From the monthly archives:

December 2013

I had the privilege of flying on one of Eva Airlines’ Hello Kitty planes today.

Here's a screenshot so you know what I'm talking about

 

Everywhere you turn on the plane, you see signs of Hello Kitty: from the pins on the flight attendants’ uniforms, their pink aprons, the pillow covers, to the air freshener in the lavatory.

Eva Airlines is seriously dedicated to Hello Kitty

 

I started chuckling as I stepped onto the plane. It’s cute and adorable. But soon I grew weary. [Yes, I tend to overthink. Are you even surprised?]

There are obvious social and cultural reasons that girls, and in fact, women under 50, are encouraged to be cute, to find cutesy things desirable, and also to screech in delight whenever such cutesy things are encountered: In a patriarchal, male-dominant society, men prefer women that are dependent and docile (or at least seemingly so) and find them to be more attractive.

A nation of young women marching to the drumbeat of cuteness. Some critics have even gone so far to call it the “infantilization of women”.

There is the voice that many women here speak in. High-pitched and nasal. 

The facial expressions: eyes blinking deliberately with eyelashes a-fluttering, better yet if they appear to be watery & starry. Verisimilitude of manga characters.

I imagine myself a reject from the Hello Kitty factory.

I’ve never been able to be cute – partly because I am 5’7″ and not starving myself. By Taiwan standard, I am enormous. I also cannot fake Jennifer Tilly’s voice. Just imagine Lucy Lawless feigning cuteness. That. Did you throw up in your mouth too?

That being said, I begin to lean towards + on the cuteness scale when I arrive. It’s as if when I speak in Chinese, I assume a different personality. Or maybe they’ve spiked all the food here.

I tilt my head. I blink my eyes. I smile vacuously.

I know tomorrow I will start making a bunny sign when having pictures taken.

This is like an emergency note written by a survivor before the inevitable Borg invasion.

 

 

 

 

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Already started…

December 29, 2013

in random

My plan to eat nothing until I reach Taipei completely failed. Thanks to Asiana Airlines.

 

food on Asiana to South Korea

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On ASIANA plane less than 5 minutes I’ve Already noticed vast differences. First of all: Flight attendants’ smiles & willingness to help. 3 flight attendants offered to help me with lifting my carry-on to the overhead bin despite the fact that I’m bigger than all 3 of them combined!

They’re also all very young, thin and pretty. If I were some dumb Westerner with yellow fever, they happen to totally fit into the stereotypical images of Asian females. So I’m conflicted in how much I’m enjoying this. Should I give it some feminist and cultural critique as I enjoy being catered to by people who are pleasant to look at and who see customer service as their job and not some inconvenience?

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The Ducks

December 25, 2013 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

According to my computer it is December 26 already and therefore I guess it is safe to talk about why I STILL insist on not wishing strangers Marry Christmas in the U.S. unless I am absolutely certain that they celebrate Christmas: Because Christmas in the U.S. remains a religious holiday. One’d thought that Christians in […]

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