An Elf with an Obi

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So, today I wanted to draw a paper doll that was a little edgy and inspired by Asian traditional dress with obi’s and mandarin collars (though there is some debate as to the evolution of the mandarin collar… and whether it evolved from Chinese contact with European military uniforms or European contact with Chinese dress… I’ve read both versions in respected literature on the subject, so I have no opinion except to say we don’t know and leave it at that), but I realized I tend to draw Asian looking paper dolls when I’m drawing Asian inspired costumes and that seemed a little… odd, so I instead made her an elf with braids, resulting in a sort of African elf in an obi.

I’m sure if I was more awake today and if I really wanted to, I could probably read some interesting orientalist thing into all this, but I’d rather just stick with the “it’s a paper doll and it’s neat” side of theoretical endeavors.

Anyhow… as you might have noticed on the right side of the blog a few things have changed. I’ve added tags in an attempt to try to create a genre sort of listing which crosses paper dolls styles. So, if a person wanted to see all the fantasy paper dolls or felt a need to look at every blond paper doll, the option would be available. The three tags I am sort of uncomfortable with are Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll. I did them, because I erratically get emails asking about paper dolls of one of those three groups and I thought the tag might help people find them, but I also feel rather uncomfortable applying racial labels to my paper dolls, especially with Marisole who only has two facial options to begin with.

So, I’m tossing this out to the peanut gallery: Asian paper doll, Black paper doll and Hispanic paper doll tags are useful or awkward or likely to offend people? Thoughts?

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4 Responses to An Elf with an Obi

  1. Monica says:

    I do not mind the tags at all. I think that if you want them, you should have them and if you don’t want them then you shouldn’t. I’ve noticed really with blogging that most people don’t care–they just want you to post. This may be a wrong generalization, but it’s what I’ve come to notice from my blogging experience.
    Anyway, I think that they could be helpful to your readers. I think that if you get a lot of people complaining about them, then you should take them down. Otherwise, I would just leave them up. They could be helpful.
    –Monica

    • RLC says:

      As always, thank you for your thoughts Monica. I need to give them some more thought. I’m not totally pleased with how they are set up now and I’ll have to decide if I still like them in a few months.

  2. carol says:

    i would say “latina” not “hispanic”.

    • RLC says:

      Yeah… I debated that one long and hard… The reason I choose hispanic was that it’s gender neutral, though eurocentric, rather than latina or latino which are not (I have both male and female paper dolls on the blog). Neither really works for what I was trying to do… I wish in the US that we didn’t associate ethnicity so much with skin-tone.

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