Persepolis and Beauty

I chose the global issue of Art, Creativity and Imagination. I was most attracted to this global issue because of a key term included in its description – “beauty”. I find beauty to be a highly subjective and elusive concept to grasp, yet it is something that plays a major role in our human society. It intrigues me to beauty is so powerful yet has no substantial purpose. At the same time, I wanted to analyse the excerpt of Persepolis, and because it is a graphic novel, it seems fitting to examine how the artist portrayed characters aesthetically.

The artistic style reflects that the artist clearly doesn’t care about beauty in this excerpt of Persepolis. As evidenced by the lack of facial details, crude perspectives and cartoonish figures, the artist is not actively trying to make its objects seem “beautiful”. All characters appear similar. In panels 1-4, none of the girls are portrayed as unique. Each one of the characters have similarly shaped eyes, almost identical nose and mouth. The artists intent in this excerpt was likely just to symbolize the characters or expressions and not to make them aesthetically pleasing.

The artist also intentionally makes choices that eliminate the demonstration of beauty. To caricature beauty in people, the most potent ways to do it is to draw detailed hair, facial expressions and figure. In panels 1-4, none of the women show their hair or figure as a result of their donned chador. This intentional portrayal of the women is another one that excludes beauty.

Beauty is important, stereotypically especially with women. The artistic choice to reduce beauty in this excerpt of Persepolis is one that reflects the reality of women in Iran, where women were mandated to wear chadors that veil their beauty. This graphic novel is in English and aimed towards Western audiences. It’s obscuration of beauty is in stark contrast with the prominence of beauty in Western graphics.

My Opinion on Chinese Stereotypes List I Found Online

While I was searching up some Chinese stereotypes, I found this “ultimate list of Asian stereotypes”.

https://www.deviantart.com/arabella-octavius/journal/Ultimate-List-of-Asian-Stereotypes-218827341

I have to admit, I hate this so much. Lists such as these propagate stereotypes and add confirmations to previous ones. When some who aren’t informed read these lists they take them as true for all Asians, especially when some stereotypes about Asians aren’t true for all regions of asia. “48. Asians use “la~” in instant messenging” refers to Singaporians. “34. Asian parents talk for far too long when they meet other Asian parents” is essentially all parents. “27. Asians enjoy Kpop and Jpop even when they don’t understand the language”, hello?? What about Japanese and Koreans.

I guess it’s fine if people want to express their understanding of stereotypes from their perspective, but that’s what stereotypes are, opinionated. Everyone has a different understanding of stereotypes and to act as an authority on them (ultimate list) just seems wrong. At the same time, this list doesn’t even take the topic seriously.”What should the 50th stereotype be?” This isn’t so much an ultimate list but a list that couldn’t make it 50 entries long.

Oh well, such websites on the internet aren’t supposed to be seriously anyways. While there definitely are many scholarly articles researching stereotypes, it does coexist with some less compelling ones online.