Wednesday, July 14, 2010


In December of 2007, Janet Jackson released the first single off her soon to be released new CD, Discipline. The song was called Feedback, and it opens with Janet, in breathy voice, cooing the phrase “light skin, dark skin, my Asian persuasion”. This is worth noting because up to that point, few, if any, songs by a popular artist made mention of Asians in a romantic or sexually desirable way. Other minority groups had crossed that bridge, including African Americans and Latinos, even though there was still an undertone that put them in a niche or almost fetish category, as if desiring these individuals should be viewed as something outside the norm.

When it comes to racial and ethnic groups, Asians appear to get the short end of the stick, both literally and metaphorically.  Perhaps due to the fact that many fall under what is considered the average height for an American male, coupled with the softness of their features, and the ever present stereotype regarding penis size, it is hard for some people to view them as masculine or sexual beings.  Whenever we are presented with images of them in film or television, they are relegated to one of two roles: the heavily accented comic relief, or the hyper aggressive, yet comic book hero of martial arts films. And in spite of the slight improvements on the formula, such as the character Harold from the Harold and Kumar films, we will still see them portrayed as different. Take a look at the Twilight films, which all feature two of Bella’s Asian friends, and the male one is sporting a haircut that is stylish, but totally feminine by general standards.

The modeling world has had a few that have managed to make names for themselves within the fashion industry, but the percentage is practically nonexistent when compared to the representation of other ethnic groups. Society seems to be comfortable with this blatant brand of emasculation, but there are a few Asian men who have made a point of proving that they have everything that the next guy has to offer. And more, in some cases.

Guy Tang, Peter Le, Jeffierce and Eric Rensburg are just four examples of Asian male beauty at its best. Handsome, muscled and masculine, these guys are at the forefront of helping to change the tired and outdated view of what an Asian male looks like. And then there is Jeremy Tang.

In Hollywood, there is a phrase known as “the IT factor” which refers to a person who has that indefinable something that makes up what we call star quality. Jeremy has this in mass quantity, which is evident by the numerous A list photographers who have placed him in front of their cameras. This impressive list includes Ed Freeman, Alberto Bruni, Hanz Fahmeyer, Jim Oblak, Sandro Bross, Nolan Dean, Toni Pham, Ziv, Matteo Trisolini, Jeff Slate, and quite a few others who clearly see what the masses have been missing.

BLISS sees it as well, and this special addition is devoted to the beauty of Jeremy Tang.

©2010 – Sean Dibble

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David Costa