Victoria's Secret Sexy Geisha Isn't Racist. Are you?

Victoria's Secret may be forced to take the new Geisha line off the market because a blogger calling himself "Angry Asian Man" and other Asian americans (Read CNN article: here) are making claims of how it is racist and hypersexuallizing Asian women; they don't think it's appropriate for a lingerie trend to be inspired by the Geisha culture. Therefore, non-Asian women shouldn't wear anything Geisha-related. So, you're telling me my lingerie choices are only limited to my heritage?

I was a french maid a few Halloween's ago, does that make me a racist? (I'm not French)

But it was totally ok for me to dress as a Bier Garten Girl because I'm half German. Am I supposed to be upset every time I see a woman dressed as one who doesn't appear to be German? That sounds like a volatile Halloween.

Are you seeing the illogical pattern certain bloggers are following? Need I point out that no one who decides to include "Angry" in their name should regarded as a credible source--how the hell can you be unbiased and angry at the same time? And why is Victoria's Secret taking this man seriously? And why is it racist or vulgar to use a beautiful culture icon (i.e. Geisha) as inspiration for lingerie.

Victoria's Secret aren't telling you how to have sex while wearing it; they are in the business of making women feel beautiful and sexy. Isn't that notion a part of the Geisha tradition?

This issue mostly makes me mad because being politically correct should be every company's aim, but you cannot please everyone--it's not possible. I don't think for a minute VS executives were sitting in a board room somewhere rubbing their hands together saying, "How can we piss off Asian people today? Yes, let's go Geisha!"

And the Sexy Little Geisha line is the best-looking like VS has come out with in a long time--you can only rock black/white lace in so many different ways without it looking like last year's lingerie. I was looking forward to buying a few pieces (and, truth be told, so was Capricorn).

I think it's in poor taste for VS to be accused of hypersexualizing Geisha culture. As a westerner, my understanding of Geisha culture was that of a Japanese female entertainers, albeit classy, beautified woman who adhered to strict submissive behavior and physical requirements for the enjoyment of her male clients.

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In case my understanding was that of an ignorant westerner, I looked it up on Wikipedia:

History Origins

In the early stages of Japanese history, there were female entertainers: saburuko (serving girls) were mostly wandering girls whose families were displaced from struggles in the late 600s.[6] Some of these saburuko girls sold sexual services, while others with a better education made a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings. After the imperial court moved the capital to Heian-kyō (Kyoto) in 794 the conditions that would form Japanese Geisha culture began to emerge, as it became the home of a beauty-obsessed elite.[6] Skilled female performers, such as Shirabyōshi dancers, thrived.
Traditional Japan embraced sexual delights (it is not a Shinto taboo) and men were not constrained to be faithful to their wives. The ideal wife was a modest mother and manager of the home; by Confucian custom love had secondary importance. For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men did not go to their wives, but to courtesans. Walled-in pleasure quarters known as yūkaku (遊廓、遊郭?) were built in the 16th century,[7] and in 1617 the shogunate designated "pleasure quarters", outside of which prostitution would be illegal,[8] and within which "yūjo" ("play women") would be classified and licensed. The highest yūjo class was the Geisha's predecessor, called "Oiran", a combination of actress and prostitute, originally playing on stages set in the dry Kamo riverbed in Kyoto. They performed erotic dances and skits, and this new art was dubbed kabuku, meaning "to be wild and outrageous". The dances were called "kabuki," and this was the beginning of kabuki theater.[8]

Um, did you just read the same thing I did? Someone has some explaining to do as to why Victoria's Secret is being chastised. It sounds like it's OK when an Asian man/person does it, but if an American lingerie company meant to offer woman sexually-liberating options does it, then it's racist? Who's being racist now?

Hopefully this will change. No Geisha in sight.

I hope this line isn't taken down completely. I actually feel it's ignorant of the aforementioned blogger to suggest that a fashion choice (which is only inspired by the Geisha look) can only be worn by Asian women. I think I'm more mad because this feels like more like a gender issue-- Asian man [men] claiming the Sexy Little Geisha-line is racist and why? I compare it to the ranks of Congress clamoring over birth control rights and all those voting are men. I call bullshit.

Victoria's Secret, don't take down your Sexy Little Geisha line. It's very pretty. And as a Irish/German/Ukrainian woman, feel free to make lingerie inspired by those cultures, too.

What do you think? Is the Geisha line crossing a racial line?

Hopefully a future VS Sexy Little Geisha-wearer,

Lady J

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