Leah Dizon

By Dyske    July 31st, 2007

Apparently this singer/model named Leah Dizon is big in Japan. According to Wikipedia, she is a mixture of Chinese, Filipino, and French. She was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her photos spread like a wildfire in Japan; so she decided to move to Japan. She is now singing in Japanese, wearing a super-mini skirt.

I recently noticed that TV in Japan is filled with half Asian and half White people, who are simply called “half”. I was shocked to find that even kid’s programs on TV have many “half” people. I suppose the “half” people represent the Japanese desire to be more international. What is interesting is that they no longer are interested in 100% White people. The overt idolization of white people is apparently over. They now prefer somewhere in between. I would imagine that this trend is also being fueled by the popularity of White-male Asian-female couples in the 80s and 90s. Their kids are now in their teens, ready to sing and dance.

The fundamental problem in Asia, when it comes to human beauty is that Asians do lack the variety that other races have. Just having natural brown hair, you would stand out among the sea of black hair. Some may see the Japanese idolization of white people as a racial issue (often described as self-hatred), but aesthetically speaking, it’s only natural that we are drawn to something that is rare and exotic. If you put a blue M&M among hundreds of red M&Ms, the former would seem very special. The same logic.

But with this logic, they should still be interested in idolizing 100% white people. It’s either that they simply got bored of the white people’s looks, or they became self-conscious of the racial issue. Not sure which.

10 Responses

  1. Ashley says:

    I’ve found that many people are interested in bi/multi racial people, even in America. There are many people who think that mixed race people are more beautiful than average becuase they have an exotic quality. Someof the most popular stars in America are also often of mixed races, but maybe since it is America that is often taken for granted.

  2. Half says:

    I think it’s because she’s different but still familiar. People like mixed folk because you see a part of yourself in that person but not 100%. It’s a balance, different but still close to home.

  3. zion says:

    “I recently noticed that TV in Japan is filled with half Asian and half White people, who are simply called โ€œhalfโ€.”

    what you’ll notice is that half-asian/japanese; half-black children/people are virtually invisible in japanese media/society. moreover, the japanese have no interest in them. i think in the last 30 years, probably the 3 that have approached the level public awareness are 1. (i’m sorry i don’t know his name) a half-black boxer who earned a heavyweight championship 2. “asia kong” a half-black, female professional wrestler who is portrayed more like an animal & 3. nesmith, a half-black singer/dancer who was part of the American Idol-like tv program “Asayan” 6 years ago and had auditioned to be a member of the pop duo Chemistry. i know i didn’t mention crystal kay, because she’s actually half-korean. i’ve never seen a half-black person workin’ in a japanese government office/bank/department store/train station/anywhere for that matter. can anyone explain to me why that is?

  4. Dyske says:

    Hi Zion,

    If you are trying to say that the Japanese people are racist; well, they are. So, I wouldn’t argue about that. However, with half black and half Asian mix; I think it’s really because that combination is VERY rare. In New York, where you can see all sorts of racial combinations, I rarely see black-Asian couples. In my whole life, I’ve only seen 2 couples with an Asian man and a Black woman.

    I have a feeling that, if there were more of them, they would indeed rise to fame just because of their looks. (Crystal Kay is a good example of this.) Now, I would argue that the reason why they would become famous is partly BECAUSE the Japanese are racist. Here I would define “racist” as treating people differently based on race, and that would include treating people favorably based on race.

  5. gordsellar says:

    Well, Dyske, in Korea the combination is much more common than that — I’ve seen plenty of young Korean women with men who appeared to be black American soldiers. (Though how many of them married, or had babies, is less certain.)

    Certainly the “special treatment” goes both ways: here, and I imagine in Japan it is (or was) similar, it’s more useful to think of this kind of racism as an implciit “geo-racial hierarchy” that people seem to have internalized. Races are associated with countries, and ranked according to those countries’ geopolitical “power” or “wealth” or “status” or whatever. However, because of the media that gets through here — predominantly white protagonists, such as on the locally very popular TV show Friends — and because of Korean’s general experience of homogeneity in their own country — America seems, for many, to be unconsciously imagined as a “white” country. (Even in music, it’s Bill Evans, Pat Metheny and Eminem who dominate African-American-led genres of music in the minds of many Koreans, even Korean musicians I’ve known. Miles Davis, for example, used to play shows in Japan relatively regularly, but as far as I know, he never got a gig in Korea, not even in the 90s.) So with Europe and America on top geopolitically, the race/power calculus placed them at the top of the global racial hierarchy… and Southeast Asians, South Asians, and Africans right at the bottom. But now anti-globalization and critique of the power structure is permeating culture, so maybe that pyramid — which anyway was always something people here were uneasy about, what with them being relatively far from the top — is being torn down in pieces. Or maybe there’s just a kind of ease in accepting some homogeneity once you get high enough up the pyramid you imagine organizes the world?

    (I should note, if it’s not clear, that *I* don’t believe in that hierarchy. But I’ve noticed how widespread the idea seems here in Korea, anyway.)

    Also, the change might be a backlash against the idolization of whites — their placement at the top of that imagined hierarchy — but it could also be that it’s a response to previous attitudes towards mixed-race people. That’s what is happening over here, anyway. It was the subject of a big buzz a few months ago: suddenly, on the occasion of Hines Ward’s visit (a half-Korean/half-black football star), people started talking about how it was wrong to discriminate against “mixed-race Koreans”… sometimes it was earnest, sometimes it felt like a way of claiming those people who were previously non-Korean as an acceptable object of pride. (Which unfortunately ignores the way tons of non-famous people of mixed race live, as several Koreans I know pointed out.) But it ain’t all bad: some Korean/black celebrities have “come out” in recent years and talked about how crappy life was for them, and elicited some sympathy. The younger generation is quite a lot more aware of this kind of thing.

  6. Aya says:

    I agree with most of the posts here. Mixed people are considered attractive, and get a lot of notice, in EVERY country. Mixed looks themselves are considered exotic, but at the same time, look enough like both sides of their heritage that they are relatable.

    You are looking at it through a closed-minded view, a little bit.

  7. NiklasGermany says:

    I think thats a general problem the most asians have…

    they are never happy with what they got, somehow the asian societies are so “surface”, the only thing that counts is having a pretty appearance. but unfortunately that makes asian people really ALL LOOK THE SAME. Because of that whole plastic surgery, double fold eyelid, white skin, western nose stuff…they should learn to accept and like their unique and natural appearances….ever seen a european or american who went to a surgeon and asked for “slot eyes” ?!

  8. vietnamese says:

    one of those asian threads again…well what the heck why not so here i go! i’m asian and yes i see all all “white people look the same too” everytime i go to a restaurant i can never tell who my waiter is because these restaurant chain loves to hire blond hair blue girls and dress them all in black! you know what i mean…yes i see japs/koreans/chineses have slanted eyes and go get plastic surgery to get double eyelid folds and a higher nose but to other asian race like me we don’t see them as in trying to look more caucasian! if you take a look at the vietnamese/thai or maylaysian 95% of them are born with double eyelids does that mean we look caucasian? no of course not and 50% us have the high bridge nose with the double eyelids and that a fact all you have to do is google vietnamese children pictures and you’ll see that they all have double eyelids! it’s really rare to see viet/thai/maylay with no folds eyelid! these misconception of japs/kor/chin trying to look white are pushing it too far!!! well hate to tell you this but they are not trying to look white they are trying to look more like the other asians that are born with all of those trademarks ! just like black people they’ll rather choose light skinned beyonc3 over n@omi c. So what i’m trying to tell you is asian try to look like other pretty asian, black peeps try to look like other pretty black peeps so it should be the same for white! you live in a place where asian is the minority so you’ll never get the truth just what the media is telling you but if you travel to asia then you’ll see that they are not affected by your culture or media and them trying to be you when you are the minority in their country! So it’s all vice versa

  9. Lorna says:

    The people at http://www.Stormfront.org totally disagree that racially-mixed people look better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Lou Pilson says:

    Thank you Sandrabyrd. That’s kinda what I thought. Marry well or suffer.LOL