A number of perplexed Chinese have long been wondering why Westerners tend to always date the less attractive Chinese women.
The topic “Why do laowai (foreigner) marry ugly Chinese girls?”, while it sounds silly for many as we’ve often been told that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, has been talked about countless times within Asia’s cultural sphere.
The issue has been dissected by Chinese writers weighing on the points that foreigners usually see in the so-called “ugly Chinese girls”, as reported by The Nanfang.
According to one writer, Xu Xiliang of iFeng Beauty, Westerners don’t really mind marrying “ugly” Chinese girls as they often don’t base their preferences on looks alone.
“When finding their (ideal marriage) partner, many foreigners aren’t like we Chinese in being so fixated on things like appearances, money, or power. Instead, they are looking for something compatible with (the other person’s) inner quality. They want to find a real, authentic soul mate,” said Xu.
Her point is a subtle but open critique of most Chinese who marry for superficial reasons. In China, Xu said, “If a man has a wife that is ugly, it is generally accepted that he is a loser.”
Author Qing Di looks at the issue on similar terms, stating that “Americans (or Westerners in general) “do not place an emphasis upon a person’s external appearance”, preferring traits such as “a healthy open-mindedness” and “a vigorous self-confidence” as a means to also become “beautiful”.
Qing points out that Westerners may also see sexiness (huge breasts, slim figure, round buttocks) as a thing of beauty, while the majority of Chinese see “beauty” and “sexiness” as two non-interchangeable qualities. Many Chinese men would often prefer a pretty face over other physical characteristics.
American-Chinese actress Bai Ling, who many Chinese did not find beautiful, has found success in the United States because, as Qing explained, Bai was able to maximize her other assets that are usually taken for granted in China.
But while varying beauty standards between cultures may be a valid point of discussion, other factors such as understanding how people choose their mates, or even how people fall in love could also provide better insight, especially for those who are wondering why the girls we view as “ugly” become attractive to others.
In the end, it still boils down to individual tastes: what one would find ugly, others might find gorgeous and vice versa, which is a good thing. It’s like the universe is ensuring that there’s always someone “beautiful” for each “beholder”, no matter how other people think.