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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Are Asian women really attracted to Western men?

[Photo: Source]

Yesterday I had a debate with a fellow blogger Jerine about Western men and Asian women. It all started when I said that while I was in Malaysia and Singapore, I got a lot of comments from girls who said I was handsome. These were mostly friends of my ex-girlfriend. And when I received these compliments, I always felt they were sincere. I'm not saying I heard these compliments every day or so, it was just few. But still more than you hear them here in the West from our Western girls. Of course I was also complementing some women there and when I said it, I meant it. But yesterday Jerine told me (who is Chinese Malaysian) that the girls there just say it, but don't actually mean it. Is it maybe something like when someone in USA asks you Hey, how are you doin? and he actually does not want to know how you are really doing, it's just a figure of speech. If in Europe we ask How are you? we're really interested how someone is and if we say to someone You are beautiful! we really mean it. I'm not really used to those meaningless compliments and I'm sure Jerine has a point. She's living there, I'm sure she observed girls giving compliments to Western guys and didn't really mean it. I'm sure it happens vice-versa as well. But a while ago, I had a similar discussions with a Caucasian friend (who is living in Singapore) and he also noticed that he got more compliments from girls in Asia than from his fellow American girls in his homecountry. I mean, how come there are so many couples interracial relationships between Western men and Asian women? You can see some Asian guys with Western girls, but it's much rarer. When it comes to my personal opinion, why I deem some Southeast Asian women attractive, I'd say it's purely superficial. Why do some prefer blondes over brunettes? It's really hard to understand why someone prefers a certain type of partners. Actually, why would that matter anyway? If you love someone truly, there's nothing wrong with any preference. But of course, people judgmental and opinionated, especially when it comes to interracial relationships. People easily stick a fetish tag on you, even, if they don't know you, your background and your opinions. In reality interracial relationships are not what most people imagine. I know that, because I had 2 relationships with 2 Asian girls. Once the initial phase (of being in love) fades away, you face the same challenges like any other relationships. Sure, some things are different, like the cultural things, the mindset, how you're perceived by the environment. But if you're adaptable (like me), than this should be no problem. If you want to date an Asian woman, don't have unreal expectations, because all the stereotypes are not true. Each woman is unique, her own character. Your relationship will be like any relationship, with ups and downs and issues to deal with. Well, besides the sexual attraction, many Western men think Asian women are more loyal than the ones in the West. That may be true in some cases, but nowadays there's no assurance that this will be the case. Maybe some 50-60 years ago there was some truth in that, but these days many young Asian girls just break with their traditions and are very independent. Even cheating on guys is not uncommon. I've heard about a lot of cases when I was in Malaysia. But Asia is very diverse, so I can only speak for where I used to live, Malaysia and Singapore.
Well, I do wonder why Western men attract Asian women? Even Jerine said, that there was so many Western guys dating Asian women in her circle of friends. And if you go to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, you will see many interracial couples of this sort. Maybe it's the stereotype of the stronger masculinity (often portrayed in the media), that attracts them? Is it the so many White sport, music, movie stars who portray a positive image of White men? Is it the stereotype that we are all rich? Well, I don't know, that's open to discussion. All I know is, that the compliments I received were felt as sincere, but maybe that's just because of me. And of course all this is just my rambling, that may not make much sense to some of you. But anyway, what's your take on the whole issue?


What if I say you're not handsome in my eyes???


You can say that Jerine, but I won't believe you. I know you think I'm handsome :P

No, seriously, you can say that. I didn't say every Asian girls is crazy about me. For many I won't be good-looking, but they won't tell me. Usually we don't tell people you're ugly. Not in the West, not in Asia. All I said was that I got some more positive responses while in Asia. It's not like I am Brad Pitt in Asia and Smeagol in the West :P It's just a slight difference :)

Women all over the world like interesting, powerful, self-confident men. If a man travels 10000km through the wilderness, goes to a country with a totally foreign language like China, and even has a good life there, how can he not be interesting, powerful and self-confident?

I recommend You to read Matt Ridley - The Red Queen. Well, it's really hard to read because it's a scientific biology book. Insane amounts of scientific vocabulary. You need a good dictionary and check wikipedia on a lot of terms, but in the end You will get a good picture why people are attracted to each other from a biological point of view. A real eye opener, which will bring Your understanding of the topic to a whole new level.

@Junjie. I agree, you said it well.

I don't think you fall under my category of handsome. To me Vin Diesel is my type. It's very subjective when it comes to looks. So I'm actually not really whetehr you're handsome or not.

@Jerine, I know I know, I was just joking before. I know I wasn't your type and it's probably same vice-versa, but you can never really tell until you see the person in real. My ex said I looked better in real than on pics. Anyway, I'd never match up to Vin Diesel, haha. How could I build up so many muscles? :) He's a great guy, btw, you have good taste. :)

really? a lot people thought i have a bad taste because they think he's not that good looking :S

@Jerine, Well, I like his movies, he's definitely cool and manly. I mean, which guy wouldn't want to be like him? He may not be the mainstream handsome guy like Brad Pitt, but he definitely has something that the ladies are crazy about. He's strong and a renegade. No wonder, it's what Junjie said, he radiates selfconfidence :)

Nah...actually I always think my bf has that Vin Diesel's elements. But still things don't go that well.

By the way, who is that girl on your blog header?

@Jerine, no clue, I don't know her name, saved this pic a while a go, found it online. She's hot, isn't she? I sooo wish I was handsome for her :P

LOL... she looks like my cousin. The first time I saw the photo I got shocked.

@Jerine, OMG, what if it's really her? And behind her looks like Batu Feringghi... OMG... Maybe you ask her. I found same photo on Flickr, but can't find her name. She looks like a model. Ehm, is your cousin single? ^^

I said looks like my cousin. But definitely NOT my cousin. She's only 18. And I guess she is single.

@Jerine, alrighty, i HAVE understood. :P

Your cousin is young, this one looks a bit older than 18. Maybe one day this sweet woman will find my blog, see her pic near Brad Pitt and contact me :) Haha...

This is a hard one. ^_^

I do get a lot more compliments and even indirect compliments here. My wife's friends and her coworkers all say I'm good looking and always insist she bring me along to group events. It's one thing for a few people to say it, but when many do, I think it's more than just being polite. Also, I never received this many compliments openly from women in the US. Not to say I was shunned. I had my fare share, but this is at least triple what I was used to. Sometimes I feel showered with compliments to the point that I wonder if they're actually seeing the same person I see when I look in the mirror. It's damn odd.

I think the biggest reason is the fact that a Western man is different. Ya, that sounds basic right? And obvious. But what I mean is that a Western man has been places that the local girl has never seen or maybe only dreamed of. He has stories to tell about experiences in other cities. It's probably all very fascinating and alluring, especially to girls who dream of traveling abroad one day. I'm saying this because a lot of my wife's friends always ask me questions about the places I've been, and I have lots of stories to tell. I've lived in 6 different countries, visited a dozen more, and lived in almost 20 different towns and cities all over the world. So, it's partly about the mystery.

Of course looks are part of it. It doesn't matter how well traveled, witty, or funny you are or where you're from. If you look like a bridge troll you're still not going to get any Asian cooter. Unless you pay for it that is.

Lastly I think it might have something to do with culture and upbringing. I get hit on more by Filipinas than Singaporeans for example. In the Philippines, media has caused a national mentality of "white is beautiful" and "white people are more attractive". Regardless of how much a person tries to deny it, if you're brought up hearing that all of your life, on some level you're going to believe it. The same can't be said so much about Singaporean women. Maybe for them it's a money thing. They see a white guy in Singapore and assume he has money to travel and money to burn. Everything in Singapore is about money anyways.

Well, that's my two cents. Discuss!

Actually I think Jerine meant the girl in the header image. I think you told me that is Hyo-Ri Lee, some Korean pop singer.

@Brad, excellent comment. I couldn't say it better. I also had the feeling that it's not just the politeness, it is a phenomenon that must have some truth behind it. Even if half of those compliments your recieve as a white guy were phony, it's still way more than here at home. And it's so obvious when you see so many interracial couples on Orchard road. And I'm not talking about old grey white men over 50 with Asian teenagers, I'm talking about youngsters between 20-30 who sincerely love each other. Hell, I'll throw in this: Even XiaXue has a white guy bf :P

@Brad & Jerine, Thanx Brad, now I noticed it, Jerine asked about the blog header image not the post image. It's like Brad said, Lee Hyo-ri, the Korean singer.

@Nashe^, Oh oh... better not. Your expectations are too high now, you'll be disappointed... NOT :P

I don't know, but for me I married the husband because we love each other, not because of his skin colour.

Actually all these while I've always thought I'd marry some Malay dude.

@rinaz, thanx for your insightful comment :)

very interesting...hmmnn... well, all is fair in LOVE if it's love we're talking about and not just some major infatuation whether one prefers Asian or western guys , brown, black, white, blue whatever... I mean, if it's love and a lasting relationship you're looking for, no boundaries matter ...Like if I'm attracted to a guy, that's because there's something in him, it's totally random when we talk about race...^^

@Sassy, I agree, people put too much in race. It's usually something else that attracts us anyway :)

it has something to do with this quote i got from the movie addicted to love "they love me because here i am superman, whereas in France Im a nobody" The French guy character says this to the lead character implying that he is special in the USA because he is unique, exotic, uncommon. This is my take why I think white guys are hot over here at asia, and asian women are hot to white guys. we tend to like something or someone that is not ordinary. if superman was in krypton, he would be ordinary because everyone else there has super powers. ON earth he is special.
Analogy aside, white guys reign supreme or are supermen when they are here in asia. ON the other hand, us Asian women are guaranteed most likely to be the Supergirls from that other part of the world=)

@i love myself, there's a lot of truth in your anology, but it's hard to say. These days are many Westerners interested in Asian culture, especially Japan, while many Asian girls are interested in Europe or USA, where they go and study. And many of these people could easily find a partner at home. Not everybody is of this kind as you mentioned above. Sure, some are. But it's really relative. You have also so called 'ugly' people in Europe dating so called 'pretty' people. I mean, define beauty. It's not that easy. And I don't think we feel supreme in Asia, I don't. Maybe some do, but probably minority. You have many people here who feel supreme, it's the character. If you're rich or successful and full of yourself, you'll be an asshole everywhere ;-)

Are really western guys attractive to Asian women? When this question have been raised, I become aware about it. I don't know what MKL and Jerine were debated was really about. Was is about the sincerity from Asian women's commemoration to MKL or what. I, myself think that western guys are attractive, but I won't say they are handsome if it's obviously that they are not. Even though I find western guys are handsome, but I am not silly. They are just similar to any country that people (not 1 or 2) would consist of good-looking people and commoner. As I am an Asian women, I don't easily tell to a western guy that he is handsome if he not ask me how does he look. I won't lie to him. I do agree with that sometime we just give a compliment if he really wants to know. However, "easier said than done". He can re-consider if that is true or not with his own intuition.

He can notice how we really serious saying that word. So, I think western guys are not idiots. They can trust their own feelings if that compliments really come from Asian's true heart. Therefore, no question am I handsome, no answer you are handsome. You would better observe our actions than our compliments. Because Asian girls are shy, we won't express it freely like western women do. Sometime, we think "hey, he is handsome" but we won't speak it out to him straightforwardly. The thing they are attractive to me is that they are different from us, your figure, skin color, hair color and etc. And I will make a compliment to you if you are really good-looking guy. In your case, MKL is not handsome in Jerine's eyes, but maybe MKL is handsome in other Asian women's eyes. So, from my thinking, I think it is no absolute answer for this. It depends on each person.

@Kanchana, Wow, you made some very good points and put a lot of thought into your comment. I like that :) You are right when you say that you (Asian women) usually say it the way you mean it. I always had the feeling that the compliments I recieved were sincere.
An thank you for cheering me up with that last sentences. I know I'm not handsome for every Asian girl :) Actually if it's one girl that likes me, I don't care for anyone else. But that's the hardest part: To find the right one.

At the risk of sounding cynical, I would say that the reason most Asian women in Asian countries jump at Western men is for one main reason: (the perception of the Western man having) Money. And marrying them can lead to gaining nationality in a more affluent country.

Although in some cases, the attraction would be due to the Western man's "exoticism" in Asia. Western culture is more direct, which could make a Western male stand out (this is also tied to the explanation of why women are generally attracted by "bad boys" - the reason goes all the way back to the Stone Age where its the survival of the fittest (and most aggressive)). Of course, in general, Western men have heavier muscle bulk due to diet (but this is not a given).

@The Envoy, you have some good points about the money, but I think that is the case for poorer countries like Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia. Because there's a trend where also many Singaporean or Korean men marry women from these countries. This phenomenon is everywhere.

On the other hand, I agree with your second paragraph. We are exotic to each other and that's the attraction.

Let's say the western men want a more feminine woman, because of western women have the reputation of being stronger and more self-confident, while Asian women desire a more masculine man, because many Asian guys are like you said, less confident and their appearance may be less masculine (although I've seen many strong guys in Asia). Of course, we can't generalize. It's just a trend.

Speaking fm an Asian woman who has lived in the West for quite some time, I can generalise that a lot of Asians have this 'white inferiority complex'.

This complex can go both ways: 1) either all things West are great or 2) all things West are bad.

The younger women will probably dream of marrying a white man because they believe that he will bring them better life, better money. ( yes the money factor is quite big)

But the older generation who see their daughters dating/ marrying a white guy will deem it as traitors to their own culture. They have cynicism towards the West. They will make remarks like: The white boy is only after sex with you.

So it can go both ways.
Since you've been to Malaysia, you can see Malaysia has been really westernised. People there love to imitate the "west" lifestyle and many now are fantasising themselves living the "west" life. some to the point that they are willing to live on credit to chase after that 'dream'.

So yeah, the inferiority complex does play a bit of a role here.

@pavlova, good points. I am definitely learning a lot here. Some say Malaysian girls flatter you, but don't mean it, some say it's curiosity because we're exotic to each other, the appearance, the money, the inferiority complex. Or maybe just simple love with no other reason but 2 people liking themselves for what they are.
There's no definite answer to this, but I learned that there's a lot of things I need to keep in mind the next time I encounter an Asian girl and have an interest. I definitely want that she would like me not because I'm white, but because of my character.
Thanx for your long comment. You're always welcome to return.

Haha this post amused me because I frequently visit Hong Kong, where shop girls are more than happy to tell Westerners (both male and female) that they're fat.
In fact, one of my (female) friends attempted to try on a jacket, but the sales assistant started screaming, "NO TRY! YOU NO TRY! TOO SMALL! WE NO YOU SIZE!"
Which roughly translated to get-the-hell-outta-my-shop-fat-ass-before-I-call-the-cops.
Keep in mind that my friend is actually around a size 2 (U.S.).

@Sara, haha... That's weird, I been in HK, too, but never encountered such a thing :)

This is an interesting subject to me. I am a former US Marine who spent many years in Asia. I was born and raised in NY, and always found myself attracted to Asian girls. My first duty in 1981 as an 18 year old Marine was in the you can imagine, I was in HEAVEN! I do consider myself good looking, and this is due to comments made by girls while I was growing up. I did notice, as many other commenters have said, that the volume of compliments was definitely greater than it had been back home. I think the difference is that American women tend to withhold compliments of that sort, as they expect to be gushed over by guys and treated like princesses. Sure, if you're brad Pitt or Tom Cruise, maybe it's different but most American women aren't fawmimg over a guy because of his looks. I have found that certain Asian women who are more social and outgoing tend to be more vocal. These women aren't afraid to say what they feel...

Having said all of that, I have witnessed friends of mine who are "looks challenged" receiving outsized comments regarding their looks. Of course, we were in bars and bargirls were making the comments, so I guess it depends onthe context of when you're hearing the "handsome" comment! :)

@formermarine44 Thanks for your unexpected yet good comment. It's quite a complex issue, but yea, those Westerners who can compare the West and Asia mostly have similar experiences, which is more compliments in Asia and somewhat easier way to pick up girls. Maybe when you're not 'at home', you're more laid back, more bold. Who knows :)

Yes asian women are human. They may have differen culture, thinking and more but they are women and you do have to deal with some of the same things as any other woman.
Not all asian woman are the same. Japanese are different from Korean who are different from Chinese who are different from Filipino, etc. So one problem I think is that western men group all of the women together in one box and think that they all are the same.

@yoshiii, I feel your sarcasm. Yes, we're all human and most of us adults, so we can talk about a compex issue and share our opinion, right?

I've been long enough in Asia to distinguish between Korean, Japanese and Chinese. I even speak basic Chinese, as well as a little Japanese and Korean. I have tons of friends from Southeast Asia, I even speak a little Malay. So I can only speak for myself: I don't group all the women together, I can differ and distinguish. As for other Western men, some do stereotype, some don't. I'm not their advocate, I can only speak for myself.

First off, interesting entry! I never quite taken into consideration whether Asians in Asia really mean it when they compliment someone's looks, but like you, I always assumed they do. But then again, I'm born and raised in the West myself (the U.S.) so despite being Asian, I wouldn't know if they mean it or not. It does seem kind of strange to compliment someone's looks just to be polite or whatnot, but that's just me being biased, I supposed.

But if I can comment at all, I would think at least a few of the girls who complimented you were sincere. Why? Well, because from my personal point-of-view, I honestly do find some white guys very attractive. Obviously, not all of them are, but a lot are pretty attractive. Of course, whether it's because I'm raised in a society where the media often portrays white men in a positive light or whether it's simply due to my personal taste is questionable, since I don't know the answer myself; I simply know I find some white guys attractive for whatever reason. Maybe the same goes for a few of those Asian girls who complimented you. Maybe they're used to seeing top Hollywood actors who are white males or maybe they're just fascinated by men with lighter skin but for whatever the reason, I'm sure at least a few of them were honest when they complimented you.

As for American girls not complimenting the guys, well, I think there's a good reason why we don't (at least, in front of them). Even though yes, we do see a lot of cute guys around when we go out, we generally prefer not to just walk up to them and say, "Hey, you're cute." I think the reason for that (at least for me and my friends personally) is that we're raised in a culture where the girls who do that are generally seen as being too forward, lusty, desperate, etc...Examples being Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan types. Paris and Lindsay are the kinds of American girls who are more likely to do that--the ones that will make the "first move." And that's usually seen as a negative thing.

So when my friends and I go out and see a really hot guy, we just whisper to each other and comment about how hot he is, but we would never walk up to him and just say it to his face, simply because we don't want to appear to be too forward or flirty or "slutty", etc...But that doesn't mean we don't see the guy as being attractive :)

Of course, I'm only one American girl so I can't speak for all American girls, but at least for me and my circle of friends, that's usually the reason why we don't approach a guy with the line "Hey, I think you're hot."

But with the Asian girls in Asia, I'm guessing they're freer to express that since usually when they do that, they don't have any ulterior motives. Whereas here in the U.S., the girls who do that are desperate to get laid, causing other girls to think twice before they say something like that to a guy, especially when they first meet.

Hope that shed some light on your understanding of both Asian and American girls. It's all guesswork though, especially in respect to the things I've said about Asian girls. The last time I've been to Asia was when I was 9 so can't remember a thing about their society there.

@sushilover-jin Wow, thank your for your great comment. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm happy to get an American perspective on this issue. It's similar to Europe, but still has some unique characteristics that are only found there, I guess. I don't have much to add, I can only say I totally agree what you said. Very well written. Thank you very much :-)

Well, my ex boyfriend's a brazillian. But, I don't think that was really great at all. Yes, maybe girls around me would be very jealous at me that I got such a great and hot guy, I don't think that's cool. Coz most of the Asian girls will think that only slutty girl/hot chick/ or whatsoever they name it will go after a foreigner/ caucasian and stuff. This is what I know from my friends.

@stefanie But if you love someone, you don't really care what others say, right? At least that's how I do... and well, Brazillian, would that be considered a Western man? More like Latin American, but that's open to discussion :) Anyway, thanks for your input :)

Sad thing is I know he's just a play boy. You're right,it's Latin American. Anyway,seems like running out the topic. Haha. You're welcome.

@Stefanie Oh, oh... so he's more like a 'latin lover', hehe. That's another blog topic. :)

I'm an Asian guy and while my friends are all into Japanese chicks, I adore white chicks, LOL! Latinas, blondes etc, I simply adore. While Eastern girls have those porcelain skin and tiny, delicate figures that makes any guy want to protect them, what attracts me to Western women are their sharp looks (big eyes, high-ridged nose), voluptuous figures, long legs, and great personality. Asian women are normally shy and too timid to speak out, but Western women are often the opposite of that. I just love this characteristic.

The reason why Asian women dig Western men is the same as why Asian men look up to Western men as role models - masculinity, sexuality, taller, muscular, stronger physical size, charisma, independence, self-confidence. That pretty much sums up the whole thing.

@kyh: Finally an Asian guy who likes western women, haha :P Makes those whites who like Asian women less weird ;) I think in the end, it comes to the person and not the race.

You make excellent points, my friend. Thanks for sharing :)

You're welcome. I think I'd most probably end up being single cos chances for a white lady to fall for an Asian men is like one in a million! It's uncommon unlike the usual Western man-Asian girl match. :P

@kyh: Ah, don't be negative. Although it's less common, I've seen white women with Asian guys when I was in Malaysia :) You need to be self confident and funny and you can get one eventually :)

Hi there, i can't help but comment your entry on this one.

I befriend a lot of foreign men at my workplace (mainly Germans) and most of them told me; it is very easy for them to get a girlfriend in an Asian country compared to Germany.
It's so simple that they only need to flash those charming smile and say Hi...and most Asian girls will come swarming.
Hmmm, when i heard that comment; honestly i wasn't so flattered.
Yes,some of them are really nice gentlemen and good looking as well- but it is also fair to say; some also have a fair share of attitude problems (who thinks too highly of themselves being a foreigner in Asian soil - no offence intended)
It all depends on which side of the coin you are looking at.

Oh yes, before i conclude; i also met a man who is very very charming and kind. I wouldn't say he is exceptionally stunning or drop dead gorgeous but just his personality which drew me to him.

And it has nothing to do with him being a German. It has everything to do with him...being just him ;)

@Jermayne: Thanks for your comment and don't worry, you won't offend me. I really have no ideas why that is, what you describe happens to your German friends, but the core of (for you) this issue must lay either within the Asian woman or the Asian man. But I guess it's more complex than that. The prejudice of Western men is too good and therefore unreal. I agree with you, too many of my fellow Westerners behave very bad and think they can allow themselves anything. I despise those people. You can read what happen to my Penangnite friend Sharon (read here) witha western guy and you can read my comments. I hate those guys and hence I never hung out with Western expats when I was in Malaysia and Singapore. I rather mix with locals, learn their language and adapt to the customs. Therefore I never had any problems. Respect is the most important thing when you're in another country.
Happy for you that you've found your lovely partner :) I was also always loved because of me and not because of the race I happen to belong :)

Well it would depend on the guy and also the area. Some places are more open than others. Where you are, people may just "stick to their own" more than they might in some other towns.

@Xmas gifts: Good point.

Am an Asian(Indonesian)woman who personally find Caucasians are more attractive (to me) in general, but it doesnt mean that other races are unattractive. I'm aware of the fact that among those caucasians, some are "handsome" for me and some aren't. Again, for me. It's all about preference. Just like when I prefer dark red roses to be in my room rather than pink ones. Doesnt mean that I hate the pink ones, just preference.
And onething important, when it comes to be my special someone, I look at them (Caucasians) as who they are, their personalities. Some nice, some jerks. lol.

@MyNameIsD: VEry well said and I totally agree :)

Being an Asian female myself- I think that since we Asians basically have black hair and irises (if not disguised by contacts and dyes), Caucasians, with their unique features and extra height stand out in our crowd. That's mainly why they're mostly noticeable.

However, due to some reasons (shyness, maybe? That's lame. =P) I wouldn't walk up to a Caucasian guy and tell him that he's gorgeous/ handsome/ whatever.

@Joan the Black Iris: Hehe... well, the guy should walk up to you and give you compliments ;-) Thanks for commenting here :)

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