What Is It about Asian Women?

Article excerpt

Byline: Phillip Milano, The Times-Union

Question

My friends and I are always curious about what kind of Asian girls foreigners think are beautiful.

Ying-Yao, 24,

Asian female, Miami

Replies

I'd say it's just the "exotic" aspect of them to the Western imagination. We have a long history of imagining the mysterious Asian, however mistaken that may be.

Vail, 40,

male, Philadelphia

For me, the petite body and jet-black hair are the big attracters. Asian women [also] have very developed sexual identities. Also, I believe Asian women are educated and articulate.

Keith, 42,

white male, Jacksonville

I think the real draw is the myth that Asian girls are comfortable in a subservient position. I've dated a couple of Asian girls, and neither were anything resembling subservient. But I do have to admit that -- at first -- I was attracted to the "unusualness" factor: They were something other than the blond-haired, blue-eyed girls of my hometown.

Mike T.,

white male, Grand Rapids, Mich.

EXPERTS SAY

Stereotypes about the exotic, submissive Asian woman have floated around the United States since at least the mid-1800s, said Guofang Li, a professor at the University at Buffalo's Graduate School of Education.

When Chinese women first came to this country, many were concubines (secondary wives) for Chinese men, she noted. The cliched image of the meek, available Asian beauty carried over into modern society, particularly among some white males.

"It fits their psychological needs in terms of looking for an ideal woman," Li said. …