Gratuitous and over-the-top: That’s what Quentin Tarantino does in his stories, plot lines and characters. No exception was made in 2003 when Kill Bill Pt.1 released as a grindhouse-style homage to the martial arts film. Blood, gore, and exaggerated tropes abound.
The Asian characters in Kill Bill, with few exceptions, fall squarely into Western stereotypes. The primary Asian women in the film are quiet, demure, and heavily sexualized. They’re feminist characters from a white male perspective – in their actions they’re no-shit-taking ultra-violents, but on the outside they fill the ‘ideal’ submissive role of Asian women. Chiaki Kuriyama’s Gogo Yubari illustrates this perfectly. She’s quiet and soft-spoken, dressed like a schoolgirl, and yet cracks sex jokes while violently killing men. It might seem like a good thing – the girl’s a bad ass, right? Unfortunately, the message is far from empowering for Asian women. Whether they can kick ass or not, they’re expected to fall in line with what’s considered sexy…
-Excerpt from article by Brennen Cooke
Photographer: Vivian Kwan
Stylist: Brian Helm
Models: Allison Lopez, Suzuka Sampson, Ashley Yen
HMUA: Arden Frank