Dear World, “He’s good-looking, for an Asian guy” is not a compliment. It’s kinda racist.

To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I was going to write this post. It’s been sitting in my “daft” box for about six months now. With the lull in activity since I finished my book, I figured it was now or never.

You see, there’s this phrase “Your husband is pretty hot, for an Asian guy,” that bothers me. I don’t even know why it bothers me. Because it does. Bother me, I mean.

I’ve gotten it from men and women, Japanese, American (and plenty of other countries). The phrases range from “I don’t normally find Asian men attractive, but Ryosuke is cute!” to “Your husband is good looking, you know, for an Asian guy.”

The Lacoste shirts couple romance amwf

It’s weird. Or, more specifically, why the need to add a qualifier?

Can’t he just be attractive, and leave it at that? Or funny? Or whatever else people want to compliment him on – but inevitably bring in race.

Why do people often find the need to tack on “… you know, for an Asian guy?” He has nice cheekbones, a symmetrical face, a flattering haircut, abs that most actors would kill for, a great smile, and excellent posture. And those are just the physical bits – his killer personality makes him 250% more attractive.

I don’t understand why being Asian counts as a strike against him. And I don’t like it. On anyone else (and by anyone else, I mean on another white person like me, because I guess that’s what the standard is…?), those characteristics would inspire a league of secret admirers.

On my husband, it just makes him hot, you know, despite his race/ethnicity and all. Like he would somehow be more attractive, if only he didn’t have the unfortunate characteristic of being Asian. Or despite the unfortunate and unavoidable fact that he was born Asian, he still manages to be attractive.

I’m sure I’m reading into this too much – but the sheer number of times I’ve been told this, from people of all ages, genders, and nationalities has started to hit a nerve.

I asked my husband if this bothers him (since about half the time, Ryosuke is standing right next to me when he/I get that backhanded compliment). He thought about it for a second and was like, “Eh? Not really.”

“Why?” I asked, curious.

“I just hear that I’m sexy. And then I stop listening when they add stuff on the end.” I love his simple outlook on life. It’s a refreshing comparison to my own overly-analytic, anxious outlook on life.

Whenever people tell him he’s good looking (for an Asian guy), he’s always like “I know, right? Thank you!” And then we laugh about it later.

I think one of the most uncomfortable instances I’ve had in the last month was when one of my Japanese (female) friends commented “For a Japanese man, Ryosuke is attractive. I can see why you picked him over an American.”

Like… thank you? How do you want me to respond? I feel so massively uncomfortable right now. Please stop.

Before you tell your friend “Your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner is hot/cute, for a [insert ethnicity],” stop for a second and consider the fact that the phrase your about to utter is actually kinda racist. Your intentions might pure(ish), but the execution is a bit lacking.

My husband is attractive. There is absolutely no reason to add the qualifier “you know, for an Asian guy.”

Seijinshiki photos of a foreigner (Coming of Age Ceremony)[Edit: To the surprising number of people who have messaged me furious with my “cultural appropriation” because of this photo – it was an engagement photo my Japanese husband and I took, in a rural prefecture of Japan, at the urging of his very traditional parents who speak absolutely no English. They display this photo inside their house, along with similar engagement photos of my husband’s older (married) brother and sister (and their respective, Japanese spouses). I thought it was touching they wanted to include me in this family tradition.

The kimono was his cousins and had been in the family for quite a while. So before sending me threats, swearing at me, and calling me a “white supremacist,” realize that I live in Japan, this was a family tradition, and I really do understand the significance of this photo.

/end rant] 

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

226 Comments on Dear World, “He’s good-looking, for an Asian guy” is not a compliment. It’s kinda racist.

  1. You’re both attractive! Love the picture. And thanks for the post :)

  2. Julie Stewart // 19 April, 2016 at 5:49 am //

    Holy moly…the picture of you in the kimono with your hubby is stunning. You look beautiful. Love it!

  3. Interesting post, and really nice approach to things that Ryosuke has! I must say that both my boyfriend and brother are like that, quite laid back and relaxed when I am over here reading into something more or getting bothered for something, they do not even pay attention to it (I am working on being a bit more like that, would make things much easier for myself). But in any case it is indeed rather strange that people add that extra words to the phrase after a compliment, better if you either compliment or don’t.

  4. thanks for sharing this! As an asian american male that is reasonably good looking, I get this comment from time to time. I always think the comment is so racist yet people have no problem spewing it out like it is a normal thing. The racist opposite is true as well: “Asian males are just not my type.” I’ve heard this a few times as well and it is extremely racist and hurtful. Just think about it the next time you think about your “type.” Asian is not a personality trait or a physical feature (despite, similar characteristics, asians do have a lot of diversity in the way they look. Just like white or black people, Not all white or black people are good looking).

  5. I feel ya! Although I live in the cultural rainbow that is Hawai`i (where interracial marriage is at a higher percent that most of the world), once in a while I get weird looks from Caucasian tourists (even an actual shaking of the head!) when they see me, a short American Japanese-Okinawan woman, with my husband, a tall Hawaiian-Chinese-Portuguese-French-Irish man. They don’t even know us, yet they’re judging us. But your husband is very handsome and you are very beautiful…just be cause you are…especially in the traditional Japanese photo through which his family essentially embraces you and yours! ;-) Thanks for sharing your life in those entertaining videos and blogs! Hope you two can make it to Hawai`i, where all ethnicities and cultures are celebrated (with all kinds of big, public celebrations!)!

  6. Alan K. Kawamura // 19 December, 2015 at 6:05 pm //

    I’m Irish/Japanese growing up in Hawaii. I get it from both sides!!LOL

  7. I don’t know why race in such a big deal to so many people. I read your blog because I like reading about Japan and culture shocks and how relationships work between partners of vastly different cultures. Anyone bringing up race just never seem to add anything but cause grief to you and your husband.

    If race is about seperating human beings base on genetic differentiation, then technically right now, as we speak, there are 7 billion races in the world (give or take couple of millions of identical twins.)

    We are all different in that we’re not the same, and we’re all same in that we’ll all never be the same (except identical twins)

  8. こんにちは
    You are a so fresh and cute couple!

  9. Never underestimate your feelings about racism. You are not overanalyzing. And next time, you don’t need to say “kinda” because it is racist.

  10. What about creating a cartoon segment on this topic as a way to get people to think twice before making such a comment?

  11. A bit of a relieving post to see, unfortunately a little too late for me.

    I’ve been told this by people throughout my life here and there and it always makes me feel “slightly superior” in entanglement with confusion, guilt and frustration.

    In my head, I would ask myself exactly that, “Am I suppose to take that as a compliment?” but my feelings wouldn’t present themselves to be as clear as they are at other times.

    I just get turned-off at the thought of me ever “performing”, and the thought of anyone who looks like me.

    As a kid, I use to have (what I considered to be forms of nightmares) dreams of people I had crushes on, kissing/being with other kids that I guess you could say “bullied” me (they were considered “popular”). This already happened at the age of 7.

    Now, I watch what we’ll call “things” that both grant a sickening form of temporary normal pleasure, only to feel humiliated/shamed and sick of myself afterwards. And I can’t even bring myself out of it. I’m lost.

  12. For an Asian is he good looking. Joke, he is good looking (end). I’m an Asian in the UK and I understand where you’re coming from. I do find it tough meeting other people and half the time I get ignored because I’m Chinese. For me I always say “they’re hot” and never tack on the race part. Luckily I’ve never heard it but I’ve felt it I guess. Ah I’ll stop playing the violin now. Glad to see a mixed marriage though, Asian cultures aren’t the most open to that but it makes me happy :)

  13. I love your picture!

  14. …coming from a guy who is Asian (half-cast although many people here in the UK say I look full Asian to them), I’m much like your husband in the fact that despite being on the receiving end of such a comment numerous times (when standing hand in hand with former girlfriends), I’ve never actually been phased by it surprisingly – I’m just like “ok! thank you!”. I guess I never really looked into such a remark fully and thus don’t take such things to heart… but you know what, I do agree that it is rather racist. Ah well, sadly racism does continue to prevail in this world.. in many forms

  15. I liked your article. And have heard this phrase before. I can feel your frustration, but at the end of the day, the people making these comments come from a different world. I don’t think they mean any malice by it. So I feel you should not feel offended by it, just understand they are not exposed to asians often in a social setting maybe? I don’t think it is really racism. I think it is just being naive? Also, the people giving you flack about the picture are just a-holes. Don’t worry about them. I think it’s pretty cool. And yes, I am Asian. I have dated girls of various ethnicities and I think it’s amazing when two people of different cultures get together whatever those cultures may be. The more mixed babies we have, the less racism can run it’s course.

  16. Nice! This post just made me feel a little bit more relieved(?) to know that I’m not the only one caring about stuffs like this! I’m half Brazilian/Japanese and my boyfriend is from Germany. We met in Japan, and I’ve heard couple of times comments from close friends(mostly Brazilians) when they met my bf for the first time like, “oh, he’s normal” -> Because he got no blue eyes and no super blonde hair, so some people even think he’s Brazilian. or “uuh, dating a German, you’re smart huh, it’s a rich country”( and my reaction is like”wtf????”) or always from the Japanese women “oh, he’s really handsome” just because he’s tall and white… -.-
    and I’ve also heard (from Brazilian), “why is he dating a girl like you?” (short, with brownish skin, not hot lol) when he could be dating any European girl… And etc… Things like this really kill me sometimes, I don’t know why do people have to judge other people always like this, and even share their stupid opinions… It’s like everything has to follow the standards to be acceptable, and no one stop even a second to think and make a compliment maybe about the feeling/love of those two people which is strong enough to cross borderlines and overcome different cultures problems,language and whatever “problem” which usually a 国際恋愛 has… You know, the really beauty of every true relationship is the love, and most people can’t even see that. But the fun part is that usually the people who make those kind of comments, are the same which are always complaining they can’t find a love, or trust people and blah blah

    Anyway, sorry for such long comment! It’s just it was the first time I saw someone writing about this, and I felt I gotta share this feeling which also have been bothering me!

    Btw, you and your husband look amazing in the picture!
    And I definitely gonna check your blog more later! :*

  17. as a white aussie girl dating a Chinese boy I love these posts! My friend tagged #amwf on one of my instagram photos, a cute couple photo of us and I had no idea this tag existed!

    His friends think he is lucky dating a tall blonde as they love western blondes but I think I am far more lucky as my preference has been only Asian men so I too have had to face the Asian jokes as it’s a running joke with my friends (all in good fun); truth is I have only the asian persuasion not just the ethnic appearance but I love the culture and 100% embrace it.

    Originally it was difficult having this preference of being attracted to only asian men as I felt I couldn’t just walk up to them in the streets/gym etc as they were intimidated by me and not used to white girls approaching them and my best friend would always suggest I wear a shirt with Chinese/Japanese/Korean on it saying “I have the asian persuasion” haha

    but now with my bf, our friends can see how happy we are and they want us to have cute asian and white babies <3 . Keep up the good work hun, asian men with white girls make the cutest couples in my opinion and there should be more of us!! :)~~~ I just updated my IG then with #amwf tag :D
    IG: melb_aleex

    • Her husband is not Chinese. Right I heard the name, I knew he is Japanese already.
      Do you know right at the beginning of your ignorance compliment is already an example of being racist?
      I suggest you do some research before you make any compliment, because your ignorant already disrespect against Chinese.

  18. I agree with you 100%

  19. This is beautiful. You are beautiful. That photo is amazing. Keep doing your thing and spreading the world.

  20. I’ve actually not come across someone saying this statement. If anything I hear things more in line like “rice queen or potato queen.” Those two are annoying to hear.

  21. This article rubbed me the wrong way in a lot of ways. I can understand why the writer would feel the way that she does, and I don’t think her feelings are wrong or unmerited. However, I also believe that every individual is different and we are all attracted to different things. To say, “I’m not usually attracted to asian guys, but I find him goodlooking”, isn’t a statement that I see as racist. Most people that say statements like that are simply trying to convey that physically speaking, they aren’t usually attracted to Asian men. I don’t think it’s intended to be a shot at the Asian race. Who we are attracted to or unattracted to is just a matter of life-not something we should have to apologize for. If this is a question of politeness or sensitivity, however, that’s a different story

    • The title: “He’s good-looking, for an Asian guy” may not be intentionally racist, but it falls under the rubric of classism and the expectation of ALL Asian males MUST follow the guidelines in which Ryosuke is a model. I’m assuming you’re Japanese, as your name is Japanese most likely. Classism would be like: Well you’re short, your teeth are not perfect, your English is fair but if you look more like…is not necessarily racism but the expectation to meet or even beat a model can cause a divisiveness in one’s life. Is this how you want to be categorized? I don’t think so.

  22. Great article. I can relate. When I get that compliment, I ask the individual “if I was white or black would that make me super hot?” or sometimes I ask “Are you trying to say Asian people are not attractive?” They get dumbfounded or embarrassed when I call them out on their racism. Unfortunately, the American media portrays Asian Males as being ugly, weak, not athletic and passive compared to other ethnicities. Until things progress in the media, and Asian Males are seen as the romantic leading man, the hero, or the cool/hip person, that is the only way we can erase these stereotypes. Anyway, I talk all about it in an article I was featured in, so check it out:

  23. Great article and it is so true. I’ve received this compliment before and I’m like would I be more attractive if I was back or white? They felt embarrassed after I call them out on this hidden racism. Unfortunately, the media portrays Asian Men not attractive, manly, or cool/hip enough compared to other races. It’s sad, but until more leading Asian males are seen on TV/film and in print, that is the only way those comments will no longer exist.

  24. That is just such a strange concept for me, attractive or not based on generalizations of race/ethnicity. There are a lot of Asian men I’m attracted to, same for Indian, Russian, African, American (from countries up & down the continents), European, what-have-you! If a man is attractive, who cares what race he is or isnt? what a strange qualifier to use!

  25. he is. and you are also. both attractive people. Being asian has nothing to do with it. When people say that they are unconsciously being racist in my opinion

  26. chinese are generally short and supershort.
    our thai prince never dates any chinese girl of pure blood from chinese immigrant familities in thailand, nor any thai chinese girl who are darker than other white races (white thai race minority, white mon-khmer).

    for chinese men in thailand, they are generally shorter than me, and I am 160 m tall, the height which is not considered any tall in thais’ eyes, but i am still taller than chinese immigrants of pure blood in thailand.

  27. Can I start this with an LOL? The sheer ignorance of people who said that *for an Asian guy* is hilarious. Considering Japanese guys are hot PERIOD! Also I think your husband looks super cute and so do you, you guys make a very adorable couple! it’s like one of those mangas I read xD You should try a manga called Itazura Na Kissu, there’s a girl called Chris there who enters in the later chapters and falls for a guy called *no spoilers* and they finally get married and all and reading your stuff reminded me of exactly that!
    I found your book on amazon when I was searching for books for my kindle. I can’t afford to JUST YET but I’m going to buy your books, all three of them <3 they're beautiful and sweet. you're living the EXACT life I want to xD I wish I could marry someone Japanese myself lol
    I adore Japan, and I think it's great that you actually married the guy despite the race etc difference, it's a really courageous thing to do (I'd do it in a heart beat too xD ). Hopefully if I manage to live in Japan one day I'll be able to meet you and maybe we can become friends ^-^ for now I'm subscribing to your blog and I'll be a faithful regular visitor <3
    Currently trying to learn Japanese by myself hopefully I can take the JLPT exam eventually and then maybe one day live in Japan *-* dream country .<! daijoubu kana?

  28. mikoamaya // 18 June, 2015 at 10:38 pm //

    My first response to this post was feeling offended, actually. The first half of my childhood was all about everyone is equal and don’t judge others based off of race, color, religion, etc. Then, I was adopted by an elderly Southern couple at nine and it became, “Don’t ever let me catch you hanging around a [insert extremely racist word here].” Let me tell you, the fights over my friends were legendary and painful in every way. And consequently, having anyone even insinuate that I’m racist in any way is the fastest way to make me spitting mad. It’s a button that all of my friends know ‘DO NOT PUSH’.
    So yes, the first time I saw Ryosuke’s picture, I thought, ‘Wow, I’m usually not attracted to Asians, but he’s HOT.’ In my opinion, that’s even more a compliment to Ryosuke than someone that usually IS attracted to Asians. He’s just made me, a woman who likes something completely different (TALL, dark hair, blue eyes, geeky cute white males,) stop and find him more attractive than my first two boyfriends (sorry guys~!) and half the actors I’ve ever crushed on.
    I’m not trying to be insulting or rude with this comment. And normally, since I was raised by earlier mentioned elderly Southern couple, I’m as polite as they come, and would censor my thoughts about his hotness in relation to his ethnicity. But now, I’m just trying to point out, as someone who has an intimate and painful history with true racists, that most of the people who said that, are not trying to be racist. Yes, it may seem a little rude, but at the same time, they may actually be trying to give your husband a nicer compliment than just, “You’re good looking.”

    • mikoamaya // 18 June, 2015 at 10:43 pm //

      I almost forgot! On a more positive note, I think the engagement photo of you two is beautiful. Your Japanese family is very kind and generous to accept you so wholeheartedly like that. To my knowledge, Japanese society is very close-knitted and not very open to new people. :)

    • How about the comment “you are pretty smart.. for a woman”. Is that offensive? I think it is.

  29. That is a beautiful wedding photo :) And you are absolutely gorgeous, and so is your husband. Also I totally agree with you, why should people be judged relative to race, gender, age… etc. People are just human right? Your blog is very interesting! ^^

  30. I’m “asian american” born male and raised in the U.S.(and have never left the country) and so are my siblings. This saying does irk me, especially when it comes from my sisters. When they see a cute white guy they’ll say he’s cute but when they see a cute asian guy they’ll say he’s cute “for an asian guy”. uhm, look at yourself in mirror!!! I blame it on a westernized white wash culture that puts everything white and blonde in front and pushes everything else back

  31. celiakat // 1 June, 2015 at 7:52 am //

    So, just to add my 2 cents…. I don’t know you, but
    1) the kimono in the engagement pic, totally awesome.
    2) I think it’s wonderful that you took the pic in traditional attire to honor your husband’s culture and his family
    3) your husband is cute, end of story.
    4) some folks can’t help enjoying being rude. It’s a compulsion for them. Or an uncontrollable spasm of the brain. Ignore the trolls.
    Your comment makes me wonder, for like a second, what folks think when they see my pics of me wearing a yukata at Otakon, but I remember it’s a celebration of Japanese culture so I just think about it as my personal way of honoring a culture I admire.
    Glad I found your blog :-)

  32. Audrey York // 10 May, 2015 at 2:50 pm //

    Your husband is hot. End of sentence haha. But my boyfriend is Cambodian so I am biased toward asian men.

  33. How is it cultural appropriation to participate in a cherished family tradition?
    You aren’t mocking it or diminishing it; you’re honoring it.
    I don’t think these complainers understand what “cultural appropriation” means.

    • パンダ // 22 April, 2015 at 12:20 am //

      Most of the people complaining are possibly from tumblr. To them if a person , Mostly white, does something with a culture like eats food, learns language, wears traditional clothing (in a non mocking way) They claim appropriation because it is a white person doing it.

      • I guess I’m the king of cultural appropriation, then. I speak several languages, I eat lots of “exotic” food, I wear any clothes that fit, I like “world” music, and I have a lot of friends from different countries and different races. All of that is because I like other cultures (and I like variety), not to somehow dominate or ridicule foreign people. And if other people don’t like that, well, it’s their problem, not mine.

  34. My Japanese girlfriend & I were enjoying your comics today. About we thought maybe you can get away with dressing like a slob b/c you’re kind of cute … for an American. ;) Maybe you’re both just right for for each other.

  35. Linda Maley // 5 April, 2015 at 5:32 pm //

    All I see is one really cute couple!

  36. I know how you feel, I got the same comment about my boyfriend several times, and it made me feel really annoyed and uncomfortable. “He’s kind of cute, you know, for a japanese man”… I didn’t know what to say, even worse when it is your own sister who says something like that.

  37. It goes the other way too: my wife (Japanese) got comments about me (white man) along the lines of, “I could never marry a gaijin,” or “I have never seen an attractive white man.”

    • I always thought he was cute but so are you. You are both cute because you love each and know how to have fun.

    • “All white men are not attractive to me” != “All white men are not smart”. Pizza isn’t delicious to me != Pizza is a food.

      People need to get a grip with their knee-jerk overreactions that they claim are pointing out “racism”. What a joke.

    • To be clear, saying that somebody is attractive “for a (insert here) guy” is simply pointing out that the speaker normally doesn’t find that group of people attractive. I don’t like eating pizza. I guess I’m a pizza racist!

  38. Wow. Yeah, that is redic. Basically, what they are saying when they say “he’s hot, for an Asian guy” is exactly what you touched on, “if he was white he would be better looking, but you know, he still did ok for himself”. It’s also like a way of them being clear that they aren’t attracted to Asian guys and almost taking a shot at you, too. It’s so condescending and essentially racist.

  39. thug4lyfe // 16 March, 2015 at 5:45 am //

    This is institutional racism. I don’t think accusing them of being racist is the right way to approach it, since it’s been drummed into people’s mind culturally by the elites for insidious reasons. So try to bring it up in a polite and mature way to get people to think. Also, it’s better to come out of a white person because if Asian act undignified toward the these things they will be called reactive and Perhaps even accused of “racism” themselves.

  40. Theparith // 13 March, 2015 at 5:09 pm //

    It’s almost like you took the words out of my mouth! Happened to me last month when my GF was back in Montreal, I went to a local meetup in Bkk and a girl there said exactly the same thing “You’re hot for a Thai guy” could only imagine my outrage. It’s almost as if being Asian was somehow liability in determining someone’s attractiveness or personality. I really didn’t like her comments but took a second to think it through the amount of times this had happened..came to the conclusion that people just don’t really take the time to notice how people outside of their own race can be attractive, especially when a lot of western media tend to portray Asian guys in a very diminutive, awkward and very 2 dimensional way.

    Btw, you two look like a very cute couple! All the best to you X

  41. Maryanne // 12 March, 2015 at 8:37 am //

    As an half Asian female living in Australia, Sydney even I get this or they exclaim they “can’t believe I’m Asian because they’re attracted to me!”
    It is so rude -___-

    • And racist, mate

      • I’ve personally never had someone say that to me, I’m Chinese and most Americans cannot tell the difference between the east Asian races, however I have gotten responses by men saying they wanted to have sex with me or date me because of my ethnicity. There was actually once, I was hooking up with a guy, and he said he’s never been with a Chinese person before and he’s always wanted to. Needless to say I busted out of there pretty quickly.
        I think being Asian in white dominated culture , one is either fetishized or looked down upon and it’s total bullshit.

  42. santarosaguy // 3 March, 2015 at 11:53 pm //

    If someone said those racist comments to me or my partner I would say “Well you don’t look too bad yourself, (slight pause) for a racist.”

  43. Thanks a lot Grace ! you raise the confidence in me. I am Indonesian living in Australia, and in the first year of college, after knowing your story about your encounter with your husband, now I don’t hesitate anymore in choosing my future partner.

    I’m kinda amazed you know, when I see you both have a really unique and happy life story.

    Btw, I wish you both have a happy life


  44. “Your fiance is African??? Oh .. I guess that’s OK, black can also be good looking …”

    We get a lot of that sort of remark and I always think, “Did you just say that? Can you hear yourself?” (I’m Malaysian-Chinese, btw.)

    Anyway, I’m loving your articles. Power to you guys :-)

  45. Glad I found this entry of yours. :) although I do not date anyone with a different race or Anyang like that, I totally understand where you are coming from. I am half japanese yet have blue eyes, light brown hair, freckles and fair skin. These are the somewhat common physical characteristics of a white person. So when I was growing up in tokyo going to a public japanese school I faced many judgemental rude people. And when I went back to the mainland to see my dad’s side of the family it was difficult to connect with them when I would share pictures of my life with them. For example there were pictures of me in a kimono with a couple of my japanese cousins. And sometimes they would make a comment like “well… Don’t you fit in quite well?” And the fact that if I LOOKED japanese and was in the photograph they would probably smile and look past it. But anyways, going back to my previous point, it took me a great amount of time to get over it and be confident in who I am. I feel like once I learned to do that many people Around me accepted me as who I am. And I hope that you and your husband can look over the judgemental comments and tensions that you migh get from other people who don’t understand or know. Because I know it did take me time but it was sure liberating when I learned to accept.

  46. Your husband is definitely attractive, no doubt about it.. I found it really stupid, the additional statement “for an Asian “. And you look really good in kimono.. I am an Indian, btw..currently living in Los Angeles. .

  47. Personality rules! I love how Ryosuke is willing to show PDA for his wife. The young generation are the ones who can make the paradigm shift in their culture. Would there be comments if she were Japanese and he were white? Ryosuke and Grace are a beautiful couple…that’s all that counts!

  48. Mentioning someone’s race when talking about their attractiveness is completely unnecessary and just offensive. As you said, qualifiers are not needed. If your husband is attractive, your husband is attractive. If someone told me that I’m “pretty for a black girl” I would kind of see it as a backhanded compliment. On one hand, something good about me would be recognised but on the other hand, the person is implying that my race as a whole is ugly but I have some redeeming qualities which puts me above them. I have no idea why anyone would even contemplate saying that someone is attractive for their race…why does that have to go through someone’s head before saying something? Just compliment the person and make their day!

  49. It’s not “kind of” racist, it IS racist. I know I’m late to the party (hahah) but imho you have every right in the world to feel hurt, or angry, or offended. This kind of backhanded compliment sounds way more condescending than actually complimenting.
    And your picture’s lovely. May I ask why he’s wearing just a “regular” suit? Is that tradition too? 8)

  50. AMEN!

    You have an amazing relationship with a super hot guy. Period. No qualifiers.

    And this is partially a response to some of your other posts on being in an AMWW relationship, but I’m an American living in London, and though I’m not in an interracial relationship, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve heard “Why aren’t you marrying an American guy?” It’s crazy!

    And do you know what my response is?

    “Because the love of my life and best friend doesn’t happen to be American.”

    I find that works rather well as a response. :)

    Like you and Ryosuke, James and I got engaged very quickly after meeting because we knew right away that we were perfect together. True love is a very rare thing, and when you find it you should grab it with both hands. The practicalities are not always easy, but it’s absolutely worth it. Good on ya for recognising that.

    And you look beautiful in that kimono.

  51. I think you guys are both average looking in general! ;)
    Anyway, I really don’t think it is a racist comment. Not everyone understands Asian culture “first-hand” like you do.

  52. I get it. My Korean husband gets similar comments or I have people say “what is he?” It bothers me but what ever we have the cutest babies anyone has ever seen!

    • Are you Asian or Asian American? The quote, “…”for” a(n) (choose ethnic group)” is a preposition, and its term is described as:

      …a prefix meaning “away,” “off,” “to the uttermost,” “extremely,” “wrongly,” or imparting a negative or privative force, occurring in verbs and nouns formed from verbs of Old or Middle English origin, many of which are now obsolete or archaic:

      And it is an insult because, there is a tier system used to which standards are required. It’s like saying: Grace is good looking for a white person…the standards which means no other white people in Japan are good enough, they are ugly, lazy and so on, which can lead to discrimination, loss of job opportunity and so on. So Grace is correct when she thinks it’s wrong. She is a white person in Japan…a minority…she has less political pull in Japan than say in Texas where she is from. Though this does not apply to her in the U.S. Hey Grace, you are now (politically and population-speaking) a minority!

      Also, I just realized this, Grace is a U.S. Asia citizen (if she’s a citizen of Japan) She is U.S. born and a Japanese citizen. I am Japanese American, my ethnicity is Japanese and I was born in America…therefore, U.S.-Asia citizen is incorrect, because, the hyphen would make her a compound adjective.

  53. I can see why it bothers you, but I don’t think it’s racist, or at least, not necessarily. Because beauty(hotness/sexiness) is very subjective and cultural, what I interpret that “he’s sexy for an asian man” is, he has features that in my culture I find hot that are features not common in the physique of X geographic group. And that is not racist(it’s not discriminatory), it’s not even absolute. It doesn’t mean that here are no hot asians, or not in a similar degree than anywhere else. It just means that they’re different cultures, and what is culturally beautiful for a person of a certain culture(for example, in some cultures, being big is sexy, while on western society, being big is not sexy), it’s not necessarily the same for another culture.

    • I’m assuming you’re not Asian, let alone a Person of Color and your preconceived notion is quite understandable. As a minority (Minority as in political and social representation) we are gauged by a certain standard in life…be it, entertainment, political, social, that we are unable to compete. Did you know that there was a movie (true story) of a Japanese American young man who was placed in a concentration camp during WWII, and his white girlfriend tried many times to visit him. It was a love story of requited love.

      Well, Hollywood loved it but wanted a few changes. The movie? Come See the Paradise with Tamlyn Tomita and Dennis Quaid. Why the change? Because no one would believe that a white woman loving an Asian American would be profitable…the movie flopped.

      Domestic Total Gross: $947,306
      Distributor: Fox Release Date: December 25, 1990
      Genre: War Drama Runtime: 2 hrs. 18 min.
      MPAA Rating: R Production Budget: N/A

      So yes, it is racism. Not like the KKK or the American Nazi party racism, but when studio moguls feel that Asian men lack the spark to make the movie realistic, that Hollywood joie de vivre, they totally switch the movie around. The plot is destroyed, the actors portraying a real life characters are changed and you come out with a historical fact that is, well racist. So no, I don’t expect you to understand. I really don’t . I don’t expect you to understand why Grace feels uncomfortable either. She really does not understand it either when she wrote:

      You see, there’s this phrase “Your husband is pretty hot, for an Asian guy,” that bothers me. I don’t even know why it bothers me. Because it does. Bother me, I mean.

      Why does she not know? She’s not a person of color. She will never feel what it’s like to be a person of color, especially in Texas, but I have a feeling that being in Japan, the question was directed to her because she’s white and Ryosuke is Japanese. You see, interracial marriage Japan is still an issue and something as obvious as Grace and Ryosuke can be a challenge. Now if I were to marry Ryosuke’s relatives, at first glance, no one would say a word. When I speak though, we would probably divorce, because, I am Japanese but can’t speak Japanese…nor do I have the proper inflection when I speak…in other words, the woman would be a race traitor because I am a race traitor because I can’t speak Japanese…get it?

      Grace is learning.

      It’s quite fine Ryosuke has a white wife in Japan, but me? Forget it. Since I live in the United States though, comments made about the two are racist. Again, it isn’t the KKK-type racism, but it is still racism…

  54. // 14 November, 2014 at 9:19 pm //

    When white people start accepting interracial dating and marriages instead of frowning upon it, and blaspheming Jesus to oppose it, minorities should stop complaining about cultural appropriation…IN YOUR CASE IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT YOU ACCEPT DIFFERENT CULTURES…YOU ARE MARRIED OUTSIDE YOURS…so what these clowns are saying is inappropriate at best and racist at worst.

    The fact is that white people have even appropriated a Middle Eastern religion called Christianity and used it to push their racist agendia, particulalry whites in the US and South Africa…so much so that the world now believes that Christianity is a white peoples religion. My white American colleagues in an international organization keep asking me how I got my name Mary Thomas, because I am from India because all Indians are supposed to look moslem, but be Hindus and “worship idols”. Actually, I am from the state of Kerala in southwest India and I am very dark skinned more darker than most African Americans…so first they thought I was an African American and many still do. I tell that my ancestors have been Christians since 100 AD…they were converted by St. Thomas the apostle when most white people (outside of the Mediterranean) were still living in caves and practicing human sacrifice (eg. Druids in Ireland and the Germanic and Celtic tribes of Central Europe). So, Christianity which is supposed to be a world religion has now become the religion of white people even for blacks and Latinos and some Asian Americans! That is the effect of cultural appropriation.

  55. No Asian role? An Asian male named Night Shyamlan who is darker than your average African American took an Asian anime and cast all actors as about that for appropriation…I also think that the whites took a middle eastern religion, Christianity and appropriated it to make it into a western religion.

    • Correction // 12 May, 2015 at 3:18 am //

      Uhhhhh, if you’re talking about Avatar: The Last Airbender, it’s not Asian, and it’s not an anime. It’s an American cartoon, actually.

  56. // 14 November, 2014 at 9:03 am //

    “Being white, and I’m being honest, you are more likely to be accepted in the Japanese circle than I would..”

    True in most of Asia…actually if it is a AMWW couple lot less racism for either if they stay in Asia than say they come to Texas or in a lot of places in the west.

  57. After living in tokyo for 14 years I always get the same questions … I just ignore it no time for me t waste with ignorants who follow stereotype
    Grace you look gorgeous on your engagement photo
    Ignore all those jerks

  58. I am a fourth-generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle. My wife is 5’2″, blonde hair, blue eyes, Irish, French, and one-fourth Cherokee, and she is just the cutest! Very quiet and shy, which is what I love so much about her! But, you know what my “issue” is, if you want to call it that? People see my wedding band, and they ask me about my wife, “is she Japanese?” That’s without knowing her name, or seeing pictures. It seems like it’s ok to ask a man of Japanese descent, “is your wife/girlfriend Japanese?” Oh well. I actually savor that opportunity to happily tell the inquirer, “No, she’s blonde, mostly Irish-American!”

    I have been asked (and am not offended by this question) if I was ever interested in Japanese women (especially Japanese-American). My answer is, Oh yes! Growing up, there were many Japanese-American women (especially at church) who I would have loved to have dated. But, the interest has to be mutual, and it just never quite panned out that way at the time.

    Nice picture, by the way, Grace! I love your kimono, but I also love Ryusuke’s suit! I’d love to see your wedding picture in the Western attire to, if you took one. I know that many Japanese weddings first have pictures taken in the Kimono (for the woman), but then in the white dress right after.

    • Or what about: Hey Rich, you speak/read/write English REALLY well! Do you eat rice regularly? Are you good at math? Yadda yadda yadda. This form of racism, yes what you blogged falls under the category of racism Grace, will be, if the publisher of a book my two coauthor and I are writing, will reflect the same we as People of Color face everyday.

      I’m sure Grace experience it everyday in Japan as a minority…and when I say minority, I don’t mean ethnicity but political representation (which is the definition of minority)…on a regular basis. She probably get stares. Ryosuke is probably looked upon as a guy who could not get a Japanese wife, probably because he does not find them “attractive” or “uninterested” Who knows. That’s why Shinzo Abe is trying to nationalize the country and I see folks like Grace being the savior…but there may be a cost.

      Like Rich, I am probably the last of the pure-bred Japanese in the United States, and as 3011 approaches, long after I am dead and gone, there will not be a pure-bred Japanese. I mean, after 10,000 years of being a homogenous nation, we won’t be and expect racism to flourish…either in the U.S. as Grace has mentioned or being a white person or even a konketsuji (混血児) in Japan.

      • I don’t know. I see a lot of “sexless Japan” and “no one in Japan wants to have children” articles all the time – but most of our mutual friends are married and have at least one child.

        Also, my husband dated plenty of Japanese women before he met me. I don’t think he’s ever been looked down on for not having a Japanese wife – for a lot of his friends, I’m the first “non-Asian” person they’ve ever met, so they find it kind of interesting.

        • I think he’s a good looking guy, and I’m straight. Want to read something funny Grace? Ask your Japanese friends this, what do you think of Japanese people who were born in America who do not speak Japanese? Then ask a total stranger. Being white, and I’m being honest, you are more likely to be accepted in the Japanese circle than I would. If I keep my mouth shut, no one would be the wiser.

          Good job picking a good Japanese person as a husband

    • Hm. I never thought about that. But yes, I can totally see people asking that (oops, sorry about that).

      We had a wedding ceremony in Texas that was very lovely – we might hold another one in Japan next year for his family (depending on if I still feel “sick” of all the wedding preparations).

      I think people are attracted to a wide variety of people. I dated a couple Americans (and one or two guys from Mexico) before I met my husband. He dated quite a few Japanese women before he met me. I think either of us really could have ended up with anyone – the cards just fell in a way we ended up together.
      It’s much less “intentional” than people think.

  59. You are most definitely not alone Grace, as it tends to be a world wide issue. Wow, suddenly l feel transported back to my (past) anthropology classes. You know cultural conditioning, racial stereotypes, and also Caucasian expats (ha-ha). Being in an “interracial” marriage myself, it can become very discouraging to be cornered into explaining my husband’s religious background, morals, and views on life. Also having to defend his character all because his “race” or “religion”, is viewed quite negatively in the media these days. It becomes wearisome to explain that just because he is from a certain country (North Africa!), does not mean that you have the right to lump him in with another group(s) of people who in no shape or form relate, with or sans resemblance, if that even! It’s a shame to me that instead of embracing our differences, many still feel the need to segregate, demean, and ostracize others based on our distinctive qualities. Instead of expounding on the race card, how about we give each (virtual or otherwise) hugs instead? You know make love not war, and all that jazz.

  60. Not dissimilar to “You’re attractive for your age.”

    I think your husband is a handsome guy and you look great together, and very happy :-) He looks like a lovely man too.

    Was shocked when I came to the end of the article though to hear that you’d had bad comments re: your engagement photo! Shame you have to justify the tradition. x

    • Thank you :)

      I was also really shocked by some of the nasty comments this post got. I’m used to it from the “other side,” the people who find interracial marriages disgusting… but not this side. So. Yeah…

      • ok I am confused as why you wearing the Kimono caused such an uproar? Your both beautiful and blessed to find happiness.

  61. You are a lovely, cute couple. For a human beings, you know ;)

  62. a new reader :) // 15 October, 2014 at 1:58 am //

    Personally I find the phrase [“for and Asian”] simply impolite. People can be surprisingly thoughtless in their words!

  63. In terms of Asian women not wanting to date Asian men…ha ha ha…I’m laughing because that is actually so common across cultures. Many people want to marry within their culture, but so many people can’t wait to escape what they see as the tight confines of their own culture, community…be it Italian, Latino, Polish, Jewish, etc….My Polish friend has told me how she tries to stay as far away as possible from the Polish community, the gossip, everyone telling you what to do…etc.

    But also, don’t forget, Asian women in America are also exposed to the same media as the rest of us. My gorgeous daughter wanted blonde hair so badly…it’s really hard to perceive beauty that is different from what is being constantly shoved down our throats as beautiful.

    • I can definitely see that. I think it’s a lot of baloney and that asian women are some of the most beautiful girls out there. But like Grace and Suzanne have both pointed out – for some reason, and this has definitely been true in my experience: most if not all of the time when I hear, “he’s good looking…for an asian guy” it’s coming from an asian women and I’ve even heard it from other asian men as well! I’ve never heard it coming from a non-asian person so it leads me to wonder if there is some kind of underlying insecurity where this is all stemming from. I actually hear that phrase a lot when I’m over in South Korea and having western features over there seems to be all the rage. I do want to comment though that my bf and I have been seeing couples like us a lot more and more both here in the States and over in South Korea though. I think that a lot of asian guy and white girl couples feel that they are rare because you see the gender flip of that couple a lot more. I do think that couples like my bf and I are definitely growing and growing fast and couldn’t be happier about that!

      • I agree. I hear in about half the time from other Asian girls and half the time from non-Asian Americans. It’s… odd. But I think I’ve seen more AMWF (with an Asian man anw a white woman) in Texas than I’ve seen in Japan. Or at least Tokyo. Don’t know why.

        • Hi Grace, I’m the AM part of an AMWF relationship. We live in Florida right now but we lived in Taiwan for a bit because of work. My wife found this page and some of these comments have really been hitting close to home. My wife says none of her white girlfriends have ever used the line that I was ‘good-looking for an Asian guy’ but one of her black friends did. I actually think that minorities are more likely to say things like this here in the United States, not that it makes it right or anything…

          Anyways, I’ve definitely heard it from other Asian girls but I don’t know if that counts as racism necessarily. Maybe I’m just a forgive and forget kind of person haha. Most of my girlfriends in the past have been Hispanic or Caucasian and these are the top four things that I generally hear:

          1.”You’re the first Asian guy I’ve ever dated.”
          2. “You’re the first Asian guy I’ve ever been attracted to.”
          3. “I didn’t know Asian guys liked/dated white/hispanic/etc. girls”
          4. “You’re pretty tall for an Asian guy” – I am 5’9. LOL.

          Never heard the, “he’s attractive, for an Asian guy” except from other minority women and other minority men. For some reason, I don’t find it racist though. My brother is dating a Cuban girl and he hears it all the time from her friends. But his GF’s friends also say things like, “that guy is hot for a Puerto Rican or that guy is cute for a Columbian” so I don’t know if I’d call it racism. Maybe I’m just a cup half full kind of guy!

        • Grace, now imagine how an Asian American male feels. To this day, in the U.S.? There are no Asian American leading role. Recently, there are blacks, which is great! Specifically black women, like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. But not one show has a leading Asian male…full blooded.

          Yes, there is Dean Cain, but where is he now? He is also half Asian. But a full-blooded Asian American? Why? Because we’re boring. We aren’t what the public want: We are martial artists, cops, criminals, cooks/chefs but never the leading role.

          So when they say: “Ryosuke is good looking, you know, for an Asian guy.” it’s because Asian and Asian American male aren’t expected to play a leading role on T.V. or in life. We were emasculated after WWII and they want to keep it that way in the 21st century…don’t think it’s true people? Name me one full blooded Asian American in a drama with a white woman as a love interest.

          Granted, there is Lucy Liu in Elementary…but that is one…where are the rest? Grace, that’s why Ryosuke is good looking, you know, for an Asian?

          • well there’s john cho, sung kang, daniel dae kim, and a list of others

            if anything, there’s probably more asian male actors than asian females right now

            and either way, what matters more is real life; there are attractive, masculine asian men that exist that women of any race would find desirable; after all, the most attractive asian women always go for asian men. fictional entertainment simply pales in comparison

    • most asian women actually prefer to date asian men. those who SAY they don’t want to are usually the ones with low self-esteem who never felt like asian men were attracted to them. and also because they had poor relations with their families

  64. Part of the racism against Asians, similar to that against Jews, is a kind of emasculation in all kinds of propaganda as well as in mass media like movies. It is parallel to the fetishization of Asian women, both are objectified and dehumanized. It’s changing a LOT…thank goodness!
    As to the idiots who accused you of cultural appropriation…they rant with the zealotry of new found idealism, without even bothering to find out the whole story. If they have not each one sent you an apology, they are part of the problem, not the solution. I cried when I read of your in-laws wanting you to wear their family’s traditional clothing, and your willingness to incorporate your husband’s family’s culture is something that should be commended, not attacked.

    • Thank you. Since I added that “Edit,” I’ve only gotten one additional comment calling me out on my cultural appropriation and saying I “should be ashamed.” So I think that is giving more people the backstory they need, before they start judging me…

    • Don’t forget the Asians in:

      Sri Lanka
      Palestinian territories
      Saudi Arabia
      United Arab Emirates

      These Asians also experience racism too…and here in the U.S. too

  65. Oh my goodness, Grace you are like my twin from another mother ha! I’m a caucasian girl married to a Korean man and he’s the best guy ever. It’s definitely a cross-cultural relationship because I’m always traveling to Seoul to see my guy. The comments section has struck a chord with me. Like you and Suzanne have commented, most of the girls and guys who tell me that my husband is ‘attractive for an asian guy’ are asian men and women. I’ve never heard that from other white or non-asian women. I think that asian guys have had some good positive exposure in the last ten years as opposed to the way they’ve been portrayed in the past and most of my girlfriends are pretty open to dating them. Suzanne, my bf says the same thing. He told me that the he started dating white women because he felt like asian women didn’t find him attractive at all. It’s a win-win, I think plenty of non-asian women would be more than willing to take what all of these asian girls are missing!

    • Hah. It’s funny that you mention it, because my husband often tells me that by Japanese standards, he wasn’t that attractive in his teenage years. Or something like that. He doesn’t wear “fashionable/edgy” clothes, has short hair, is very tan, and is very muscular.
      I think all of that is dead sexy, but apparently girls weren’t exactly lining up to date him in high school/college (hey, less competition for me!)
      Now that he’s an adult, I think he’s the more attractive style (but, you know, I’ve already snagged him…)

    • Just to counter that, I’ve definitely heard it from white girls – but that could be because I live in a very white town. In fact one girl came up to us and said quote unquote “you know think you’re actually good-looking, for an Asian”… I nearly slapped her haha…

  66. People who are making (and all the other females who are in AMWF relationships) these disputable “compliments” are really annoying, aren’t they? I am not in an AMWF relationship, my boyfriend is western like me, but since I keep going back solo to China again and again, I am told stupid rubbish about asian men like some of the points you have mentioned in your post about “AMWF Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Asian Male, White Female Couples)” as if I need to be warned. It just happened to me lately at a China festival in my hometown Cologne in Germany, when I was talking to a german female of about my age who has lived in Beijing for two years. She added that after that time span she had to go home because in her opinion “chinese men are not attractive for us western women.” I was tempted to ask her where she has stayed in Beijing during these two years or where she was looking at the whole time, but just responded that I do not agree. I have seen many attractive guys in China as I have seen attractive guys elsewhere. It’s not the nationality or race which makes someone attractive but the personality, the behaviour and the appearance.

    • Exactly. It all depends on the personality. Intelligence makes you sexy (among other things).
      It’s just really frustrating to see these kinds of stereotypes on the internet (or in real like). I get the whole “I would NEVER date a Japanese man because they treat their girlfriends like slaves/doormats” thing all the time. It’s really frustrating.
      You can’t sum down an entire race/country into one sentence.
      And there are good and bad people in every country. So, you know, don’t be a jerk about it.

      • So true, Grace, but try to ignore these idiots. You and your husband are such a nice and cute couple, there should be a lot more of you.That is exactly what I said to a chinese lady yesterday – I am in Beijing right now -, when she told me about her female cousin who is married to a german. I said that I know quite a lot of western-asian couples, but mostly the man it is western and the female is asian, and I added that it is such a shame that there are not more AMWF couples. She offered me right away to introduce me to some nice chinese men.

        • The problem with ignoring these idiots and not addressing them is that the prejudice and racism continues. Since the age of 21, I’ve been fighting against racism and stereotype. For example:

          Asian-American Whiz Kids | Aug. 31, 1987

          This is not unlike what people say about Ryosuke. The commenter creates a level of expectation, a standard in which every Asian male must meet in order to to be accepted. This isn’t just limited to love but work, social life, school and so on. As an Asian American in the Time magazine, Asian Americans are whizzes at everything science and math, yet how many of them children are in management level? How many are CEOs? What position in Forbes Magazine is the riches Asian in the U.S.?

          145. Patrick Soon-Shiong
          Net worth: $8 billion
          Source of wealth: pharmaceuticals

          145th. The top 10 are white folks

          $8 billion is a lot of money, but then how many billionaire Asians are there? Not too many. And this is what the Asian must strive for…but do they get it? Nope. Also, I am an English lover. I detest and abhor math…it counters the stereotype that I should be more left brained…well I am not. Am I a failure? Far from it, because I can read the prejudice spewing from Grace’s blog as she wrote the headline:

          Dear World, “He’s good-looking, for an Asian guy” is not a compliment. It’s kinda racist.

          So the person commenting is saying that by some sort of weird standard, Ryosuke is good looking when there are a plethora of ugly Asian guys. Not just ugly if you segue this thought to the working word:

          “He’s smart, for an Asian guy”
          “He’s talented, for an Asian guy”
          “He’s dedicated, for an Asian guy”

          The preposition “FOR” accentuates the failures of others by dividing a group of people against another. Many believe that the folks in Southeast Asia and Southern Asia as well as the Western part of the Asian continent are imperfect. Japanese, Chinese and Koreans are the “ideal” Asian and further break down the three-mentioned Asian group…it still can be broken down. The preposition shows off the imperfection of the noun in a roundabout way, because, ethnicity is the core subject and not the person.

          Is this done on purpose? Most likely no. It does go to show that people cannot think very well and their English is atrocious. Racist? It depends on the intent Grace. illiterate? Maybe more that than racism…but there are exceptions though, as I wrote above.

    • This happens in Korea too. There’s a lot of expat women and men here who come here and initially find Korean men/women attractive. That doesn’t always work the other way around because Koreans are pretty homogenous and date within their own race. I know a few men and women who found Koreans very attractive but ended up saying something like “Korean men are not attractive for us western men/women” because they felt spurned. As an pale American girl who has lived in Seoul for a few years, I can tell you that it can be tough to find a Korean guy who is into a non-Korean girl. It was tough but I hung in there and found the man of my dreams. However some men/women who have been spurned over here often use the “they’re not attractive” line as a defensive mechanism.

  67. Hi Grace! Just discovered your website, I’m from Denton so we should get together sometime! (Although I’ve never been to Japan). My boyfriend is also Japanese and we currently live in Atlanta. I can sort of relate to what you’re saying. I’ve never heard the “…for an Asian guy” qualifier from anyone – except from Asian-American girls. Not bragging here but my bf definitely turns the heads of plenty non-Asian women and I’m not sure why you guys think people are surprised to hear about handsome Asian men. Maybe it’s all in your head? Even down here there are plenty of gals who find Asian guys attractive, granted it’s mostly the over 20 crowd so they might be a little more mature. My bf always jokes that the reason that he’s with a ‘white chick’ (me) is that Asian girls don’t like him at all. I’ve dated men of other ethnicities as well and I definitely get waaaayyyy more flak for that compared to when I date White guys or, IMO, even Asian guys. Some folks do add the additional qualifier, especially when it comes to African-American men and women here in the South. I don’t think it’s always necessarily racism though it’s just more annoying than anything else. If you want to talk about racism then I can tell you all about the experiences I had when I dated my Hispanic ex-boyfriend…let’s just say that with the exception of Austin, the idea of diversity is taking it’s sweet time to get to Texas.

  68. Anonymous // 6 October, 2014 at 10:48 am //

    I think your engagement picture is beautiful.

  69. Cheryl Dieter // 5 October, 2014 at 12:55 am //

    Wonderful and thoughtful post. Thank you.

  70. There are some very beautiful humans on this earth. Their beauty is actually in how they treat others, not in their physicality. Unfortunately, human beings are weak, insecure, sordid beings as a generalisation. To grow out of that mould you need to expand your horizons. Racism is often a way to feel secure. The fact of the matter is that love has no colour, race, religion, ethnicity, disability or gender. It is a tale as old as time.

  71. I loved your article very much. I see nothing wrong with your photo you both look lovely. By the way your hubby is hot for a human ;)

  72. Wow. Let’s just put it this way: I’d totally slap someone on the face if they told me “You’re pretty… for an Asian girl.”
    I applaud your husband for not getting upset, but I’m sure many people would have been offended by the microaggression.

    I’m particularly horrified that your female Japanese friend said “I can see why you picked him over an American.” As an Asian female, I interpret that statement as an implicit recognition of Asian inferiority. I resent that.

  73. You both look lovely and happy in your photo :) try not to let other people’s jealousy bother you, since your husband is often present when people make these remarks I’m guessing it’s their jealousy at your happiness that makes them say hurtful comments.

    • I’m sure that’s a small part of some of the cases. Oh well. I mean, these things don’t bother him – he was surprised so many people on the internet “agreed” with me that this off-hand remark was racist.

  74. Hey, found your blog through GaijinPot. Solid blog!

    Good article, btw! Don’t listen to those detracting you- they’re salty because you called them out and they were looking to go back at you. Anyone who’s lived in this country + had to deal with Japanese in-laws knows how it goes.

    • Thanks. Glad you found me through GaijinPot!

      Pretty much. I found it crazy that some people told me I should have refused my inlaws invitation/suggestion, since I was white and had no place in a kimono. Like… I feel like y’all don’t understand how super-traditional Japanese inlaws are. You can’t really say “no” even if you wanted (which, you know, I didn’t. I wanted to wear said kimono. It’s lovely)

  75. Dear Grace, as an Asian man living in the bay area, I applaud you for helping us in our fight to find masculinity and appeal. I wish there where more women like you.

  76. You know what, it seems this article’s motive is actually bragging about the good looks of the husband. It’s kinda trying showing off to the whole world about the cheekbones, abs etc etc. What a cunning way to point it out. Btw, there are much better and hotter asian guys and attractive white women out there……Gotcha!

  77. I agree with you. And it’s really a lovely engagement photo. Whoever gets mad about that might just be jealous of your happiness… forget about those people!

  78. Hey just found this over my facebook feed. I liked this post and i’m glad it’s from a white girl and not from a grumpy susceptible minority. and your blog is pretty relevant for a white female author. ;)

  79. If someone makes a racist backhanded comment, tell them “Make sure that YOUR kids never play with MY kids.” That tells them they aren’t fit to be parents.

  80. Elizabeth Chen // 26 September, 2014 at 2:25 pm //

    As someone who married the sweetest, most handsome Chinese American man in all of California (^_^) I can personally attest that it’s always the person that counts! I wish you both the best!

  81. Thank you for making your thoughts public! I can appreciate where you’re coming from. I am baffled by the accusations of cultural appropriation. As you responded to someone else, it seems people were quick to throw vitriol before getting context. As for the comments about white suppremacy, I can only think that is trolling. I am sorry to hear both of these have happened. It reminds me of a comment you made about being a bigger target. Know that there are many people who support you. :)

    • I’m surprisingly ok. I guess I was more shocked than anything, because this is probably the most “liberal” post I’ve written – and I was expecting to get hate from the ultra conservative (in a bad way) side about being in an interracial relationship (because that’s becoming a norm now). I’ve never been attacked by the ultra liberal (in a bad way) side before, so it was more shocking than anything.

  82. You look lovely in your photo.

  83. Grace those people who add the proviso are indeed racist. I would drop them like a hot potato. I used to hear a lot of this sort of dreadful racism in Australia. There is far less today than there was in the ’80’s & ’90’s. The trick I found was not to socialise with racists and eventually to build a social network through education and understanding. We also excluded those racist people and created a situation where any sort of racism was socially stigmatised. This doesn’t mean that people would not be silently or discreetly racist as that still happens but we are building a better understanding and that can’t be all bad. I used to hear people say ‘me friend the slope’ (slope is a derogatory term for a Vietnamese person in Australia) and publicly demonized the person who said it. How can a person be a friend of this twit if he vilifies him. The other saying that annoyed me was ‘Asian Take Away’ for a place Asian Australians hung out. The inference was a white person could get an Asian sex there. Not was that demeaning it was also sexist and showed a lack of respect for the person/people. I studied Queer Theory as a part of my degree and we explored the cultural norms in each society. In Western society as much as we might like to believe we are cross cultural, sexually & sexuality aware we are not. We are a patriarchal society not quite as hard line as extreme patriarchal societies and belief systems but still patriarchal. In Queer theory this is called the Heterosexist paradigm. Heterosexuals who adopt this paradigm, that includes patriarchal belief systems are said to be Heteronormative. Gay & Lesbians buy into that paradigm by adopting the belief system of the paradigm and that is called Homonormative. Heterosexist paradigm is very racist in that it divides the racial groupings and identifies difference as important. Racism is a constant in every society on the planet. The Thai’s are racist against the Laos’, Cambodians & Vietnamese. Japanese & Chinese are racist against each other. Caucasians are racist against almost anyone on the planet. Each racial grouping has their own racism. This is all a part of the Heterosexist paradigm. If we can break that paradigm of hate and distrust we can create a world that is accepting and loving. This would be adopting Kwame Anthony Apiah’s ‘Cosmopolitanism’. Cosmopolitanism is not a new concept as it was first introduced by Diogenes of Synope, father of the Cynic movement. Cosmopolitanism simply refers to people as ‘Citizens of the World’, world in this respect does not refer tio the Earth but the Universe. If this were to be realised there would no longer be borders and racism would indeed be a distant memory.

  84. A brave article tackling somewhat of a taboo. Glad I came across this piece and your blog. Will keep an eye on it. Would be grateful if you can follow back too. Thank you!

  85. I think it is possible to have a preference for another ethnicity other than ones own, though in my case, I try not to see this as an attraction between people of two different ethnicities, rather as an attraction between two human beings. It is a shame that I feel somewhat conditioned by people in my social circles (I am a gay man who lives in China/Hong Kong, and, as a result of my social surroundings, as well as in some part due to cultural assimilation, I have dated mostly Asian men up to this point), other people of my own ethnicity point at me and call me a ‘rice queen – a derogatory term for white men who chase Asian men.. All I can say is that right now I am in a serious relationship with a wonderful guy from Hong Kong, and irrespective of any characteristic denoting his ethnicity, he is simply great: caring, mature, handsome and sweet.

    It is quite hard to not be ‘racist’ oneself in making a choice of partner, some people may say ‘I’ll never date a black person’ or ‘Asians guys? Small dicks!’ And these choices, while narrow-minded and quite unacceptable, on some level are understandable with stereotypes floating about. I must say I can’t deny that I find Asian men more attractive than men of other ethnicities, but that does not mean I exclude those others.

    With regards to people’s reactions to my choice of partner, I actually couldn’t care less, but on the whole, living in multi-cultural Hong Kong and Shanghai, there has been little talk of our respective ethnicities, the only occasions I’ve met with any racism, however ‘well-meant’ is back home in the UK. Ah well, I’ll get over it, and it doesn’t affect us.

    You DO have a very handsome husband, and I love the photos. Best of luck in your married future!

  86. Hi there. Just found your blog and I thought I’d say hi! I’ve illustrated a couple of your Metropolis pieces and that’s how I found your blog. :)

    I too am married to a Japanese gentleman, and I have to agree, it is VERY IRRITATING to hear the “He’s good looking…for an Asian” remark. It’s so rude. I also had to take traditional kimono pictures like yours… it’s definitely NOT cultural appropriation if you are actively participating in that culture!

    Keep up the good work. :) Hope to illustrate more of your pieces in the future!

  87. Well, that doesnt bothers me at all. If u put a white guy in Asia, asians in Asia will say- this guy smells pretty good for a white guy, or this guy is not so horny for a white guy… Ppl just have all kinds of bizzare set assumptions on cetrain things thry do not understand or get exposed to before… Nothing new.

    • I think the point here is that those are also kind of racist remarks. It doesn’t matter who’s saying them, they’re racist. Some remarks in this vein are less racist because they’re based on cultural facts rather than stereotypes (Your boyfriend hates rice? That’s odd for a Japanese guy…), but saying that someone smells good for a white guy is just as bad as looking good for an Asian guy. They both imply something bad about the group, or that they would be even better if they were a different race.

  88. I’m also with a Japanese-descent man (both his parents are Japanese) except he was born in Brazil… And now lives in Canada. I get this comment regularly as well, usually topped with some Japanese vs Brazilian vs Canadian culture. No one assumes we’re together because I love him, they assume the “Brazilian-ess” counterbalances the “Japanese-ness.” And before meeting him they assume he’s mixed asian-caucasian which apparently means he would be more handsome… There’s always this little surprise I can see in people I’ve talked about him to when they realise he “just” looks asian… It’s just weird… But he doesn’t care, maybe because he’s always been a visible minority, but those comments just don’t affect him at all. He doesn’t even see some of them… I don’t really care what people think and say, but I haven’t reached the point where I don’t see them…

  89. A very interesting article! I guess it’s something I wouldn’t have thought of, except for having you mention it. To me it DOES sound rude. Not even racist, necessarily–I guess everyone is entitled to find different races attractive/unattractive, based on their personal tastes, without it reflecting anything on that race–but it’s just not something I would say aloud. I try not to call anyone ugly, which is what you’re inherently doing with that statement. Even if it SEEMS like a compliment–oh yay, Ryosuke is cute–it’s putting down a whole ton of other people in the process, and also just kind of a weird thing to respond to? Yes, awkward. Awkwkard awkward awkward.

    Also, I can’t believe anyone has given you crap about ‘cultural appropriation’ for your engagement photo!! It’s amazing how there can be people so far on opposite sides of the fence–people who couldn’t care less about being sensitive to other cultures, and people who are so quick to condemn anyone for exploring outside their own culture–especially ‘white’ people–because how dare we try to make everything all about us? Except, oh yeah, you MARRIED into a Japanese family, and LIVE in Japan, making you, de facto, Japanese. Go figure. I’ve always thought that sharing culture was one of my favorite things about the US–we have so many different kinds of people! So many cultures! Especially since America is such a young country, I’ve often felt we suffer from a lack of identity–we need that melting-pot of other people and their pasts, because there is so very little of our own.

    Anyway. xD I always have so many thoughts in response to your posts!

    • Thanks. It helps to hear that. Though, from reading the messages/comments I’ve gotten from my “inappropriate engagement photo” the verdict seems to be that most of the commentors:
      1. Didn’t notice my blog was titled “Texan in Tokyo” and that we live in Japan
      2. Thought my husband was Japanese-American with little-to-no connecting with Japan, we live in America, and I am appropriating his culture for my own benefit
      3. Think I should have turned down the family request because I’m white and white people should never wear a kimono, etc, even at the families’ request, because that’s inappropriate
      4. Thought I was wearing the kimono for Halloween/as a joke.

      So. Yeah.

  90. I love your photo at the end- it is so beautiful and poetic. Thank you for sharing it- it is a powerful ending to your article and hence, the backlash I believe. To me, it shows a couple who is willing to go the extra, extra mile to embrace each others’ cultures & backgrounds towards a loving, united future.

  91. He’s not that attractive, ya know for a human

  92. Wow, that escalated quickly. Anyways, the first comment is just a statement of preference. A great Latina friend of mine once told me ‘I am not attracted to white men.’ Did I feel personally slighted… Nope. Who am I to dictate the tastes of individual women. Everyone has something which they find physically attractive. Some guys like super thin girls, while I find those Skeletor GAP models unnerving. It’s all subjective. The latter example though smacks of a racial outlook. It doesn’t talk about personal preference at all, but explains their opinion as a universal truth… In your example “for an Asian guy” or in other words “everyone knows Asian men are not attractive, but your husband seems to be the exception”. You also have to know the source… I have friends who would say this because they just don’t know how else to say it. Your husband has a great outlook though. Don’t sweat stuff you can not change and to take things in the spirit they are given. Nice life lesson, that.

  93. Cry me rivers. It’s a turn of phrase, and the simple fact that people don’t often look outside of themselves/their own race/their own preferences when it comes to a mate. Take the compliment, and let it be the catalyst for opening their world view.

  94. Amen to that. Btw can I just say you’re both an attractive couple? :)

  95. It’s much worse in the gay community. There’s profiles on grindr stating explicitly, ” NO FATTIES, NO FEMMES AND NO ASIANS. Sorry, just a preference.”

    Subtle racism stuffed is now overtly stuffed in your face. Bam.

    • was just about to say something along these lines. there are whole blog posts dedicated to the subject and you’d be surprised how many people are on the “that’s not racist” side of the fence…

    • OMG. It is soooooo much worse in the gay community. As a gay men, we are already the minority, and such close minded people choose to segregate even further, making me what? A Double minority? Idiots.

  96. Always standby the ones you love

  97. whaa….that was tight how they did that!

  98. disqus_aUGwW1uUxC // 22 September, 2014 at 5:18 pm //

    Your husband’s such a catch! Great attitude!

    However, to the people who think that it’s not racist/offensive, that’s fine because it’s your opinion BUT you’re saying it to people. In this case, Grace doesn’t like it so it matters. I think the n***** word isn’t offensive at all, so I can say it to someone else in the face? Obviously no.

  99. Rick Bbwaag // 22 September, 2014 at 9:52 am //

    When people comment on me when my girlfriend shows them pictures of us, they usually say, “He is cute!”, “He’s attractive!”, “I see what you see in him!”.

    Very few times have I heard the “He is good looking for an Asian guy.” These comments usually come from people who are insensitive, brainwashed, or have identity issues with their own race.

    When I hear that qualifier, it hits a nerve in me too. It’s as if people are saying, “All Asian men are ugly/unattractive, except for him. He’s an exception.” When people make blanket statements like that, they are stereotyping. Stereotypes stem from someplace. A statement like that does not stem from Asian mainstream media. It most likely stems from American mainstream media, as we all know how Hollywood likes to play the game. A statement like that shows how ignorant a person is to the multifarious sources that show otherwise. People just have to open their eyes. An ignorant statement like that implicitly shows how discriminatory a person is towards a certain group of people, whether that person directly or indirectly acts upon it. So, yes, it is racist.

    My two cents…

    Here is my recent post on my experience being hit on by an older Latina woman:

    • Actually, if you ask any white woman in america, she’ll tell you that most white men are unattractive. it’s not the media, but human nature.

      asian dudes who ARE conventionally attractive, however, tend to be more desirable than most white men, even in the eyes of white women.

  100. Meike Magdalena Büttner // 22 September, 2014 at 8:40 am //

    Hi! This is my personal opinion, please don’t get mad or take this the wrong way. It’s just how I see it.

    When someone says, “I’m mostly attracted to asian men”. Is that racist as well? I’ve never seen it as racist. There are races I’m more attracted to than others, and I will bluntly state that. I personally don’t believe being attracted to one race over the other is at all racist because races have exterior differences. Hispanic people have nice tanned skin, asian men have nice eyes, black men have nice lips…etc. If I am not attracted to black men, but if I see one that is good-looking to me because of certain features that appeal to me I’d say “Wow he’s very good-looking for a black guy!” Not because I’m racist towards that particular race but because the majority of that race does not appeal to me. I don’t think its racist at all, because I’m not discriminating against any races. I do not hate them for being that race. I would just be pleasantly surprised.

    • I think you are speaking about preference verses the qualifier that makes the statement of the guy being good looking for an Asian. Preference is one thing while describing someone shouldn’t have to be about race. If someone has nice eyes, it isn’t necessarily because of his or her race.

      For example, when people speak to me on the phone, they don’t think of anything. When they meet me, the first thing they say is, “Your English is excellent.” Well, no duh, I was born in the United States. Why would they say that, it’s cause I totally look Asian. Would they have said it to a white person? I think not.

      It’s just my example and i just wanted to point out that preference is not racist; however, making race as a qualifier of someone’s look or talents can be considered racist depending on how the person takes it.

  101. It’s not even “kind of racist”, it’s just plane racist. There are attractive people of all colors of the rainbow. I’m glad your husband has such a great attitude, but I can understand why it upsets you. People should really think about what they’re saying. I hear that stuff all the time. “He’s hot for a black guy”, “I don’t normally like Latinos but he’s cute.” It’s totally fine to have a “type.” I usually date guys who are white (but of differing nationalities than my own), but I don’t discriminate. My last boyfriend was Arab. I got a LOT of flack for that one. People assumed that because he was from a gulf country he automatically looked down on women, when in reality he had a lot of great strong female roll models in his life, and respected me much more than most American guys.

  102. I rarely to never tell my friends their sweeties are cute. I have this pathological fear that they’ll think I’m going to try and steal him. Ah, years ago that was flattering. Now, at least, if they think that, it’s more likely to be with pity. ;)

  103. Am I the only one who thinks that this is not really racist? I get your
    point and I can also understand that it can piss you off, but doesn’t
    that compliment just mean that your husband is different (or just looks
    different) from other Asian guys? I have been living in Asia for almost
    two years now and I have used the same phrase a couple times myself. Of
    course, it involves lots of stereotyping but you can say that in
    general, Asian men are smaller, thinner and less outgoing than men from
    Western countries. Is that racist? Beauty is, of course, a very
    subjective thing, but if you happen to find a muscular Japanese guy, I
    don’t think that it is racist to point out the fact that this is not
    that common in Asia.

    • Man you are dumb, even for a white guy. How does that sound?

      • Offensive, but not racist.

        • It’s racist because it is racist. Despite Hollywood’s belief that there are only two Japanese movie stars in the world (Ken Watanabe and Hiroyuki Sanada), there are loads of good-looking guys in Japan, just as there are pretty much all over the world.

          • If someone is saying that someone is “good-looking for an Asian guy”, he or she is not implying that the rest is ugly. At least, I am not when I am saying that. It’s like when saying “for his age, George Clooney is a handsome man”. That doesn’t mean that he is the only one, but that most men don’t look that handsome anymore when they are above 50. Does that still count as discrimination?

          • he or she is not implying that the rest is ugly. At least, I am not when I am saying that.

            Except you DID say that in your first post.

          • Aha, where?

        • I truly question your interpretation of the word “racist”. What exactly do you think “racist” means? If someone saying that all white people are dumb is not considered racist to you, then what is?

    • that compliment just mean that your husband is different (or just looks
      different) from other Asian guys?

      Why is it a compliment to be different from other asian guys???

      and it is quite amazing how you don’t realise how it is racist whilst being racist in your post…..crazy.

      • If someone is saying that “he looks good for an Asian guy”, it is a compliment (unless you interpret that Asian guys are extremely ugly and he is just “OK”). “Handsome” is a positive adjective which does not imply that all other Asian men are not handsome, but that her boyfriend looks more handsome than the Asian average.

        Define “racist” here. If I am telling a Chinese person: “You are eating quite a lot of köttbullar for an Asian”, is that racist?

        • (unless you interpret that Asian guys are extremely ugly and he is just “OK”)

          Which is what you just did in your first post:

          ” it involves lots of stereotyping but you can say that in
          general, Asian men are smaller, thinner and less outgoing than men from Western countries”

          Define “racist”? Treating people differently based on race. Which you admitted yourself – it involves a lot of stereotyping. By race.

          The most unbelievable thing here is that here you are, two posts made, both using racism in it, and completely unaware of it. No wonder racism is still so prevalent, with folks like you either being completely ignorant, or knowing that you’re ignorant, but refusing to change.

    • Meike Magdalena Büttner // 22 September, 2014 at 8:42 am //

      you should read the comment i just posted, i think its what you meant by it not being racist.

  104. Great post. I usually just replace “Asian” with “White” whenever I hear stuff like that to see if sounds normal and for a chuckle.

    “Your wife is attractive for a white girl.” or “Your husband is attractive for a white guy.” In this case, yep, I think it’s pretty racist.

    Glad your husband doesn’t let it bother him. That takes confidence.

  105. Crystal Brewton // 21 September, 2014 at 2:31 am //

    I’ve been in interracial relationships … mostly all my life really. And here is what I have experienced. We all need qualifier. Mostly because we arent blind. “He’s good looking, for a white guy.” “She’s pretty hot for a black chick” and exes things like high praise from husband #3 “She’s really nice considering she is Filipino ….” (my husband is half Filipino and hates Filipino woman with an unbridled passion …. don’t ask me, but Freud might have an answer or two.)

    I get “Oh your children are BEAUTIFUL … I love mixed babies! *I* wouldn’t have one of em, but ……” The first hundred times you hear it it annoying, then you get over it.

    I know the trend these days is to pretend there is no differences between human beings … but the fact o the matter is … there huge and beautiful differences. Celebrate them!

    And your husband IS hot for a Japanese man …. as an African man he’s butt ugly. Gotta admit it. Nothing against him. He hates mayonnaise which is also a plus in his column.

    • You seem to be excusing racism then… that there are different standards of attractiveness when it comes to race (ugly for a black man), which in turn suggests that asians are uglier than blacks?

    • He does really hate the mayo. It’s kinda funny.

    • Correction // 12 May, 2015 at 3:29 am //

      You should probably stop dating other races, because you’re oblivious to your own racism (or how you are complicit to racism). To say “….for a…” is to flat out (really, more than) imply that they are not attractive IN GENERAL and that the person referred to is an EXCEPTION to the RULE.

      smh There are so many racists in relationships with people they are racist against and don’t even realize it, or just wouldn’t admit it.

  106. Great article!!!
    How many times did I hear this sentence…I actually never know how to response to it. The funny thing is, that they really mean it as a compliment but well for me it’s very weird. I always wonder, why is it so suprising that an asian guy is handsome?!?
    My boyfriend is like your husband, he doesn’t care ;) (he is Japanese as well)

  107. Great post. And the two of you make a cute couple. Period.

  108. Because the world is far more favourable towards white features when it comes to men – features that are at times, polar opposite to asian features.

    On top of that, for some reason it’s ok to be racist towards asians, far moreso than other races. And men in general suffer the racism more than women. Therefore you have a scenario where asian men suffer casual racism from all sorts, because seemingly to others it isn’t rude at all, even from strangers or people you’ve just met.

    • And also I’ve noticed a lot of the time it is close friends who say these kinds of things – without even realizing that it can kind of be offensive…

    • You are so wrong. I am half-asian, half-white and I get confused for full asian by both asian and white people from time to time and then I also get confused for full white by both asian and white people at others. Asians have similar light skin tones and, in terms of culture and other features are generally more similar to whites. I think blacks are probably the most ‘polar opposite’ in terms of both features and cultures. I would also say that asians and latinos seem to share some of the most similar features. There’s that lovely George Lopez skit where he says that, “asians are basically latinos who were born with the sun in their eyes.” Classic! Anyways, I don’t think you guys understand asian-american culture. A lot of my asian guy friends are definitely well-liked and when they are subjected to ‘casual racism’ they usually take in stride and they don’t make a big fuss over any of it. Maybe that’s why it’s seen as ‘casual racism?’

  109. Ohhhh my goodness, I relate to this on so many levels. I’m so glad you took this post out of the draft section. It seems like it should be obvious that those kind of comments are not okay, but unfortunately experience says otherwise.

  110. Usually, it’s the Asian guy who has the inferiority complex.

  111. Enrique (sorry, this name kind of already got stuck in my head) is definitely taking it like a boss! I love his attitude, I suppose that’s another trait that got you fall heads over heels for him eh? ;)

  112. Michael Tetris // 20 September, 2014 at 6:20 pm //

    Can you post this article in my group! Appreciate!! I support AM and WF couples!! And I wish to see more couple can stand up to talk about their stories and share to other people and again the racist!

  113. Thanks for writing this article, Grace! I can totally relate.

    I don’t really care if other people find my husband attractive or not, because what matters to me is his personality (and his personality is what makes him the most attractive guy to me), but there are people who think they need to comment on his appearance (or on his character). It usually goes something like this: “I don’t find Chinese guys attractive, but for a Chinese guy, your husband is really handsome.” (It also works with other adjectives).

    I also find these remarks racist, and moreover, I really don’t care if people find him attractive or not. There was an instance where a Chinese coworker said that she hopes our baby will look more like me, because “my husband’s not that handsome”. Guess what, he looks a lot like his father and he’s /still/ the cutest baby.

    • It always bugs me when asian women say this. About their OWN men. I’m guessing it’s part of an inferiority complex, it’s not that they just find their men ugly, but also themselves… but of course asian women won’t say that in the open, so they just target asian men… but of course when they actively target white men to enter relationships with, it is clear what they think about their own people.

      • yep, it’s just obvious that those women are bitter than men of their own race find them ugly. notice how the pretty asian women always love asian dudes and are proud to be asian. asian women are naturally inclined to find a good looking asian male as superior to any white guy, but some just won’t admit it since they know they have no shot with someone like that anyways

  114. I learned over the past years to ignore such comments when people talk about my wife. All I can say about your husband ( I am a guy after all who prefers his wife…) is that from all pictures I saw with you too in it that you look alike :)

  115. I understand what you mean.
    In China people say to me that my husband is handsome for foreign eyes but not for Chinese eyes. Because for them he is “”too dark”, its offensive and I honestly consider T is very attractive. But you know, it keeps the sharks away ;)

    • Same! Ryosuke and I both spend quite a bit of time outdoors (beach, mountain climbing, biking, etc) and people have recently started telling him he looks like he’s from Southeast Asia, and he ought to be careful because it’s making him look less attractive.
      Where, like, I find that tan-ness kind of sexy. It’s weird.

  116. Frank Leone // 20 September, 2014 at 2:29 pm //

    I get the same phrase but about my j-wife.

  117. Jocelyn Eikenburg // 20 September, 2014 at 1:48 pm //

    Wow, that is just horrible, Grace. Really horrible. I can’t believe would say that. Thank you for writing such a powerful post on this topic, I love it!

  118. Erika Escobedo Flores // 20 September, 2014 at 12:51 pm //

    I agree with your view on this. Glad it doesn’t damper your husbands mood (^_^) Don’t let the ignorant masses dampen yours either.

  119. Dara Harris // 20 September, 2014 at 11:45 am //

    THIS. I have only had one “real” boyfriend, and he was half white, half Filipino, and I’m glad we were fortunate enough to never have any offensive discussion on our races brought up, and not much brought up anyway.

    • I’m glad to hear that :)

      It’s weird. Like, I don’t know if I classify “… for an Asian guy” as a offensive, racist remark… it’s just more odd/annoying. Like why? Did you really have to add “…for an Asian guy?”
      It’s really difficult to put into words

  120. Meghan King // 20 September, 2014 at 11:11 am //

    Great article and I love Ryosuke’s confident and nonchalant response to those type of comments. ^^

  121. Tip for today: Don’t assume you are so much wanted, “even among Asian men.”

  122. Your husband has the cutest smile. Does he smile like that all the time or just for the camera?

  123. Oh, Grace – I hear ya! We often get ‘Wow! You guys really do make a cute couple.’ – like there was ever any doubt! ;)
    It is funny that you should post this article today because I finished one of similiar context this week (to be posted soon) but it doesn’t have to do with my husband’s cuteness, it has to do with his whole exterior appearence.

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