Here is a question, if you put eyeliner in the corner of your eye, is that Asian-fishing makeup? Of course not. Yet, many people still think of Asian-fishing as putting eyeliner in the corner of the eye.
The new term came in the last few years. It was developed thanks to one viral TikTok video. And after the video on social media, people started discussing the subject.
There are two sides to the story. One who love the trend, and then the others who think the action of fetishizing and sexualizing Asian women has to stop.
Let’s talk about what is Asian-fishing makeup, and then about the discrimination part of it.
What is Asian-fishing?
The simplest way to explain this trend is that Asian-fishing is when a non-Asian individual does one of the following actions:
- Uses makeup to give their face more East-Asian features
- Edits photos to make face features pass as East-Asian
- Dresses up as stereotypical Asian girl, including examples like anime girl costume, game girl costume, or Asian school girl uniform
To put it simply, it means a not Asian individual purposely makes himself/herself look like an East Asian for the aesthetic.
But mostly, when we talk about Asian-fishing, we talk about makeup.
How Can You Achieve It?
This is the latest makeup fad. It involves using eyeliner, false lashes, concealer, and other cosmetics to emulate the look of an Asian female.
How to achieve it? Well, it is fairly simple. Women use eyeliner to elongate the outer and inner corners of the eyes, while concealer to minimalize their eyebrow’s arch. You get a straight-brow look. Here is a step-by-step guide.
- For the perfect Asian look, prepare your eyelids for eye shadow that will be there to stay. You cannot skip this step, because, without it, your look will fail. Use primer and then cover your eyelids with foundation or concealer before you move on to the eyeshadow
- Now, for the next step, you have to focus on the eye. We know Asian eyes are usually small, so this makeup trick focuses on making the eyes appear more prominent. Eyeliner is enough if you do not have eye shadow. Dark black liquid liner is a good starting point
- Next, apply mascara to make your eyes pop. Remember, Asian eyes have short and straight eyelashes, so use mascara from head to toes for perfect consecutive eyelashes
- Focus on finishing touches, use dark color eye shadow and white pencil under the eye to give your look brighter and bigger eyes
What Makes Asian-fishing Problematic?
So, what is the problem with this trend? Well, many users on Twitter argue that the latest makeup trend is racially insensitive to Asians. Some even go as far as saying, “the trend is just white people colonizing Asian eyes”.
Asian Eyeliner vs. Normal Eyeliner
You can try any type of eyeliner to create an everyday look. And it will flatter your eyes. If you want to play around with the shape, start with a thin line at the inner corner, and then increase the thickness to the outer third of the eye. Stop there and add some wings to the end. Finish by applying a coat of mascara, and that is your normal eyeliner look.
Asian eyes look better with sweep eyeliner. Do not use cat eyeliner, because it makes the eyes of Asians look dull. The wing-type eyeliner emphasizes the shape of the eyes by creating a clear eye.
Asian Makeup vs. Fox Makeup
People often mistake Asian makeup with fox makeup. They are different, but the same in the way they are viewed as racism and discrimination.
Fox eye makeup is an optical illusion that makes your eyes look longer. You can use different products to complete this look, like Q-tips, brown eyeshadow, black eyeshadow, or anything else. To complete this optical illusion, you have to add a little of the same eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye.
Remember, Fox eye makeup is all about manipulating the eye area to create a lush look. Some say you get the effects of plastic surgery with makeup alone.
Do You Look Asian With Winged Eyeliner?
No, using only winged eyeliner will not make you look like an Asian girl. What makes you look like an Asian female is putting on white eyeliner to make your eye look more prolonged or dip.
Another example of Asian-fishing is using fake lashes on the edge of your eye to make it look gripped. Or in other words, making your gaze slanted.
The Origin Of The Problem
Asian patriarchal culture has created a twisted beauty standard for Asian females. According to that mindset, an Asian woman is submissive, young, skinny, pale, and looks easy to be controlled. And that beauty standard is completely formed by the male gaze.
Asian females have been trying to recover from it for a long time. It is hard to break the standard when the standard itself is problematic.
And when non-Asian individuals try to mimic the aesthetic, they automatically fit themselves into this beauty standard. They do it without understanding the trauma behind it.
So, Asian-fishing is not about makeup or costumes. It is about changing your facial features by following the beauty standard patriarchy created. So, it focuses on profiting while enhancing Asian fetishization.
Ariana Grande and Asian-fishing
The internet has long ago accused Ariana Grande of Asian-fishing. Her facial changes over the years have caused some controversy.
Some rumors go as far as saying she had plastic surgery to raise her eyes and make them look more inclined. It is almost like the so-called foxy eyes and foxy makeup.
In December 2021, Ariana posted a photo appearing with makeup that makes her eyes narrowed and skin lighter. She later deleted the photo after backlash from fans.
Sexualization Of Asian Women
Society has often sexualized Asian females. It has caused so much trauma in the Asian community. When non-Asian individual posts sexy Asian anime girl photos on Instagram or other social media platforms, that individual is supporting fetishizing Asian females.
But that individual doesn’t suffer the consequences Asian women do. It is impossible to ignore the history of misogyny and sexualized violence that has been part of the experience of Asian-American women.
This is why many users on social media ask for the Asian-fishing makeup and other types of Asian-fishing trends to stop. They act as an accomplice in fetishizing Asian women.