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Non-racist Goofy Faces Throughout History

February 19, 2009

Many people are probably aware that Miley Cyrus, tween star of the Disney children’s show Hannah Montana, has recently been in the news for making the infamous slant eye gesture.

After this gesture generated uproar from the Asian American community, Miley responded with the defense that she was simply making a “goofy face.”

In honor of Miss Cyrus, here is a photo montage of other famous racist goofy faces from both recent and distant history.

During the 2008 Olympics, the Spanish men’s basketball team decided it would be in the Olympic spirit to pose for the picture below. When this photo caused controversy, the Spaniards credulously explained that this gesture was in fact one of “affection”:


Not to be outdone, the Spanish women’s Olympic basketball team decided to join in the non-racist fun:

And don’t forget the Spanish Olympic tennis team….

But wait! There’s even more. The Argentinian women’s Olympic soccer team added their own contribution to this universal gesture of non-racist affection and goofiness:

Further back in history, movie “icon” Charlie Chan–played by various White actors in yellowface and slanted eyes–was a pop cultural figure beloved by Americans:

Similarly, movie “icon” Fu Manchu–played by various White actors in yellowface and slanted eyes–was another pop cultural figure beloved by Americans:

Indeed, Hollywood is well-known for its non-racist contributions to cinema in general, such as Disney’s famous 1946 children’s film Song of the South, which has garnered much recognition of sorts:

It should be recalled that the Walt Disney corporation has a long and distinguished history of producing racially sensitive movies for children of all ages.

One of Disney’s most famous cartoon characters, Donald Duck, has even been the subject of a seminal work by Ariel Dorfman analyzing the underlying politics of the icon.

Since it appears that many people around the world enjoy making gestures of affection (or goofiness) to Asians, it would only be courteous to return the favor–such as most eloquently expressed in this picture.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2009 12:49 pm

    good post , interesing !

  2. February 22, 2009 2:29 am

    pulling your eyes back should now replace waving and shaking hands since it’s becoming a social norm. no one else seems to be offended these days. how despicable we’ve become.

  3. lisalee permalink
    April 23, 2009 11:46 pm

    Not only is that gesture tacky and offensive it’s also just plain old STUPID!! WTF are these people in junior high?!! Ridiculous and to you Lyx I wanted to say kudos to your comments on Racialicious to that pinhead rob schmidt he is the very epitome of what they mean when they talk about white privilege and it’s constant denial of existence. And this looks like a cool blog to visit in future.

  4. April 26, 2009 9:13 am

    Lisa: Thanks for dropping by and providing your comments. Feel free to post more of your opinions in the future.

    And Racialicious always some “interesting” debates going on.

  5. February 12, 2010 4:00 am

    I am truly offended by these photos. I can’t believe educational institutions allow such behavior. I am Native American/Indigenous/Navajo. I think it is just as bad as painting your face black and wearing a afro wig, or something of that nature. Shame on all of you who can’t see that this is wrong!

  6. January 5, 2012 7:28 am

    I’ve said that least 3573276 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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  8. February 11, 2012 2:12 am

    Well I definitely liked reading it. This tip offered by you is very useful for good planning.

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    June 5, 2012 2:03 am

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