Monday, April 20, 2009

Yellow Fever

I could not figure out how to post videos in the actual body of my post like Walter did before (and yes, I defy the stereotype of a tech-savvy Asian male), so here is the link:

In addition to this being both humorous and personally relevant (because, you know, I'm Asian), I found it to be quite the commentary on interracial relationships in general. I cannot say too much on the main character's point of view because most of my relationships have indeed been with white people (gasp!). However, a few questions did come up as I was viewing the video that I thought I should put to the rest of you, a predominantly white group. Please note that I am suspending that "there is no race" argument in this line of questioning; I do not really know how to do this any other way so a point blank inquiry seems the best approach.

When looking for a partner, does skin color really factor in to a potential mate's attractiveness? I understand that there can be a cultural divide; believe me, I have been there. I would like to believe attraction is indeed based on personality and confidence as stated (somewhat questionably) in the video, but my previous personal inquiries have yielded mixed results.

Some people claim to be color-blind and base attractiveness completely on compatibility. Some find certain races exotic and refuse to date within their own race. Some are the exact opposite and find anyone outside of their race to be unattractive. And I think all these claims are legitimate. Not everyone thinks alike and I feel that generalizing something as absurd and profoundly confusing as sexual attraction can just be seen as history's biggest load of bollix. Even if these claims are philosophically proven false (which I expect at least one of you to do), I can be fairly positive that the people who gave me these answers believed what they were telling me. If they believe that is how attraction functions, who would I be to challenge that?

I don't wish to put anyone on the spot for their personal preferences, but a general answer to Phillip's "phenomenon" would be appreciated. Also, if you have not seen Taming of the Shrew yet, you should. It has nothing to do with race (other than the three of us that were cast that are not white), but I figured as long as we were talking about uncommon relationships I would toss out a shameless plug.



  1. I would have to say that even in our modern "open-minded" society race still does play a major part in relationships. Just look around (not just on our campus) at the overwhelming majority of "same-race" (that is if you can determine race by looks) couples. When I see a mixed race couple I do not see that as the norm. Even though we have come a long way since the days of anti-miscegenation laws there is still an invisible divide between the races whether it be psychological or societal. One love.

  2. I found the youtube video pretty entertaining, and it draws attention to some important points in our "relationships" of choice. A really good part of the video pointed out that attractiveness doesn't always have to do with race. There are many attractive qualities about someone, which do not deal with their skin color nor their religion and can attractive others who vary in those areas. Yet, I also agree with Lowery that our "open-minded" society race is a huge factor. Dealing with the social obligations that come along with inner mixed couples would be hard enough, but then there are also the issues of family, culture, and the identity of any children that may come from the pair. We have all heard many stories and talked in class about the mixed child that is unable to identify with anything. I think slowly with the rise of our current generation these expectations will change. Hopefully, people will be able to move past the outward appearance and unto what really counts.

  3. Honestly I find that "race" (with all its assumptions) is not what i attract to or am not attracted to. I am attracted to what a person looks like, sounds like, and acts like. In that way, I have found that I am not attracted to Indians, Scandinavians, or Hispanics yet I am incredibly attracted to Italians (of all colors). It has nothing to do with race or culture because an Italian's culture and family structure is incredibly different than my own. I think it has much more to do with taste. The more we mix and match, the more we will get lasting interracial couples. Otherwise people may never know who they may like the best.

  4. The points on this blog are all really good. In class we have discussed a little about sex and race. It has been shown that people are usually attracted to others who are more similar to them than different. This may explain why we see more same-race couples than interracial couples. We have also discussed how racism can fuel one's attraction to a different race by objectifying, sexualizing and fantacizing about the taboo. I'm sure this still exists today. As for Asian Fever, it seems to me that Asian-Americans are culturally similar to White-Americans, and therefore, Asians and Whites are easily compatible (I apologize for the stereotyping in that statement).

    Who we are attracted to is determined by similarity, primitive instincts, cultural views on beauty, and only partly by our personal preferences. It seems that interracial relationships would be extremely beneficial to our somewhat segregated society. I'm interested in what the racial makeup of the U.S. will be in 50 years.

  5. Well this certainly harkens back to the earlier texts with their exoticism and sexual attraction to other races. The video was certainly funny, although, it seems that they ended on the note that the size of your "confidence" changes your attractiveness. I think that it's interesting that they've isolated the relationships to minority girl and majority guy. If that is an actual phenomenon, then I would suppose the attraction to the "norm" and the privileges associated would be a factor. I seem to remember someone talking about judging their family on assimilation into white culture and the desire to be closer to the "norm." So if that is the case, then the choice of a white guy for a relationship might be targeted on achieving the "norm".


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