i-D Magazine Racist 'Year of the Dragon' Take on Chinese New Year

Squinty eyes - check, evil doll face - check, bad hairstyle - check, granny's oufit - check. 

What were the i-D magazine editorial team thinking when they decided on a Chinese New Year themed issue when everything was badly styled, the Chinese culture was portrayed twisted and the magazine launch date was a cool 9 Feb when Chinese New Year for 2012 fell on January 23.

Chinese model Meng Lu looks absurd with blue eyebrows and yellow eyeshadow. I absolutely hate the deliberate red dot of cheek blusher and red lipstick applied only to the center of the lips to achieve an awkward China doll face.

This model was instructed to look down and have her eyes look smaller than they actually are - perpetuating the stereotype of Chinese squinty eyes. The pink pom-poms look like they belong to the powder puff department or accessories on a lion dance puppet.

The i-D magazine "The Year of the Dragon" issue covers were absolutely appalling, one after another succeeded in portraying Chinese women as backwards, tribal, cavewoman, prehistoric, rural, squinty eye aliens.


Image source: i-D Online "The Year of the Dragon" 


  1. i see your point, but i personally felt that it was a beautiful portrayal of chinese women! the models each had their own unique beauty, however unconventional it is. as an asian living in a western country, i find 'squinty' eyes very attractive as there are not as many insecurities about it here as in asia (see: obsession with geo lenses etc). people here mostly find it more interesting and exotic (::
    as for the fashion and hairstyles/makeup- every i-D editorial (regardless of race) consists of some wacky outlandish photographer with an awesome vision :3
    anyhow... that's just my opinion! thanks for posting the pics though~

    1. I agree that squinty eyes are exotic in the western world. However, there is a good bunch of the Western world that pokes fun of squinty eyes (Look at all the racial steroetypes they put into The Simpsons) Now there's just one more in the i-D magazine and we are supposed to be happy about it.

      Frankly, some of the models looked like they were punched in one eye before the photo shoot - super unattractive. Try pushing this magazine in China and see the response you'll get.

  2. You type of people complain that there aren't enough asians in the media and then when there are it's NEVER to your satisfaction. Unbelievable! Listen, shut up, Just shut the #$&^ up and stop criticizing others. If you want a magazine that portrays Chinese as perfect specimens of humanity make it your damn self and stop expecting others to make what you in your little mind wants. You are nothing. ID doesn't have to please you.

    1. There are not enough Asians or other minorities in the media. I do not want a magazine that portrays Chinese people in the eyes of stereotypical Westerners. There is no need to attack me personally while you hide in your anonymity. Then again, if your opinions are really valid, you would not need to result in personal attacks on me - the fashion blogger.

  3. First of all your are misunderstood.
    For one thing, being "rural, tribal or cavewomen" are not necessary negative, only in the eyes of the colonial "Western World".
    Second of all, China has a rich "tribal" or "aboriginal" culture. I can see that some of the clothes can be described as rural or backwards but are actually inspired by ethnic minorities of China, such as the last one with the beads in hair are Tibetan, 4th is Miao, 5th is Mongolian etc etc.
    Lastly I think that their eyes are naturally squinty (in some models). Like one eye is open, one is closed since the theme is "Rise and Shine", that is why their hair is ioily. Also some of the models don't have squinty eyes.

    1. The answer to your first point, rural, tribal fashion can be done tastefully and made to look cool - e.g. tribal prints, hippie fashion. But putting women in outfits like pillowcases and gunnysacks which make them look like total hillbillies or villagers and then deciding that this is celebratory cover for the Chinese New Year festive occasion is outrageous.

      I agree with your points that it would be nice to represent Chinese models in a fashion theme of Tibetan, Miao and Mongolian culture and about one or two models don't have squinty eyes. However, this isn't glamorous in any aspect and makes the models look downright ugly when they are not.

  4. Should I close my credit and checking accounts if ID theft has occurred? Yes, you may want to consider closing your credit and checking accounts if you suspect identity theft.


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