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.Second, Asian men have been de-sexualized as small and weak brainiacs excelling at math but unable to get the girl, while black women have been seen as too aggressive, independent and outspoken to be proper wives.
I studied abroad at the National University of Singapore for a semester my sophomore year. arker skin is always associated with more masculine faces,” Lewis told me in a phone conversation.
I couldn’t help but notice a peculiar trend: My white male friends were fascinated with the idea of hitting on Asian girls. Difference in height can also partially explain the observed results, he said.
This “yellow fever” wasn’t shared by my female friends though. Society imposes a “male-superior norm” that a man should be taller than his partner; and blacks are on average taller than whites, who are taller than Asians, he says. I set off to answer the question, What informs our perception of beauty?
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.
In 2013, cognitive psychologist Michael Lewis at the University of Cardiff in Wales in the U. asked 20 females and 20 males to rate 600 Facebook pictures of British, sub-Saharan Africans, and East Asians.
Is there really something profound about face shape, height and body features that defines attraction?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.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.Since the day you were born, different influences on your mind – the bedtime stories your Mom read, the cartoons you saw as kid, the school you went to and the wallpaper on your computer – have come together to create a cohesive image of the world.Popular culture – movies, TV, cartoons, books – aim to reflect reality and end up reinforcing it as well.