I had never been asked to rank my preferred type of guys when it came to their race and ethnicity until a few weeks ago. It wasn’t something that caught me by surprise, and I found it was something that I was able to answer quite easily.
My friend who asked me was surprised to find out that East Asian guys did not rank towards the top of my list. When asked why, I couldn’t really say; it was just my preference. A lot of it stemmed from personal interactions with guys that I went back to.
Later on, I asked a group of close friends what their ranking was when it came to dating other people. It started a short conversation about why Asian females might not date within their own race.
My parents once explicitly stated the background they deem fit for my future partner. They left the person I chose to be with open, but they had strong “suggestions” about how that person should be. Specifically, so that my in-laws would be people that my parents could talk to in their native language.
I understand their perspective of coming to the United States as immigrants and wanting an extended family that could relate to and/or share the struggles they had endured. That’s an unfair standard to hold me to, and completely unfair to think other people with different backgrounds are not as validated.
There is an idea that dating within your race means there’s a shared commonality and some kind of understanding. Yes, there may be a shared commonality of cultures and background, but that does not necessarily mean there is a compatible personality to go along with it.
Another idea my friend brought up when I posed the type question to them was that perhaps Asian males were not seen as attractive. That’s a stereotype that is slowly being broken, but it still has a long way to go. Asian males are seen as nerdy and undesirable; but with the rise of Asian males in popular culture, perhaps that unfair stereotype will change.
An unfair stereotype set on Asian women is that they are seen as passive and often are tokenized. Again, with the change in popular culture of strong Asian females, that path is set to change as well. All women have the right to be respected and not fetishized, as Asian women have been for decades, especially in popular culture now.
I don’t believe people should feel pressured to date within their own race, nor should they feel pressure to break out of a perceived stereotype and date exclusively outside of their race.
Certainly, in this time period, it seems as if there are more interracial couples than there have ever been, showing that this country truly is a melting pot. More than that, there is rich culture and history to be shared.
It truly comes down to whoever you “vibe” with the most, in my opinion. If you see that you could be with another person and you enjoy their company, what does it matter what their family background is?
Kimberly Nguyen is the associate managing editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.