Tag Archives: Rufio

Whatever Happened to Rufio?: The Non-Asian Ideal of Masculinity

by Guest Contributor CVT


Here’s one of my first Portland (Oregon) memories:

I’m at a bar with two white male friends.  Well, actually, I’m at a Chinese restaurant and bar . . . at a karaoke night. (*1)  With two white male friends.

Anyway.

My friends, in looking for a larger table for us, chat up these three cute(ish) white girls and get them to let us join them.  The inevitable stupid conversations and “the game” ensue.

While this is all going down, I remember thinking to myself – so vividly – “these girls could give a sh– about me here, the Chinese dude.  All the attention is on (name of one of my friends), and they have hardly looked at me.  This sucks.” (*2)  I don’t know if it was reality, or me having a few too many drinks, but I ended up falling deeper and deeper into this little self-pity fest, as the evening progressed.

The thing is,  I’m actually not a bad-looking guy. (*3)  The friends with me were not exactly blessed with movie-star looks.  So what was my problem?

Well, my problem was that I’m Asian.  And male.  An Asian male.  And let’s just say that Asian males don’t have a lot of noticeable role-models in the “known-for-their-looks” department anywhere outside of the Asian continent.

No – instead, for our entire lives, we are bombarded with images and messaging about the “ideal” man – and he sure as Hell has never had Asian features.  He’s probably white.  But he may be black.  Or even Latino or Arab.  But he isn’t Asian. Continue reading