Tuesday, December 02, 2003

While we're in the middle of perpetuating racial and ethnic stereotypes, here's something that's been bugging me as of late.

I have this issue when I'm trolling around the net for Asian girls or reading (hah! reading!) a magazine. I will see one of the models and think "Hey, she's pretty hot." Then, later in the issue or on another site, I'll see a girl and think the same thing. Then, when I actually do some reading and see her name, I realize it's the same fucking girl from before.

The obvious joke here is the stereotype that "all Asians look alike." That's not quite the racist asshole statement I'm trying to make. Actually, I'm not trying to make any kind of statement, this is more of a "what the fuck is up with that?" general kind of musing.

I really am not trying to be a prick here, because I honestly I just cannot nail down facial recognition of Asians women (and by extension, men, but it's not like I'm out looking for Japanese boys in school uniforms). It's not because they all look alike, but apparently because they don't look like anything. If they did, I would surely be able to tell one from herself. I mean, I can fucking recognize the goddamn kanji for some of their names now, but I still can't pick them out of a crowd. Okay, there are literally a few exceptions where I can see a girl and maybe find myself 90% sure that I know who she is, but that's about it.

What the fuck is up with that? Why can't I get this facial recognition thing down with east Asian women? I don't have this problem with any other groups, either. I suspect part of the problem is because I have been painfully underexposed to Asian culture and people at this point of living in this society. You do have a decent representation of lots of cultures out there, but Asian doesn't seem to be one of them. Not in my experiences, at least, and that probably just goes to show you that I do not do a very good job of wandering outside of this lame white bubble I'm in. Which is sad coming from someone who is only half white. Maybe another part of the issue for me is that I'm still lousy with Asian names, and as such, even if I see a face, I don't have a name to associate with it. No, that can't quite be it, since sometimes I'll be looking at a set of pictures, and I know two different shots are of the same model, but I'm still like "Wait, are these two the same girl?"

I don't know; maybe they do all just look alike.

I've never really thought about what goes into recognizing faces, and how it is that I can see someone I've seen before and know who they are, or, alternatively, see someone again who I know but not realize it's them. Anyone know what the mechanics of this shit are?

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