Asian Fishing is a new term that recently came up. The term developed due to one viral TikTok video. And, after it, people are discussing the subject more and more.
Although people are just starting to use the term Asian Fishing, the action of fetishizing and sexualizing Asian women has a long history.
Today let’s take a look at what is Asian Fishing and what makes Asian Fishing problematic.
What is Asian Fishing
Asian Fishing is when a not Asian individual does the following actions:
- Use makeup to give their face more East-Asian features.
- Edit their photo to make their face features pass as East-Asian.
- Dressed in stereotypical “Asian girl costumes”. Some examples are anime girl costumes, game girl costumes, Asian school girl uniforms.
In other words, Asian Fishing means when a not Asian individual purposely makes themselves look like East-Asian for the aesthetic.
In “Asian-fishing: the rise of orientalism”, it pointed out that “This is not a question of whether winged eyeliner is now off-limits or of gate-keeping Asian fashion styles, but of non-east Asians intentionally altering the way they look for their own aesthetic purposes.”
What Makes Asian Fishing Problematic
Asian patriarchal culture created a twisted beauty standard for Asian females. According to that mindset, Asian women are submissive, young, skinny, pale, and look easy to be controlled. This beauty standard is completely formed with male gaze.
Asian females have been suffering from it for a long time and are trying hard to break the standard. After all, the beauty standard itself is problematic.
When not Asian individuals try to mimic the “aesthetic”, they are automatically fitting themselves into this beauty standard without understanding the trauma behind it.
Asian fishing is never about the eyeshadow, makeup, or costumes alone. It is about changing your natural face features by following the beauty standard patriarchy created. Therefore, the system that its part of focuses on profiting while enhancing Asian fetishization, without paying attention to the consequences.
Fetishization and Sexualization
Truth is, society has always hypersexualized Asian females. In Ricey Talk, an Asian female described her own experience as:
“Ten minutes into Hinge and I was already a hit, generating about a hundred likes within just about two hours. My private messages were highly overrun by men complimenting my appearances from my dark straight hair to my dark brown slanted eyes. It was some sort of a rare gift. I grew up among people who lived with a deeply rooted colonial mentality where owning Caucasian features has always been desirability. So, when I found myself being celebrated for what I was born into, I was exhilarated.
But soon I came to a horrific realization. These honeyed words slowly revealed themselves as a façade of their disgusting fetishizations towards Asian women. Then exist the fear I never thought I would have.”
The fetishization of Asian females has caused so much trauma in the Asian community. When not Asian individuals posting “sexy Asian anime girl” photos on Instagram, they are supporting fetishizing Asian females by performing Asian Fishing. However they won’t suffer from the consequences, Asian females will.
Profiting Without Suffering from the Consequences
According to CBS News, “It is impossible to ignore the history of misogyny and sexualized violence that has long been part of the experience of Asian American women. A disproportionate number (64.8%) of incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate were reported by women,” “In many of the incidents, women described being sexually harassed and facing racism simultaneously — showcasing how COVID-19 is being weaponized as part of sexual harassment.”
Not long ago, during the tragic Atlanta Spa Shooting, the shooters brutally murdedred 8 Asian female. According to the NY Times: “The suspect told the police that he had a “sexual addiction” and had carried out the shootings at the massage parlors to eliminate his “temptation,”.
Fetishization and Sexualization towards Asian females are putting Asian women’s life at risk. Asian Fishing as the accomplice of fetishizing Asian Women needs to stop!
Read our previous article about elderly fashion and the reinvention of culture.