Sometimes when people offer one-liners on adoption from China — as in Juno, for instance — it strikes me as obnoxious; it's mock-hip or poseur-ironic or ignorant stereotyping. I haven't met a grasping, entitled adoptive parent who sees a Chinese baby as an accessory or as his or her right as a Great White Savior, though that's how we are portrayed by some.
On the other hand, sometimes people taking pot shots have a point. When I actually encountered the Going Home Barbie, given exclusively to adoptive parents staying at the White Swan Hotel, it mostly struck me as one more Anglo doll in a sea of Anglo dolls in China. On reflection, though, I can see how some people see it as a sort of symbol of comodification of kids.
White picket fence? Check. Giant swarming butterflies? Check. Happy clouds without a hint of rain? Check. Itchy lurex sweater? Check. Scary polyester psychedelic pants? Check. Creepola dead-in-the-eyes expression? Affirmative!
Run, little Chinese baby, run!
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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