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March 08, 2005

Comments

Frank McGahon

But, there is also the tendency of those who have a "blonde fetish" to assume that their own preferences are universal. It is certainly true that the most popular strippers tend to be bottle-blondes with implanted breasts but are strip club preferences the right measure for general male preferences? - this is a tightly constrained situation. I see the success of such "cartoonish" types as equivalent to an actor "belting it out for the cheap seats".

Look at the most popular Hollywood actresses over recent years, brunettes like Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta Jones. Look at fashion models - slavic and brazilian models predominate and though there are more blondes among the former, the latter are almost exclusively brunette . Or if we are going to stick to the "adult industry", all the better to determine male preferences, look at porn - probably the biggest star in recent years has been Tera Patrick, an asian-american brunette.

Abiola Lapite

It's certainly true that the assumption that *everyone* worships blondes is overdone - the most beautiful woman *I've* ever seen in the flesh was an Italian so swarthy you'd think she was from India - but I chalk this up to the same tendency that drives gays to see closet cases everywhere they look, i.e, wanting to prove that they aren't alone in the world, and that their tastes aren't all that outrageous. There just isn't anywhere near as much stigma attached to a non-white guy admitting to liking a brunette, as they aren't perceived as living embodiments of the Aryan Dream.

Pearsall Helms

Tera Patrick's half white American, half Thai.

Pearsall Helms

I think that part of the reason for the global popularity of blondes is down to their rarity, as it's only among Europeans or their descendants that you will see blonde hair (or any hair color besides black, for that matter). Yet blonde seems to be the most emblematic hair color.

Plus I think there's also a 'forbidden fruit' angle to it, as white women in general were very much off limits to the rest of humanity until pretty recently. And since blondes are considered to be some kind of symbol of 'whiteness' or whatever, they are especially sought after.

 razib

i think pearsell's comment hits it.

1) there is a lot of evidence that before modern times there was a blonde-aversion among many peoples because non-black hair was often a signal for ill health.

2) blondes are a status symbol, but their popularity has waxed and waned in the west. in the late 19th century a survey of british nobility indicated a dearth of blondes, perhaps because of the color's association with low class sluttishness ever since the restoration are.

Kenji

Is the confession by this Asian American man so problematic? When an Asian male prefers white strippers, is he really living out his "fantasy," by which I mean something that he would prefer to happen as reality? I'm not so sure. There are a lot of social and aesthetic factors that keep sexual preferences bounded within ethnicities. For example, in Japan, it's common for a Japanese man to joke about having sex or a relationship with a blond woman, but when it comes to marriage, a vast majority of Japanese men would say that they prefer Japanese women.

Frank McGahon

"I think that part of the reason for the global popularity of blondes is down to their rarity, as it's only among Europeans or their descendants that you will see blonde hair (or any hair color besides black, for that matter). Yet blonde seems to be the most emblematic hair color."

With the greatest of respect, this argument is not only circular, it's also self-negating! According to this view red hair ought to be similarly prized. But you simply beg the question in taking as given the "global popularity of blondes". I'm not so sure that position is defensible. If it were you'd expect to see "Bollywood", Chinese and Japanese actresses dye their hair blonde en masse. Yet the "Ganguro" look - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganguro - is still just a niche Japanese trend. We seem to all agree that blonde buxom strippers are the most popular but I'd be willing to bet that the majority of customers stuffing dollar bills into the thongs of those strippers are themselves of European descent so the argument from exoticism/rarity doesn't really stand up.

Frank McGahon

"Is the confession by this Asian American man so problematic?"

What's problematic, as I see it, is a) that this guy is hung up on what he is supposed to like and not like and this obligation he feels is distorting his preferences - it may well be that if he didn't put the pressure on to choose an asian partner that he wouldn't be so attracted to the "forbidden fruit" of blonde strippers and b) the arrogant, and indeed racist, notion of ownership or first refusal embodied in the phrase "our women" .

Frank McGahon

By the way: Another nail in the coffin of the blonde-as-universal-preference theory (as opposed to the blonde-as-transient-fashion-trend). Jenna Jameson has dyed her hair brown:

http://www.fleshbot.com/sex/avn2005/pages/avn2005_0232.html

(don't worry, safe-ish for work)

Abiola Lapite

Jameson's another one I've never found attractive, and I can't say my impression of her's changed with her new hairdo. There's just something vapid as all hell about her that sends me to sleep.

Frank McGahon

I'm not a fan of hers either - it's the surgically enhanced "porn-bot" body which leaves me cold - but she is one of the biggest stars of porn and probably the only one (apart from Ron Jeremy!) known to a wider audience.

Chuckles

Dumb Blondes, Big Blacks - There's always some nasty fetish lurking in the back of people's minds.

Submissive Japanese school girls - Now, thats a creepy one.
This really centers on the notion of what is forbidden and what is as yet untried and untested.

Abiola Lapite

I'm not sure there's any great mystery to the popularity of Japanese "lolicon" material: men like youth, and Japan happens to have

(1) A very low age of consent, ranging from 12 to 16 depending on locality (14 in Tokyo),

(2) A culture in which men aren't in the least ashamed of expressing said preferences, and

(3) The affluence to support an industry producing lots of said material.

I'm sure you'd see a flood of similar material coming out of the US if the laws permitted it.

Kenji

Another observation that I want to make is that this confession comes from an American. I know that I am no where nearly as cosmopolitan as, say, Abiola, but I've traveled enough to feel that I can conclude that identity politics in the United States is truly extraordinary. I've never been to anywhere else in the world where identity politics is as complicated and nuanced as it is in the United States. People in this country seem never stop thinking about their races, ethnicities, gender, sexuality, etc., as shown by the above confession, even at moments of enjoying adult entertainment! Am I overstating my case?

Aziz

many men of Asian extraction that "their" women are going out with white men - a complaint they share in common with very many black women inflamed that "their" men are being "taken" by white females

hmm.. a solution presents itself. supply and demand...

seriously, I'm a proponent of simple racial purity. Easier. While there are mixed race couples in my comunity, they are rare, and always due to conversion (of varying degrees of commitment). Still, one of my friends, who has studied at the religious seminary of ourcommunity in India and has committed the entire Qur'an to memory, does have an awesome flaming red beard.

Abiola Lapite

"hmm.. a solution presents itself. supply and demand..."

The problem is, many Asians see white as alright, but "Black? Stay back, jack." In the other direction, the widespread image of Asian men as less "masculine" than men of other races has had its impact on black as well as Asian women.

"seriously, I'm a proponent of simple racial purity.
Easier."

So is segregation, but that doesn't mean one ought to get behind that as well, does it? Racial "purity" is a meaningless chimera, as what we call "races" actually grade into each other in a smooth fashion, while pretty much any gene that is typical of one "race" will be found in members of another. The only surefire way to obtain "purity" is to commit incest, generation after generation - that's what "purity" really means in genetic terms.

I simply don't see that people ought to care about this sort of thing any more than dogs or pigeons care about their coat colors when mating. It's a really trivial issue for anyone to be going into contortions about. If a man likes blondes or whatever, that's his problem, though he just mind find they don't like him back - a difficulty faced by men of every hue.

murtadha bin sikir

do you not have an issue with the age of consent being as low as 12 years old in japan?.

Chuckles

[...The problem is, many Asians see white as alright, but "Black? Stay back, jack."...]

The 16th century Japanese Nanbanga record their first impressions of Africans. Not very flattering since the first Africans they came in contact with were slaves. When Perry arrived, there was another encounter with Black Minstrelsy etc. Clowns and Buffoons dont make a very good first impression.

“Iro no shiroi wa shichinan kakusu”
A white skin compensates for varying deficiencies.

“Kome no meshi to onna wa shiroi hodo yoi”
In rice and women, white is better.

I think for most of the History, the Japanese have treated Blacks with contempt - there are some narratives about wartime Okinawa that illustrate the ordeals of African Americans.
A friend of mine told me that in 2003, protests at the Okinawa base punctuated yells of "Go Home Yankee" with "Go Home Nigger" - although one may assume that the Okinawans are just stressed out.

The construct is usually one of carnal, strong, animal like Blacks who nonetheless can be good basketball players or Jazz musicians. Yet, one wonders about the Ganguro and Yamanban fads...The Asian view of blacks certainly seems to be more complex now - I suppose the usual "coolness" is associated with black culture - though the fears of miscegenation remains.

Amy

"I simply don't see that people ought to care about this sort of thing any more than dogs or pigeons care about their coat colors when mating. It's a really trivial issue for anyone to be going into contortions about. If a man likes blondes or whatever, that's his problem..."

Not entirely... my friend and her boyfriend are both white. He has had about 17 girlfriends (dated more than two weeks) and of them, 15 were Asian, and 2 were white. She is the third. He has admitted to her that the list of things he likes about Asian girls is longer than what he likes about white girls and now she wonders why he is even with her. It's really hard for her thinking that he prefers other women over her.

Abiola Lapite

Hmm ... well, your friend's boyfriend obviously saw something in her that overcame his preference for Asian women, so I don't see that she has anything to really be worried about. A guy with 18 girlfriends in his past obviously doesn't have trouble meeting women, so if he really did "prefer other women over her", he simply wouldn't be with her.

If I were you, I'd tell your girlfriend to ditch the insecurities before they end up turning her fears into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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