New Study Says “Desi Men Are Hot” (Or Something Like That)

Desi.jpgAs a young child, I thought the standard for beauty was contained within the perfume-scented pages of Vogue. When I turned its glossy pages and saw impossibly thin (mostly-white) women with flawless skin carrying $10,000 handbags and hairless men with heroin chic eyes, I thought, “Here is beauty.” Well, I was all wrong. Beauty is actually a South Asian man. And a Latina woman, but let’s focus on the man for the sake of this blog. Allure magazine released the findings of a 2,000 person survey last month and found some interesting results. According to Racialicious blog:

Two decades ago, Allure conducted a study with 1,000 men and women called “What Beauty Means to You.” A clear picture of what was considered beautiful emerged – and her name is Christie Brinkley. But the last 20 years have brought major changes to our nation – and no where is this more evident than our ideas of who is considered most beautiful. The new celebrity “ideal” according to Allure is now Angelina Jolie. But here’s what’s really interesting. Allure also showed photos of non-celebrity models and asked respondents to rank the person who was most attractive. The top winners? A Latina female and a South Asian male (identified as a person of Indian descent).

Could it be that desi men in America have successfully re-branded themselves into sex symbols? Yes. We win. But let’s be honest, did we really need a survey to figure this out? Just take a look at the media hits desi guys have been getting lately. Only a few days ago, Lindsay Lohan cozied up to hotelier Vikram Chatwal, which quickly got the tabloids buzzing.

And of course, there was that New York Times piece on our (okay, my) favorite desi pretty boy, Waris Ahluwalia, who has been making beautiful jewelry over at House of Waris. (And if you really want to see pretty, take a look at Waris in this video released by Vogue in February. Tangent: Let the record show that I was in love with Mr. Ahluwalia ever since his first appearance in friend Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. And I will continue to be in love with him despite his appearance in that awful film that came out last summer, I Am Love. You know why? Cause that man is gorgeous. B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.

So for this post, let us raise an invisible glass to desi men everywhere. And of course, how could there be a post where I marginalize men if I didn’t link to this Tumblr celebrating desi men for their hotness, errr, I mean many accomplishments. [NSFW, possibly?]

37 thoughts on “New Study Says “Desi Men Are Hot” (Or Something Like That)

  1. Well, I was all wrong. Beauty is actually a South Asian man. And a Latina woman

    Eh idk, those models are attractive, but tbh I see more attractive people walking around my university campus everyday…like right now I’m sitting in the library and there’s a significantly hotter Desi guy sitting near me ;) (and I’d be really embarrassed if he caught me typing this…) high fashion models (those in Vogue) are picked for their body proportions and height-to-weight ratio rather than beauty. I’m sure that Latina model has the perfect frame for the runway, but as far as her face, I see prettier girls all the time just walking around. I think commercial models or celebrities like Jolie, or Jessica Alba, are a better indication of what the average person considers attractive (and typically it doesn’t involve a skeletal frame as many Vogue models have).

  2. Men with darker hair and eyes have always been considered attractive/masculine. Are we supposed to be surprised by these findings or…?

  3. Eh idk, those models are attractive, but tbh I see more attractive people walking around my university campus everyday

    hm. where do you go to school again? :-)

    to your main point, re: beauty. there are some human universals. but there’s a lot of variation of preferences outside of the core traits too. the problem with these surveys is that they’re looking at the center of a relatively wide distribution (models are usually by definition not ugly for example).

  4. “Could it be that desi men in America have successfully re-branded themselves into sex symbols”

    No, that guy who happens to be desi is hot

    This guy who happens to also be desi and have a pot-belly is still not hot, no matter how many celebrities start thinking curry is the new black :p

  5. Vikram Chatwal has bigger boobs than Lindsay Lohan… how is that attractive?

  6. “curry is the new black :p”

    That is the most awesome quote ChunkyDaddy.

  7. Vikram Chatwal has bigger boobs than Lindsay Lohan… how is that attractive?

    Hahaha I noticed that but didn’t want to say anything…poor guy, he’s hardly fat, but somehow has man-boobs? This reminds me of that post Razib did about how S.Asians distribute fat weirdly. And Lohan also dated Samantha Ronson so her tastes are questionable. Anyway he’s a millionaire so that’s why he gets pretty women like ex-wife Priya Sachdev and LiLo, moobs and all :D

  8. I am a desi dude and I am SICK and TIRED of this objectification!!! Am I just a hunk of meat to you ladies?!?!

    Oh the humanity!!!

    • you are named kadhai gosht…. lol i appreciate your sacrifices as an objectified hunk of flesh. FEMINISM hit-and-run.

      plus that Latina girl could totally be South Asian if she tried.

  9. Alina-M, that’s the problem with averages. Those two models pictured have the highest average score. However, that says more about consistency than desire. Someone who scores consistently 9/10 would be rated higher than someone who is scored 4/10 by half and 10/10 by half. Perhaps the better test for “hotness” would be the percent of people who rated the person a perfect 10/10.

  10. “plus that Latina girl could totally be South Asian if she tried” For me, she looks more east asian (tiny eyes & nose)

  11. To me the girl looks typically latina. Am I the only one who feels that he can almost always distinguish a desi from a latin american? I think I’ve only ever once been mistaken.

  12. ^ Same, I don’t think she looks remotely Desi. If anything she has that Eurasian look common amongst Turks and Central Asian people, or half white/asians. But I’d never guess Indian.

    As a Desi man this is a very proud moment; the tyranny of the Desi girl is over

    Haha bro take it from a straight girl, Zach Latif > plain Indian model ;)

  13. maybe yeah she looks a bit south east asian – maybe she’s secretly bangla and related to razib. just goes to show that ‘ethnicity’ is totally subjective and mostly unnecessary.

  14. just goes to show that ‘ethnicity’ is totally subjective and mostly unnecessary.

    I disagree…I think race is totally subjective and unnecessary tbh, but ethnicity isn’t. To me ethnicity is essentially a group of people who share geographic origin and consequently genetics and culture. Like we’re all on this blog talking to each other cause of common ethnicity, which leads to a common culture. Race on the other hand is more subjective and kind of made up if you think about it.

    The model does look kind of ethnically ambiguous, and I’ve heard that multi-racial people are sometimes considered more attractive on average because their features are more “blended”.

  15. btw, please dont consider a ramp model as indicative of what men like.

    Here’s a secret: ramp models are chosen to look androgynous and boyish. However, Straight men are generally attracted to buxom women with child-bearing hips.

    about the survey above : not surprised that black hair wins. Two words : ginger pubes.

  16. Hard to interpret these results when the field of competition isn’t shown. They seem to just be above average looking. 1 in 4 people on any college campus are just as good looking or better than the two.

  17. I have seen surveys from several years back where Indian men came out on top. Don’t know what they see in us but I for one am not complaining.

    • Not much. Your cheer yourselves for comfort, and that’s what this post is all about.

  18. I think everyone of us will be good looking only if we took care of our appearance. Some of us need more work and some less. What is important is we take care of our appearance.

    Both men and women need to be careful of their tummy and face. It is sad that majority of Indian women do not remove their facial hairs and around their hands and legs. They should also maintain their hair so that it is soft and not bushy and untidy. Indian men, should realise that moustache and beard does not suit everyone. Forget the old thoughts that every man has to grow a moustache and beard to look like a man.

    Indian men and women are good looking. It is great that Indian men and women have diverse looks that sometimes it is not possible to say which continent they are from. Cherish the looks and lets take care of our our appearance and dressing.

    Perhaps personal grooming industry in India needs to grow. Education is not just about academic results but also in the way we think, carry and conduct ourselves.

    http://www.allnewindian.com

    • I agree with you blog1970. I’ve noticed that Indians, in general, from India do not really place a premium on their appearance. Not only do they not care so much for their clothing, but they don’t care about their physique (and this is more important). Also, manners and mannerisms is also of utmost importance. The typical middle-class Indian graduate student here in Boston (i.e. not rich with a maid, but with one car and a scooter, perhaps) that I’m familiar with has terrible manners, etiquette, and self-esteem. They carry themselves in the most lousy of ways.

      On the other hand, I’ve noticed that Iranians, Chinese, KOREANS especially, all place a premium on nice fashionable clothes, and you’re more likely to find them in a gym.

      I sincerely appreciate how the Franco-Italians and North Americans have no reservations against wearing $80 jeans and spending $80/month membership at a nice gym, instead of growing a paunch thinking that ghee-consumption is healthy. Of course, it’s important to not be judgemental about people’s clothing and appearance, but in aggregate, we can’t help it.

  19. This comment is for the moderator. Readers should be given the option of reading the hidden comments without having to click them one at a time. My request is that SM include a feature at the top of the comments which would allow the reader to open all hidden comments with one click. Thanks.

  20. This is off-topic, but why are there so few comments (5-25) on SepiaMutiny these days? I remember lurking years back and seeing 50+ comments in each post/thread.

    This type of thread in the past, would easily get 100+ comments in a few days. Sad to see, I once loved reading SM.

    Like with any good product, you guys need to be creative and reinvent yourself with innovative ideas. Good Luck! :)

    • Timofey,

      I have also noticed this. Moreover, the SM authors have been much more inactive. According to my analysis, there has been much fewer articles written in the last 12 months when compared to April ’08 – March ’09. It was 552 from April ’08 – March ’09, but only 305 in the last 12 months from April ’10 – March ’10.

      Hopefully, SM isn’t a financially distressed organization. There have been other South Asian blogs no longer in existence, such as Ultra Brown, and I sincerely hope that SM doesn’t share the same fate.

      2008 April 45 2008 May 52 2008 June 40 2008 July 37 2008 August 70 2008 September 43 2008 October 56 2008 November 46 2008 December 31 2009 January 41 2009 February 40 2009 March 51 Total from 2008 April – 2009 March 552

      2010 April 17 2010 May 42 2010 June 42 2010 July 37 2010 August 25 2010 September 28 2010 October 19 2010 November 15 2010 December 16 2011 January 15 2011 February 23 2011 March 26 Total from 2010 April – 2011 March 305

    • “Like with any good product, you guys need to be creative and reinvent yourself with innovative ideas. Good Luck! :)

      Thanks Timofey, we’re working on it ;)

      Zachary L., I was counting on somebody to link to Desi Girls. Thanks :)

      Matthias, the new commenting system is designed to encourage users to register so as to encourage accountability for comments.

      boston_mahesh, I think your stats just inspired me to write more.

      And oh yeah, delurker, if this were Facebook, I would “like” your comment a bajillion times.

  21. I agree with you blog1970. I’ve noticed that Indians, in general, from India do not really place a premium on their appearance. Not only do they not care so much for their clothing, but they don’t care about their physique (and this is more important). Also, manners and mannerisms is also of utmost importance. The typical middle-class Indian graduate student here in Boston (i.e. not rich with a maid, but with one car and a scooter, perhaps) that I’m familiar with has terrible manners, etiquette, and self-esteem. They carry themselves in the most lousy of ways.

    I try to be understanding because manners are perceived differently across culture. For example, when I went to Pakistan there were situations in which I though I was being well-mannered (by American standards) but I was perceived as rude by locals in Peshawar. I quickly learned: it’s rude and insulting to decline food as a guest in their culture (whereas in America women usually decline food to be polite if they don’t know the person well) and it’s also rude for a young woman to approach men – what is considered a normal interaction here might be perceived as more sexual there because of cultural differences, etc…

    So I don’t think those Indian Grad students you mentioned are being rude on purpose. For example a lot of Desi international students in my school are SO damned loud in the libraries, literally yelling into their phones. But it’s because in places like Pakistan the reception is so shitty you have to talk ridiculously loud in my experience so they do that here too. Another example is they’ll stand freakishly close to you but that’s because what’s considered “personal space” varies across culture.

    But sometimes their mannerisms are so odd, I just don’t understand it. Like recently an Indian student came up to me in the dining hall, literally started eating food off my plate without asking or even saying anything – WTH? That would be rude in India too. Also I’ve notice it’s usually Desi men who exhibit this sort of behavior, not the women.

  22. Just a warning to anyone who opens the lohan link: the comments on that page, apart from one or two, are pretty uniformly racist.

  23. This guy who happens to also be desi and have a pot-belly is still not hot, no matter how many celebrities start thinking curry is the new black :p

    Unless you look like Ron Jeremy?!

  24. I think the specific features of the models are irrelevant – they are all models, they are all good looking. what the survey results indicate is instead how desi men are being perceived in a way they may not have been until recently here in the US – this could also be influenced by the increasing visibility of South Asians in American pop culture and the increasing popularity of Bollywood in the US; whereas 10 years ago the only desis on TV may have been doctors or terrorists, if they appeared at all, now many Americans have been exposed to the charm and sex appeal of these heroes and seen desi men in a completely new light.

  25. sorry but part of your post is ridiculous, “curry is the new black”. Black men have never been considered hot by anyone other than black women and fat/old/ugly white women (leftovers). and they never will be, despite being portrayed in a positive light by the western media. Because black guys facial features are simply ugly as hell, and no ammount of media brainwashing can change that fact, its something you cant hide.

    South asian guys in comparison have negative stereotypes ( though most are completely untrue) because western people have had so LITTLE interaction with them, and the only thing they know about south asian men is the little they see on western TV (where they are portrayed mostly as nerds and losers, although that is changing) and what they see from Bollywood movies ( where most actors are from northern india and most movies there dont take themselves seriously).

    in addition to that western people will read stupid stuff on the internet to generalize south asian men, which is natural because they have seen so few in real life, and many times when they actually see a south asian they wouldnt know it, because south asians vary incredibly much in phenotype, some can look like southern europeans. some can look like latinos, some can look like middle eastern people, and some can look like various mixes of other races.

    because of this it is impossible to generalize south asians in any meaningful way, and that means it will always be possible for them to improve their image in western media and western society.