In the last few months, there have been a handful of conversations going on about representation and what draws a crowd. I’ve contributed to that a bit. Tied within this discussion, of course, is the conversation which is at the root of all of these problems – perceived masculinity and perceived beauty. What Hollywood sees as masculine and beautiful has not always been what the people have thought to be masculine and beautiful. Actually, if anything, Hollywood attempts to push its own ideals onto the public as a way to nurture fads, which, of course, generate millions by the way of plastic surgery, bullshit diets, and movie tickets (though attendance is low – has been dropping like a stone like years LOL).
Such a push has been in effect since the mid-eighties. The action hero is a type that is problematic for a variety of reasons, one of which is that there is only one kind being portrayed – white and square. Strange, considering how black and brown boys make fantastic action heroes. Chris Pratt was never good looking to me (I hated him in ‘Everwood’), and Chris Evans and Channing Tatum just have terrible faces. A six pack does not a hot boy make (though it usually makes them a little hotter). No one seems to understand that. The face. The face is what makes one a sex symbol. That’s why Joe Manganiello and Alexander Skarsgård are my go-to white sock boys. I’m veering off topic though…
Stereotypes and racism have fed the negative imagery surrounding Asian, black, and Latino men. White men are seen as strong, trustworthy knights and heroes – men whom you would run towards in the event of an emergency (even when you’ve only ever been running from the crazed ones (e.g. Freddie, Michael, Jason, Leatherface, the Sinclairs, Ghostface, etc.)). Asian men, by comparison, have been so emasculated and their sexuality so far removed from their person that they have been relegated to a noncombatant status. Wherever it’s taking place, Asian men aren’t even in the fight. From ‘The Hangover’ to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘, even Asian men who are the main characters of a film are comedic relief throughout the story. When was the last time you even saw an Asian man in a horror movie that wasn’t made in Asia? Think about that.
Black men are hypersexualized at every possible moment. The intense fear of black men stems from a paranoia that he is more animal than human. That black men will kidnap white women and rape them. This is perpetuated in films and society. The first one to go in a horror movie is the black man because he cannot be trusted to watch your back nor protect the women without becoming a predator himself. The mandingo fantasy is pervasive in the islands – white couples pay young men to have sex with them as an exercise in “adventure”.
Latino men are seen as being voluntarily oppressed by religion and duty, and as a result, are perpetually enraged, beating their wives, their children, and random passerbys. Jay Hernandez’ character in ‘Hostel’ was almost out. He could have escaped scott free, to the States, but (spoiler alert) his fatal mistake was thinking that he should exact revenge on the doctor before returning to America. Such a rash decision saw his head on the dining room table in the next cut.
These irrational beliefs have kept men of color from being viewed, but the white movie viewing majority, as hookup material. It seems crazy, but it is an actual impossibility of some to fathom Daniel Dae Kim and Michael Copon as hot.
Asian men in media are so desexualized and emasculated. I wish I knew why. Sessue Hiyakawa was one of the first Hollywood sex symbol in the early 1900s. He was an Asian male to open a Hollywood film with a female love interest. A lot of white American women would go see his films. I think a lot of the fear comes from that, where executives noticed that their women like this Asian guy, so maybe we should assassinate his character and sexuality. If you look at the timeline of his career, you can see a change. Part of it is fear and racism. And Asian woman can be with a white man because you’re not compromising white male sexuality and dominance and perception and straight white male insecurity. Asian men are emasculated. Ads do a better job than films to portray sexy Asians. When Jet Li and Aaliyah made Romeo Must Die they shot a kissing scene, but it was cut from the film. An Asian man kissing a woman is never shown, which is the emasculation.” FYI, that’s why ‘Selfie‘ was canceled.
I have no idea what is wrong with these people, but I’m all for sharing pictures of hot boys to help shatter the misconceptions. *First up are Asian guys.
*Yes, I know Dong is trash, but he’s hot, so I’m allowing it just this once