Street interviews: what Chinese think of white foreigners


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/08/street-interviews-what-chines.html


#2

Finally! A job I’m supremely qualified for!


#3


#4

I guess that’s the kind of term that I would probably find offensive if I wasn’t so privileged that my skin color grants me social status even in places where I would be part of a small minority.


#5

Despite the lovely folk being interviewed, I found that pretty depressing. I guess that the whole “white people on adverts” is similar to our own companies pushing a certain, unattainable form of beauty as being something to aspire to, and to spend money on continually failing to achieve.


#6

As a person of color, I’m less ‘offended’ than I am befuddled; why the simian comparison?

I mean as opposed to words like ‘plants,’ ‘posers,’ ‘puppets,’ ‘tokens’ and any other term that describes intentionally using people of a certain demographic to foster a false illusion of diversity?

And on a deeper note: what does it say about our species that no matter what part of the world it is, there’s still always someone trying to negate someone else’s very humanity?


#7

So we’re removing every last spec of biodiversity wherever we can find it. Sad Panda.


#8

Have you used your fur lightener, Sad Panda? Maybe if you made more of a effort to look like the beautiful Polar Bears in the adverts, you would be a Happy Panda.


#9

It’s absolutely mind-blowing to see young, healthy beautiful women trying to change their appearance to match those of a tiny minority in their own country. Then again, foot-binding was popular a century ago…

Also, the stereotype of Caucasians as “professional, well-qualified and ambitious” which is the North American stereotype of Han Chinese turned on its head.


#10

I found it interesting that in China, white people are considered more polite and hard working than the natives, while in the US, Chinese people are considered more polite and hard working.


#11

Thank goodness we don’t have any of those behaviors in the West! It’s nice living in a country where people don’t chase unattainable standards for beauty or try to radically alter their appearance for social favor.


#12

The origin appears to be from a documentary:

The practice is explored in Dream Empire, a 73-minute documentary by Denmark-based American director David Borenstein. It follows a young rural migrant, Yana, who sets up a foreigner rental agency in Chongqing to help her clients market their products and project an international image that she says people believe is reality.

“Audiences are watching you for your skin colour, not for what you are doing. It’s kind of like being a monkey in a zoo,” Borenstein told the South China Morning Post. Foreigners in his film call themselves “white monkeys” because that’s how they felt in these roles, he said

Article link


#13

They’re yet another example where striving for white “beauty” would actually achieve the opposite.


#14

I remember seeing some documentary about micro-expressions. Where every culture has its own ones, and people can struggle to spot the analogues in other cultures. As a result, people from other cultures can seem to be blank or even threatening, until you get to know them.


#15

Great. Now all pandas are going to look goth to me.


#16

I think that people behave better when they are in a new environment and have stakes on good behavior. It may or may not be related, but my kids behave better at their friends’ houses (from the accounts of their friends’ parents, anyway…that might be faulty information)


#17

All humans are primates.

A certain brand of popular anti-science would tenaciously deny they are anything but the descendants of pureblood lapsarian stock, but they are ones who actually denying their humanity and its connection to nature.


#18

That is not a good PS job - they removed a big chunk of the eyelids as well as the eye markings, and that’s a lot of what makes it look weird. The panda’s eyes actually appear to be shrunken in the 'shop as well, I even measured on my screen to make sure I wasn’t being tricked visually.


#19

Gee, you don’t say…


#20

No, it is an excellent marketing job.