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Or, is beauty merely a social construct amplified by popular culture?After more than a dozen interviews, I found some fascinating answers that go back two centuries of history.
Is there really something profound about face shape, height and body features that defines attraction?
I studied abroad at the National University of Singapore for a semester my sophomore year. The participants consistently voted black men and Asian women as the most attractive representatives of each gender; Asian men and black women were seen as the least desirable partners.
I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar trend: My white male friends were fascinated with the idea to hit on Asian girls. arker skin is always associated with more masculine faces,” Lewis told me in a phone conversation.
This interaction between an Asian male and black female may have been unappealing, or too daring, to viewers.
Long Duck Dong, a foreign exchange students, plays the role of a total dork who with sophomoric innuendo keeps proposing to suburban teenager Samantha, while she craves romantic attention from the high-school’s hunk Jake.
In the final scene of the original cut, Jet Li’s character kisses O’Day, played by the late hip-hop star Aaliyah.
However, test screenings showed that viewers did not approve of the kiss; the final cut saw the kiss changed to a hug and a fourth-grade-style holding of hands.
Popular culture – movies, TV, cartoons, books – aim to reflect reality and end up reinforcing it as well.
“This is not a matter of brainwashing,” Sharma says.
This post is long overdue (two years after I returned from Singapore) but I want to share my findings with you.
Three major stereotypes – that have come into being in history and have since been reinforced by popular culture – inform the perceptions of beauty in Western culture today, says The first stereotype is that black men are aggressive and hyper-masculine – “walking penises” – and Asian women are the perfect wives – docile, submissive, obedient, shy and waiting to be saved, Sharma says.
If you think of Asian men or black women as less attractive than other races, it is because of you, not because of them, Sharma says.