Beauty is only skin deep…

I came across this blog by Vesko Cholakov, entitled ‘Rules of Attraction: Why White Men Marry Asian Women and Asian Men Don’t Marry White Women‘ (it’s quite a long read, so be warned!)

I’m going to jump over to the last part, about why Asian women marry white men and vice versa:

“…The final perception that informs our perception of beauty is the desirability of white skin globally, Northwestern anthropologist Sharma says.

“I don’t think you can find a society where dark skin is praised over white skin,” she says. America as a global force politically, culturally and economically defines what’s desirable. The U.S. was founded and is still ruled predominantly by white men, she says.

Some women of color approach white men to get better social status. “If a Filipina marries a westerner, her family sees dollars,” says Sheryl Berardinelli, the wife of film critic Berardinelli, who is ethnically Chinese and grew up in the Philippines. “It’s a very desirable match, and the family would pursue it even if the woman isn’t excited by the idea,” she says.

“The social order with white males on top in this country is alive and well. A white male can marry anybody he wants and he will never be subject to the same kind of social and societal disapproval a woman would,” says Cheryl Judice, a Northwestern University sociology professor and an author of the book “Interracial Marriages Between Black Women and White Men.”

White man’s desire to marry a “mystic” creature from a land far away dates back to the age of colonization when along with war, sex and marriage flourished, Sharma says. It was common for British colonizers to have relationships – even whole families – with Indian concubines. French, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch did the same in Indochina, Africa and South America. Americans have also brought home war brides from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, Sharma says. The trend became especially popular in the 1970s, during the feminist movement in the U.S., when American women became “uncontrollable” and pamphlets that Asians were submissive and completely oriented to serve as wives captured American men’s imagination, Yuh says.”

Hmmm..well, first and foremost, let me just say that I have many Asian girlfriends who have married white men and now live scattered all over the world. Most of them are educated and modern working women who married their western partners because of shared interests, mutual respect, love, etc..the usual reasons why you’d marry a man in general, regardless of ethnicity.

Though, I must say that during my travel experiences and working in the airlines, I’ve also come across the more domesticated, subdued type of Asian women (usually too young) travelling west with their much older, fat and balding, past-middle-age Western partners. More than once when I was serving these couples on the plane, the man would make every decision for his partner, or at least talk her into agreeing with him— she’d just meekly nod or say ‘yes, OK OK….’. In fact, most of the time I’d hardly hear the poor woman speak in the first place, probably because she could hardly speak any English, or had the confidence to even try.

In such situations, I felt sympathy for those women, as I assumed that just by looking at their apparent mismatch that these men who became their husbands, were way beyond their shelf lives (i.e. rejected by western women), and hence they’d gone to parts of Asia to look for the ‘ideal wife’, in communities that probably worshipped them (aka ‘white cash cows’) thanks to colonialisation, tourism and Hollywood.

But then, who was I to judge? Some of these Asian countries that I had been to or at least read about, were so impoverished that any kind of life was better than having to fight off 9 other siblings for a piece of mouldy bread under a flimsy thatched roof…. so perhaps, these men could give them a much better life abroad after all.

That said, as a globe-trotting Asian woman, I have to agree that most of the time when I was travelling, men did openly express their interest and found long and flowy black-haired Far Easterns like me exotic, fascinating and different. There was once when I had a night-stop in Zurich and I was innocently looking for chocolates at a local supermarket, when I kept on bumping into the same man at every corner; he was apparently swept away by my so-called striking, golden-skinned beauty (huhhh! I was jet-lagged and hadn’t slept for at least 18 hours!).

Anyway, that was just one example. When I was based in the Middle East for a couple of years, scores of the American and European men who were also based there, were falling like dominos all over the Thai and Indonesian trainee flight attendants in the batches before mine. I even overheard one say ‘the Thais are good in bed’. As for the Asian girls, I suppose they probably couldn’t resist a Jason Statham lookalike? (Ugghhh…that reminds me of the movie ‘The Transporter’, where pathetic and screaming Shu Qi of course, most willingly shed her clothes for her hero. Disgusting! *shudder*).

In short, white, black or golden-brown skin, I suppose as long as everyone is happy, why does it matter? After all, technology and travel have made our world a much smaller place to live in nowadays, as we inter-mingle with one another across the globe whether for pleasure, matrimony or to do business with. Though in some third world countries, the fairer-skinned men (or women) are still worshipped and regarded as beautiful or rich, but the good news is, in modern Asian cities such as Singapore, they are considered as equals; I suppose that would mean that white men trying to court educated and city-slick Asian women would just have to try much harder now! 🙂

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