Yes, Your Dating Preferences Are Racist

I got into a discussion the other day with someone on Twitter who had said that she (a white woman) “wasn’t attracted to Asian men” and was shocked to be called out by some people for being racist.

Despite her pleas to the contrary, espousing preferences for or against a particular race is both not racist and something innate.


It’s racist because for fuck’s sake you just said you weren’t attracted to an entire race of people. I literally do not know how much more obvious you can be about your racism.

Aesthetic preferences aren’t something inborn or innate in us. You don’t come out of the womb being attracted to tall people with blonde hair and blue eyes. Don’t believe me? Go to an art museum and look at how the portrayal of women has changed over the years. Even within the same culture, preferences shift.

There’s very little evidence that any of the beauty ideals that any group of humans has ever espoused is innate. Nearly everything we prefer is the result of societal preferences. Look around. In a society like the US, it should come as no surprise that white people are held up as the ideal. So ideal, in fact, that preferences for white partners is the overwhelming preference on dating sites. And, studies have shown that people who espouse racial preferences for their partners also tend to hold more racist views in general.

And, let’s not forget, that there are over a billion Asian people on the planet. I have a really hard time believing that anyone can say with certainty that they aren’t attracted to every single one of them. Also, race is a meaningless social construct. Which is why people call Bruno Mars black when he’s Puerto Rican-Filipino- Ashkenazi Jew. 

I don’t fault people who have spent their entire lives drenched in a society and culture for harboring racist preferences. You don’t grow up in the US, especially as a white person, and not develop some racist attitudes.

The problem is when you continue announcing those views and refuse to admit that anything can be done to change them. I don’t think you need to go to “Find-Asian-Men-Attractive Bootcamp.” I do think you should admit your preferences are problematic. I do think that you should stop thinking about race as a preference. I do think you should alter your media consumption to include more voices of color.

And also. If you don’t want to be called racist, you can always keep your racist views to yourself.

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