female actress in Hollywood is portrayed as an image of a hypersexualized individual. As I’ve learned through watching different clips and how media portrays Asian Americans, I could understand where Shimizu was coming from. She discussed how out of the three actresses, how Anna May Wong did not like how she was represented as a hypersexualized Asian actress and how she was perpetuating the stereotype through her roles. I found it interesting to read after, watch videos, and hear about the discussions outside of class about how Lucy Liu tolerates stereotyping for the sake of future power and control. I also found how Shimizu stated that Asian/American women who appear to utilize negative, hypersexual stereotypes in order to empower themselves and their performances.

I believe that through her text and discussion that we are able to provide an alternative perspective to the gender–race debate. Also, through this this, we can see how western culture adds a hypersexualized demeanor to Asian American actresses.

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