I've been working on an essay about Gemma Chan since
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.
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 > Skyfall > Sévérine. Gemma auditioned but lost the role to Bérénice Lim Marlohe.