Is the viral ‘fox eye’ makeup trend racist towards Asians?
The latest makeup trend on social media is the fox's eye. With this look, you need to shave the back end of your eyebrows (remove everything from the bow to the tail) to draw on a straight forehead. Use a brown or black eyeshadow to create a sharp streak of cat eye towards the temples; and then add a hint of the same eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes that point to the bridge of your nose. The final look creates the illusion of upturned, oblique eyes.
You will often see the make-up look in a selfie, in which the motif often pulls the temple back with one hand to create a smoldering, elongated shape of the "almond eye" and a matching raised forehead. While the origins are unclear, celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid have been showing the trend for years and it started going viral in early 2020. At the time of writing this story, the hashtag #foxeye des Trends has more than 44 million views of TikTok - videos that show not only the “fox-like” look, but also tips on how to use the power of makeup alone. ups receives.
Despite the popularity that this viral "challenge" has achieved, some people have come out on social media to address the issue of racial insensitivity and challenged the fox-eye trend towards the cultural appropriation of Asian traits.
For example, in a comment on TikTok star Melody Nafari's video (@melodynafarii), an Asian TikTok user says in which she pulls her eyes to mimic the look: “I remember when I was in elementary school made fun of Asian eyes, now it's a trend. "
Several other members of the Asian community have also questioned the racist sensitivity (or lack thereof) of the look, pointing out that the trend's main intent is to mimic narrow and upturned eye shapes, a facial feature that Asians often bullied and harassed were. It would not be the first time that it has happened to celebrities and influencers. Naturally; Never forget when Gigi Hadid posed with dramatically narrowed eyes to look like the Buddha biscuit she was holding, or when Miley Cyrus took a group photo this time with everyone - and I mean everyone except an Asian man - Her eyes posed with deliberately drawn fingers.
The fox's gaze also comes at a time when hate crimes against Asians are on the rise, but are not openly condemned by President Trump, who instead insists on calling COVID-19 the "China virus", which is anti-Asian discrimination further promotes. For some people in the Asian community, it is therefore daunting to see how non-Asians participate in this makeup trend, no matter how solemn or "flattering" it may be.
The desire for elongated eyes may seem complementary to Asians, but it also rejects the trauma many of them have suffered for this very feature. It is also frustrating that narrow eyes, which used to be "sleepy" and "ch * nky" in Asians, are now suddenly "desirable" and "attractive" in non-Asians - and this concept is essentially the definition of the cultural appropriation. After all, the look is often tied to stars Bella Hadid, Megan Fox and Kendall Jenner, all of whom are white sex symbols with almond-shaped eyes and not Asian celebrities and influencers.
In a Reddit thread that asks whether the Fox Eye trend is really racist, you will usually find comments from Asian Reddit users who admit they don't think the look is racist. Nor does it seem that they believe that the look is anything like “Asian eyes” (as if there is only one eye shape that all Asians have). A comment says, "My instinct is to say that the trend is not meant to mimic Asian traits." They further claim that the look that the Fox Eye trend intends to emulate is common across multiple races , and cite model Elsa Hosk and music star Rihanna as examples. "Also, I don't know that many Asians actually have the upturned, large, elongated eyes that the fox-eye trend seems to create," says the commentator.
Looking further at what constitutes a fox's eye, you will find features that have nothing to do with "Asian eyes" (or at least what is commonly referred to as "Asian eyes"). As mentioned in the same Reddit thread, the trend is focusing on lengthening and widening the eyes by imitating a "face lift" - or, as many makeup gurus have assumed, a "kidnapped" and "hoisted" look . And when you do the fox-eye pose, people are encouraged to raise the back of their eyebrows against the back of their eyes, as this would indicate the offensive gesture of the "weird eye".
But maybe that's not the point when it comes to cultural appropriation. Intent is irrelevant when a custom or trait is adopted by another, more dominant group, especially when the challenges the original group endured due to that custom or trait are completely ignored.
I'm sure most non-Asians who took selfies with their temples pulled back didn't think of the racist, slanted-eye gesture, but that's the problem. You have the privilege of not being at the receiving end of this type of racism and therefore not having to be vigilant about such racist gestures. They can comfortably pull their eyes back for a photo and have no trauma of racially charged harassment reappeared.
As an Asian-American woman, this action gives me a break. I don't like my problem with the trend with the make-up look. When I first came across the countless tutorials, I had the impression that they did not draw any lines at all to what I know as the stereotypical "Asian eye". Even now that I've become familiar with the goal of the trend, I don't see any similarities yet - no hooded eye shape or monolithic interpretation. But I have a problem with the pose that has now flooded my Instagram news feed.
I noticed my hesitation when I posed for a selfie and pulled my hand on my temples. I liked how "raised" my eyebrows looked and how generally my entire face was raised. But when I looked through the photo, it only took me a second to decide to delete it for fear that someone might comment that I look "ch * nky" or even another Asian person calling me because I emulated the pose with a slanted eye under the guise of a "kidding."
As different as the posture and gesture of the fox's eye are, I know that they are still oppressively comparable. The makeup trend may not be deliberately aimed at mimicking stereotypical Asian facial features, but posing with your temples pulled back resembles a racist gesture and rejects the discrimination that Asians often endure for their looks.
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