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Being Asian On Tinder Means Getting Rejected Or Fetishized And Neither Feels Good

Being Asian On Tinder Means Getting Rejected Or Fetishized And Neither Feels Good

The hazards of dating while Asian and male.
Posted on August 25, 2018, at 12:13 a.m.
Adam Chen
Adam Chen
BuzzFeed Contributor
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I swipe right on every person until I reach my “like” quota, at which point I’m notified I need to wait for 12 hours.

I wait 12 hours, and start again. After a couple of days, I get a match.

I scroll through her photos, and stop at the fourth. She's Snapchat-stickered two strawberries onto her cheeks and added a touch of digital red blush.

Her description is brief:

I like the 4 S’s:




Swilling to put up with the fact I’m a weeb

A quick Google search tells me that “weeb” is shorthand for “weeabo” — someone obsessed with Japanese culture, in particular anime and manga.

“If one squeezes your strawberry cheeks will their fingers smell like strawberries?” I ask.

“They don’t smell like strawberries,” she replies. “But they taste like them.”

We decide to grab bubble tea and go for a walk in the park. She asks for my last name, to which I reply “Chen.”

“Oh my god, I think you're like the fifth Chen I’ve been with this year.”

I’m not sure how to respond, so I give off a nervous laugh. She tells me about her “preferences” — she’s not into white dudes. She only dates Asian guys, citing an attraction to our smooth, hairless skin and almond-shaped brown eyes.

“I don’t like my blue eyes,” she tells me while brushing away her hair, which she dyed blonde because “that’s what Asian guys like more.”

She tells me she’s host of an AMWF (Asian male, white female) Tumblr feed. She opens up the page to offer me a look. I laugh nervously, again, as I scroll through the posts — GIFs, photos captioned with messages of white woman domination, and short, thrusty video clips of white girls and Asian guys going at it. I continue to scroll down, until I realize I’m nowhere near the bottom.

There’s a scene in the 2017 film Get Out where the black protagonist starts to get suspicious that his white girlfriend’s family is out to get him. Despite being reassured that he’s the first black boyfriend she’s ever had, he stumbles upon a red box hidden in her room filled with old photos of her cozying up with other black men. The slow widening of his eyes as he flips through photo after photo allows the audience to feel something that would otherwise be difficult to articulate. I’ve had some of my own Get Out moments over the past year — sometimes it’s a quick look at a Tinder match’s Facebook profile and clicking through numerous photos of her with faces just like mine staring back at me. Sometimes it’s entering a bedroom greeted with pillowcases, bedsheets, and walls plastered with the faces of airbrushed Korean pop idols. On their faces I see the eyes of a stranger — someone from another country, with different values, who speaks a different language, and likely didn’t binge four hours of The Simpsons daily as a child.

I imagine my dates projecting that K-pop ideal — with soft facial features, “beastly” yet slim bodies, and androgynous fashion — onto my sluggish body and outlet mall wardrobe. My individual identity feels stifled by my physical resemblance to a group I don’t feel any genuine connection to. And this wave of Korean cultural media influence, known in South Korea and within the idol community as hallyu, isn’t going anywhere.

Technology has allowed K-pop to spread its pretty face across the screens and into eyes of Western young people. The global K-pop fanbase has risen from 30 million in 2013 to 70 million in 2017. In the same period, YouTube views have tripled, with K-pop boy band BTS’s pageviews exceeding those of Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and yes, even Drake. BTS has managed to do what no other K-pop acts before it have done: find a way into the top 10 of the American charts. It’s basically modern-day Beatlemania.

Elizabeth “Dori” Tunstall, a K-pop fan and Dean of Design at OCAD University, uses the motto of legendary K-pop star Rain, “Endless effort, endless humility, endless modesty,” to emblematize the type of man idealized in this movement. He is intellectual (most K-pop idols need at least an undergraduate degree, if not a master’s), self-restraining, and obedient to authority — a group of traits often referred to as “soft power.” Young women are a major part of shaping contemporary interpretations for “ideal masculinity,” and their infatuation with K-pop is redefining how East Asian men like me are being seen in North America.

Given my lack of representation in the media growing up, accompanied by a sense of not being necessarily seen as “desirable” by those outside of my race, should I really be complaining? Is it so bad to have this new global trend increase my dating options ever so slightly? As retired Hong Kong University professor Kam Louie wrote in his article “Asian Masculinity Studies in the West: From Minority Status to Soft Power,” “Whether Asian masculinity is trendy or effeminate, at least it has been mainstreamed.”
kkotminam  Korean-men  Korean-masculinity  Korean-beauty-ideals  Asian-Americans 
25 days ago by thegrandnarrative
Opinion | An Asian-American Teen Idol Onscreen, Finally - The New York Times
Teenage years are all about crushes. Crushes so deep you wanted to inhabit the other person, be inside their skin, see the world through their eyes. Before there was Pinterest or Tumblr, we used actual bulletin boards made out of cork, and we would pin our onscreen crushes on them with little pushpins. Mine had Dwayne Wayne from “A Different World” in his flip-top glasses, and Jordan Catalano from “My So-Called Life,” leaning against a locker. Oh, how I loved the way he leaned.

But the truth is that teenage girls think far more about other girls than boys. When I was 13, my teen queen was Alicia Silverstone in her cutoffs and slip dresses, ribbed camisoles and combat boots. Those knee socks she wore with her yellow three-piece suit in “Clueless.” Every time Buffy the Vampire Slayer cut her hair, I cut mine too — from chunky layers to a bob. I even did the Season 3 baby bangs that work only on a certain type of hair. (Not mine.)

No matter how I did my hair, I was never going to look like any of my idols or any of the girls in my cherished Delia’s catalog. No average girl would ever achieve that impossible ideal, but if she was white, she did see a glossier version of herself in movies and on magazine covers and TV. As an Asian-American girl, I didn’t have that experience.
representation  Asian-americans  teenage-girls 
4 weeks ago by thegrandnarrative
‘Lopping,’ ‘Tips’ and the ‘Z-List’: Bias Lawsuit Explores Harvard’s Admissions Secrets
July 29, 2018 | - The New York Times | By Anemona Hartocollis, Amy Harmon and Mitch Smith.
One tries very hard to assess the candidate’s potential. Is he or she a self-starter? How much help has he had? Has the candidate peaked? How will he or she react to not being head of the class?

Does he or she have the core values, confidence, perspective and flexibility to adapt and thrive? Not surprisingly, companies and others prefer applicants who have what a law firm where I later recruited called “a can-do attitude.”
........The case has been orchestrated by Edward Blum, a longtime crusader against affirmative action and voting rights laws, and it may yield him a fresh chance to get the issue before the Supreme Court. The court turned away his last major challenge to university admissions, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in 2016.

[Read: How other Ivy League schools are coming to Harvard’s defense.]

The debate goes back to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. The assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 was a turning point, pushing colleges to redouble their efforts to be more representative of American society.

But Asians were an overlooked minority despite a long history of discrimination. .......The plaintiffs say that the personal rating — which considers an applicant’s character and personality — is the most insidious of Harvard’s admissions metrics. They say that Asian-Americans are routinely described as industrious and intelligent, but unexceptional and indistinguishable — characterizations that recall painful stereotypes for many people of Asian descent. (The applicant who was the “proverbial picket fence” was Asian-American.).........Professor Khurana, the Harvard College dean, acknowledged that Harvard was not always perfect, but said it was trying to get its practices right.

“I have a great deal of humility knowing that some day history will judge us,” Professor Khurana said. “I think that’s why we are constantly asking ourselves this question: How can we do better? How could we be better? What are we missing? Where are our blind spots?”
admissions  affirmative_action  Asian-Americans  blind_spots  Colleges_&_Universities  discrimination  diversity  Harvard  Ivy_League  lawsuits  race-blind  race-conscious  selection_processes  biases  elitism  ethnic_stereotyping  meritocratic  students  racial_disparities 
7 weeks ago by jerryking

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