The NBA phenom could put an end to a lot of dumb stereotypes.
By Chaweon Koo
The first time I heard of Jeremy Lin was in a KevJumba video from a few months ago. And unless you're Asian-American, I don't expect you to know about KevJumba. Thus, I don't expect you to understand exactly what Linsanity really means to the hordes of Asian-Americans who are saying, "Finally." For me, "finally" comes in the form of relief that I can stop justifying why I've always liked/preferred Asian men. Most of my boyfriends have been Asian, and my current boyfriend (not Asian) gets jealous when I gush about Asian-American guys. I never did understand all the videos and stories about how Asian guys can't get girls, aren't good looking, etc. — stories that have been internalized by not only the Asian-American guys, but also the girls.
Can Jeremy Lin change all that? Is he a new vanguard for Asian-American sex symbols? I think most women my age, being honest with themselves, wouldn't kick Jeremy Lin out of bed. (Forget the #Linsanity, and imagine that strapping young man warming your sheets.) Asian men, especially Asian-American men, have rarely achieved sex-symbol status. Not that long ago, I'd often hear women say, "I'm just not attracted to Asian men — they're not [some adjective related to masculinity] enough."
But recently, even before Jeremy Lin's emergence, I've seen signs that that's changing. In the past few years, YouTube has sprouted videos of American girls proclaiming their love for Asian-American guys. I know a white girl who only dated Asian-American men and is now married to one. In her words, "Asian-American guys are hot and any girl who doesn't see it is blind."
The environment is ripe for someone like Lin to start eviscerating tired stereotypes. Even in twenty-first-century America, mainstream media still portrays Asian men as dweeby Long Duk Dongs (exhibit A: 2 Broke Girls), or as chaste martial-arts masters. Lin is none of the above. He's created a refreshingly new category: a good-looking American guy who happens to be of Asian descent.
And the best part is, there are Jeremy Lins everywhere in America. You can find gorgeous Asian-American guys making espressos at chic coffee bars. Flipping through men's magazines at Barnes & Noble. Smack-talking with buddies while playing Xbox games. Walking their female friends to their cars. Playing a vigorous pick-up game at the local Y, sweat languorously sliding down their necks. Go search YouTube for videos of Jeremy Lin, pre-Knicks fame. You can watch him eat a breakfast of steak and potatoes at Denny's — just a regular dude, with, you know, a smoking body.
After Lin scored thirty-eight points against the Lakers, FoxSports.com columnist Jason Whitlock tweeted "Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple of inches of pain tonight." I don't know what sort of loving he's been experiencing, but I've been witness to a spectrum of both Asian and non-Asian penae, and to be totally honest, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Science says that our brain filters what we seek. If you're looking to buy a Porsche, your brain will find Porsches you never noticed before. So, if Jeremy Lin makes an impression on you, don't be surprised if other hot Asian-American guys start coming into your life. And don't worry if you find yourself shaking your fist at the cruel fates for not allowing you to see these gorgeous men before; better late than never.
Want to meet a six-foot-three-inch Asian-American professional basketball player? No promises, but give Nerve Dating a shot and we'll see what we can do.