Parts that resonated with me:
And as a not-so-undeniably-hot Asian guy—a medium-aged divorced dad with a one-pack, a molded-not-sculpted face and hair that’s backed gingerly away from my forehead like it’s afraid of my eyebrows—I find these galleries a little awkward. Highlighting a handful of insanely gorgeous genetic-lottery winners doesn’t exactly contradict the assertion that average Asian men like me are, in the eyes, minds, and hearts of the West, inherently unappealing.
In fact, these hyper-hot galleries underscore the fact that these guys are exceptions to the rule; that by reaching an optimal standard of Western masculine beauty, these Asian men have managed to overcome their racialized lack of appeal.
Of course, this conundrum is familiar to women of any ethnicity who have been told that magazine swimsuit issues and Victoria’s Secret runway shows are paradigms of sexiness. But the trap that Asian men have fallen into is pernicious, because the rush to showcase these paragons is often led and cheered on by Asians ourselves. In doing so, we’re reinforcing the basic premise of critics like Harvey: that adherence to Western masculinity should be the yardstick by which manhood and sexual appeal are universally measured. Instead of rejecting objectification and fetishization—realities that Asian women face every day—Asian men are aspiring to such circumstances.
Instead of subverting or complicating stereotypes of emasculated Asian man, such [ideas] inadvertently validate toxic masculinity, emphasize implausible body standards, and eclipse the actual people behind the abs.