Mr. Chow

Mr. Chow from the Hangover is quite the character. His intersectionality is full of stereotypes. Yet, his character in the movie has multiple representations when focused upon. The character mixes dominant representations and resistant representations which allows the character to develop a signature personality. Physically, he falls into the dominant representation because he does not embody what media defines as “manly”. His stature is small and in a particular scene the director played on the stereotype that asian men have small penises. Using this particular scene, it paints asian men in one color and is really an oppressive message. Using the stereotype in this manner would be defined as yellow face logic. The directors assumed they had the right to perpetuate this stereotype and by doing so, they marginalized on an oppressive message. Mr. Chow’s character can be very “feminine” at times which supports the perpetuated stereotype of asian men. This stereotype is that they are portrayed as feminine, de-sexualized, and lack of suave with women. This part of his character does not challenge the audience because the audience expects the asian male to be second to caucasian male. His role in the movie is quite supportive which also doesn’t challenge the audience. Yet, his drug use could be seen as resistant because is does not follow the normal view of “conservative asian.” This is a problem because it involves the model minority myth and is also seen by the new reporter’s comment on drug use in Hawaii’s asian population.

Yet, Mr. Chows character uses this stereotype and shrugs it off as apart of himself that he cannot change. He has a raunchy nature that fits into the movie because he isn’t phased by the stereotype. In Part 2 of Hang Over, he acts as if the size of his penis does not matter. This shows a different light on asian men in general. Bring in the model minority stereotype, Mr. Chow is definitely resistant to what is expected of him. From a stereotypical view, Mr. Chow should not be confident but quiet and timid. From his aggressive way of speaking to the great drug use, Mr. Chow’s representation falls under resistant. This ties in with how the band “Chinks” play on the stereotype by using the abusive slang. Mr. Chow also uses the fact that he is asian and might have a small penis but is un-phased by it. Overall, he has a very polar intersectionality which ranges from the dominant to resistant representation. His character’s intersectionality is the fact that he asian, male, straight, but sometimes portrayed as bi-sexual.

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One thought on “Mr. Chow

  1. Interesting analysis of Mr. Chow–I’m not quite convinced that his character is meant to be as resistant as you argue. Is it played just for laughs or for people to be critical? Do you think the balance of this representation does more to change or reinforce heterosexism?

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