Non-racist Goofy Faces Throughout History
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:
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.