Friday, September 10, 2010
IS IT RACIST TO PREFER A CERTAIN ETHNICITY OR COLOUR?
Now, there's no harm in having a favourite colour or chocolate bar - and the same should go for having a favourite "type" of man or woman - as long as it doesn't go so far that you pine ONLY for those type of women or men and hurt those people for just being themselves in the process, or hurt yourself because you just lowered your chances of finding a mate or spouse with only - say - "Latinas" or "Asians."
In a recent (well, 2009 study) on BeautifulPeople.com (a dating website where solely "beautiful people" are permitted to join), Britians are overall considered the least attractive people on the globe (despite, hello, Robert Pattinson and Ed Chestwick). Less than about 12ish % of British males and 15% of females who have registered to be on BeautifulPeople.com have been accepted. Swedish men have rendered to being deemed the sexiest, with 65 percent being condoned on the website, while Norwegian women are classified as the most gorgeous with 76 percent let in. Britains don't put in as much effort grooming, primping, or pumping the iron, according to Beautiful People managing director Greg Hodge. (Hey, isn't Greg British? Is he self-deprecating his own roots and acting hypocritically, or does he just better understand and witness his own family?) "Next to Brazilian and Scandinavian beauties, British people just aren't as toned or glamorous," Greg continues to say. Only the male Russian and Polish applicants were rated lower than British men, although Russian women achieved a 44 percent acceptance rate. German applicants were cut for distributing unflattering pictures, which may have sabotaged their overall acceptance rates at 15 percent for males and 13 percent for females.
While this study was released almost a year ago, it got me thinking. I always hear random acquaintances talk about how they really love "Latina" or "Asian" girls, which isn't bad, but then it made me wonder. Was it because of their culture, their physical appeal, or sexual openness? Several Tyra episodes have revealed stereotypes and anecdotes about Asian women being sexually submissive to their boyfriends' desires and Latina women being specifically "spicy" with their choice in attire and touchy salsa choreography.
Well, it may be the culture, but we don't necessarily look solely different or similar, because of our ethnicities or races. We possess certain physical characteristics directly due to our relatives or mostly our parents' DNA. But, our relatives and ancestors at least partially share the same race and background, which explains the pattern of similar physical traits in humans of the same ethnicity. So, there is some truth to the reason why people can guess whether you're apart of a certain ethnicity, while, as I learned in my Anthro class, there is more of a difference within humans of a certain ethnicity than humans over a wider range of ethnicities combined. This supports the notion why people also may confuse you for being apart of a different ethnicity - because many diverse ethnicities hold similar physical, biological characteristics to eachother, especially if they are located closely together in terms of geography i.e. Italy and Greece are both in Europe. But, various races can be recognized more significantly, because skin colours and complexions are easier to concentrate on than an entire bevy of facial aspects. If someone's black, they may be dark or light-skinned - different shades of black - but you can still tell that they're black, unless they're mixed. Not everyone is comprised of just one ethnicity, which complicates previous arguments addressed even more.
Another reason why people prefer mates of specific ethnicities, especially their own ethnicities? They're used to it, especially if they live in a certain country or ethnic culture that admires women or men of only their own race/ethnicity. They use the pride for their own to set their standards as beautiful. So even in a Western society where seemingly (for some time) tall, dark, muscular men and thin, blond, busty women are admired, other cultures still hold conviction that their men and women are good-looking too.
But besides the Playboy bunnies and Abercrombie and Fitch shirtless guy models, women and men of other ethnicities - and their consistent features - were glorified in the fashion and modelling industries, often labelled as "exotic." But, a mixed or other model from a certain culture may not represent her ethnicity's biologically conventional or usual characteristics. Let's take a look at some celebrities as well as the unique features of several races/ethnicities and assess if these stars depict their cultures "accurately."
Let's start off with Adriana Lima, a Victoria Secret supermodel who perfectly symbolizes the most exotic and stunning Brazilian. Adriana flaunts vibrant eyes, full lips, warm olive skin, and a long, lean, "toned and glamourous" body. But, what she doesn't convey about a typical Brazilian is the need for their country's cheap plastic surgery - and the women who inject fat into their buns and thighs. Of course, this would create a more pear-shaped, rap video vixen look - as opposed to Adriana's straighter, lankier model-type physique. While Adriana is undeniably exquisite, to some of Brazil, she may need to eat a cheeseburger - or five.
Then, we have Europeans - well the Roman Mediterranean ones, anyway. I'm talking about the Greeks and Italians, especially. We can use Sophia Loren, Valerie Bertenelli, and Nia Vardolos as our examples. They all have brown hair, olive skin, prominent noses, and (well, at one point) more voluptuous figures. If you look at the Mona Lisa or the statues or paintings that Michael Angelo and others have created, the women in their pictures were all full, cherubic, hourglass - with evident busts, smaller waists, wider hips, and shapelier thighs. The Romans would've probably adored these ladies' abundant bodies - filled out with food and curves a woman should embrace. However, if you look at other Italians you know, they may be more apple-shaped and perhaps overweight - not paying attention to the amount of carby pizzas and pastas they consume, or the late, large lunches and dinners they abide to - or they may be thin to average-sized and buxom (think the Jersey Shore ladies). This just goes to show that not all Italian or Greek women resemble the ladies in the portraits by our many great artists.
But, some Armenian or Persian women may appear to emulate the image of Greek or Italian women. Kim Kardashian rests my case. She's a proud owner of a distinct nose, long brown locks, darker skin, and sexilicious curves that prove to women that you don't have to be super skinny to be attractive or healthy - and make men water. Kim has also said that "Armenian women tend to be naturally curvaceous," and she definitely fits into that hot epidemic!
And if you think I'm done naming multicultural, big-bootied women, you're wrong! Like those who are European or Middle Eastern, Latinas tend to have that darker hair, darker skin, and - yes - more hourglass or pear-shaped bodies. Take Puerto Rican celeb Jennifer Lopez who has a derriere worth at least over a million dollars, along with her famous name - not to mention Salma Hayek, Selena (R.I.P.), and a few others. Then, there are ladies - like Jessica Alba and Christian Serratos - who have been categorized as "sexy" by a line of faithful men's magazines and viewers, but aren't as curvaceous. Latinas reportably have a higher chance of acquiring heart disease or other related illnesses (due to their body types), but perhaps, metabolism is mostly genetic - not ethnic.
As for Asians, I can't really name too many knowns, other than Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh. We can also add in Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars who may be mixed with Spanish, Phillipina, and Irish roots, but radiates a mostly Asian look. You can usually identify an Asian; they have naturally black hair, smaller eyes, flatter or more narrow noses, yellow undertones, and a more straight, tall, or even athletic body. These ladies seem to adhere to those characteristics, but if I had a penny for every time I saw an Asian model with larger breasts and buns spread across a men's magazine, I would be rich. Perhaps their buxom areas aren't real or man-made, but if not, I again agree that not everyone with the same ethnicity looks the same.
As for African Americans - like Beyonce - bigger may be better. Beyonce is defs not a big girl, but she has a round booty, thick thighs, and fleshy hips - in other words, dangerous curves that stop traffic! And she's proud of it. I see - like many rap video vixens - many black women who are more padded and utilize a more pear-shaped physique. Even if they are small, they hold bigger thighs, hips, and butts in contrast. On an episode of Jessica Simpson's show "The Price of Beauty," they travel to Africa to see what African women envision as beautiful. Apparently, those African women spent a few months in fattening huts to gain tremendous weight for their weddings. There, African men believe extremely full figures are a sign of fertility and good health. Yet, there are African American models who are tall and thin to the extent where they may be suffering from eating disorders. Talk about a range of extremes!
Then, there are Indians who are very petite (shorter and skinnier) and Ukrainian, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Russian, or Canadian/American women who have fair to medium skin, blond to light brown hair, blue or green eyes, and mostly slender bodies.
I'm not sure about which types of men and women were involved in the BeautifulPeople.com survey, but men and women - whether of the same or different ethnicity - are attracted to people of different shapes, sizes, colours, facial characteristics - whatever. It's ok to like Latina or Asian or European women, but to only select women of a different ethnicity can potentially shape you into a borderline racist. And it is that same type of thinking that allows people to discriminate, employ, or hurt others because of their race, ethnicity, looks, gender, or sexual orientation. Thank you.