A young Asian American model has found fame on TikTok after posting a tongue-in-cheek video that highlights one struggle he faces when dating White people.
Abe Kim, a college junior, addressed the romantic and/or sexual fetishization of Asians, a controversial concept that has gone down in history through more popular terms such as “rice chasing” and “yellow fever.”
shows Kim lying casually on his “White” date’s bed until he realizes that the room is actually filled with objects based on the Japanese animated movie “My Neighbor Totoro,” which happens to be a cult favorite.
“When you’re Asian and hooking up with a White person at their house and you realize that they might be fetishizing you,” Kim captioned the video.
While Kim made the video “in good fun,” it effectively sparked conversations on Asian fetishism, with many relating to the experience.
“It’s all fun and games til she says ‘lemme see your lil neighbor Totoro,” one commented.
In an interview with Insider
, Kim stressed that the video was based on his own experiences of racism while dating.
“I was telling my side of the story and how this is a real thing. When I do go on a date or on a casual hookup or something like that, one of my first thoughts is ‘Wait, does this person have the right intentions?’ It’s kind of instinctive, it’s not even conscious, it happens right away,” he told the outlet.
Kim said that he has felt objectified and has been rejected for being Asian in the past. Sadly, whenever he shares his frustrations to White and White-passing friends, they would simply downplay them.
“It was just really awkward for them. They would respond with ‘Oh, I’m sorry’ and shift the conversation,” Kim told Insider.
Kim’s video has racked up more than 2.6 million views, 624,000 likes and 3,800 comments since its posting.
He has also gained over 123,000 followers, despite having joined TikTok only a month ago.
While many found Kim’s message relatable, some argued that liking anime or other Asian-centric interest does not directly translate to having an Asian fetish.
“I don’t see why people can’t love different things without being connected like this,” one commented.