Feminist Disney, "Jasmine and Me: The Orientalist Gaze in Sephora’s ‘Disney Collection’"
"Jasmine and Me: The Orientalist Gaze in Sephora’s ‘Disney Collection’"

Here’s a good blog post someone submitted to me that you should check out.  I’ll drop some quotes here but definitely if this is something you’re into, go to the page for the in-depth analysis.

…Orientalism reduces the vast heterogeneity of culture and heritage among the peoples of that region to commodifiable fantasies of submissive women, erotic harems and hedonistic pleasures. My previous posts on Jasmine delve deeper into the matter, but suffice it to say that Orientalism remains a persistent trend in Western media and culture.

The power of Orientalism lies in the interplay between revulsion and desire, where a dark and mysterious racial Other is equal parts titillating and terrifying…


Sephora’s Jasmine collection capitalizes on the embedded Orientalism of its source by invoking an imagery of  escape and freedom andallure. The word ‘exotic’ features frequently, as do other connotative ones like “mystique”, “decadent” and “sultry”. The eyeshadow palette features colors with names that are as evocatively Orientalist as they are culturally vague: ‘sultana’, ‘bazaar’, ‘arabian sunset’ (what exactly is an ‘arabian sunset’? I’ve lived in Dubai for over 10 years yet I don’t believe I could describe the exact “arabian” nature of sunsets in the region).  What does it mean for women of color like myself, and Arab women, to purchase makeup that’s described as ‘exotic’?  Are women of color even considered a target demographic when products like the Jasmine line are marketed with such evocative imagery? And what does it mean for white consumers to purchase the Jasmine fantasy? 

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