this racist bitch actually smoked opium in her “research” this racist also fail to notice that it was the British that forced opium on China and started the so called opium wars
Shanghai Pearl: I first noticed it then, also. I saw some photos and video and, yes, I had some unsettling feelings about it then as well, especially since there are so many ongoing conversations about cultural appropriation in the burlesque community. But I made the decision to stay pretty quiet about it publicly because I had not had a chance to see it in person. And then I got to see it…
Then there was a lot of press about it debuting in London for a reported six figures and I thought “Does anyone else think it’s weird that this white woman is being paid a large sum of money to perform this Opium Den act in the very country that perpetrated the vicious Opium Wars?”
Dita Von Teese created an act called Opium Den that is the finale to her show Strip Strip Hooray, the act uses negative two dimensional stereotypes of Asian Women to invoke sex. The act has a mash up of many Asian cultures in the set, music, costume, and movement. Every ‘Sexy Asian Lady’ stereotype (China Doll, Geisha Girl, Dragon Lady) makes an appearance. The music incorporates gongs, koto, and a loop of the stereotypical ‘something or someone Chinese (or more generally Asian) is happening’ riff.
SP: I read that she smoked opium in her research for the act, so I would be surprised if the Opium Wars did not turn up in her research.
SP: [Here are some of the reactions to those attending the show]–
One performer said, “I have read comments from other Chinese performers who were also offended. It was definitely a two-dimensional portrayal, and I was personally shocked when watching it because of the music she used, which is based on the most cliche Chinese’ melody that has been used in a lot of openly racist scenes in movies.”
Candy Apples commented:
‘My sister and mom were stunned as well. The first thing that came to my mind was the fact that I was surrounded by a very large group of Chinese exchange students, who all had their mouths open and were just as stunned as I was. The girl next to me leaned over and said, “We don’t smoke opium and dress like that! Is that what you think we do?!” and they all began whispering amongst themselves.
I understand her concept behind the piece and I highly doubt she meant to offend. But she did offend. She offended not only three Romani women, but she offended an entire group of young people who just came from the country that she was stereotyping.
To me that was just as offensive as if she had came out onstage dressed as a gypsy and began to read fortunes, cast spells or curses, and steal.
This is just my opinion, though.’