sitting pretty

I've been working on an essay about Gemma Chan since March February.

It all began with this. dress. Before this dress (7 January 2019), I knew Gemma as the actress who played Astrid in Crazy Rich Asians. After... I don't know. It's like I've fallen under a spell.

The essay is about more than Gemma.

I was going to share a draft at a reading but it was cancelled. I'm not sure where it's leading.

(the violence of looking)


I recently finished House of Fashion by Jess Berry and Ornamentalism by Anne Anlin Cheng.

I can't stop thinking about this line in Ornamentalism:

What does it mean to survive as someone too aestheticized to suffer injury but so aestheticized that she invites injury?

As I posted on Facebook, this interview with Cheng explains. so. much. I've long been uneasy about the racism I experience as an East Asian woman. Like, it was bad but it wasn't 'that bad'. The violence/threat to my body/self was subtle, insidious...

A few years ago, I wrote:

The experience of being stripped of my identity and agency melds into the threat of violence and being sexualised against my will. As a woman of Asian appearance, I am screwed twice over.

This is my reality.

(déjà vu)


The essay has been sitting


For now, I leave you with these photos I stumbled across because I wiki'ed Judi Dench (while watching The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) > Spectre > SkyfallSévérine. Gemma auditioned but lost the role to Bérénice Lim Marlohe.

(rabbit hole)

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