Lotus blossoms, dragon ladies, K-pop beauty queens, and crazy rich Asians . . . these are the jaded stereotypes distilled by the prevalent popular imaginary surrounding Asian/Asian American women. Despite their varying temperaments, they tend to focus on the particular decorative sensibilities and ornateness of Asian/Asian American female bodies. Among multiple scholarly efforts to wrestle with these enduring perceptions of yellow women, Ann Anlin Cheng's concept of ornamentalism is arguably the most significant theoretical perspective to have emerged in recent years. And yet, in the wake of the 2021 shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, which primarily targeted women of Asian descent, the notion of ornamentalism is rendered nearly irrelevant in the face of ghastly violence against hard-working, nonornamental bodies of Asian/Asian American women. Navigating through the debris of colonial intimacies, ornamentalism, and techno-orientalism, this article relies on the figure of the visor-wearing ajumma, a Korean word referencing a middle-aged woman. As a transnational and transhistorical framework emerging from the messy interstitial spaces between theory and reality, the concept of the ajumma stands at a crossroads marked by the suffocating weight of the American empire and the precarity of Asian/Asian American lives facing the persistent forces of racism, sexism, classism, and ageism.

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