The term "yellow fever" has followed me throughout all walks of life.

For those who don't know, yellow fever is a term used for people who have a specified liking towards Asian people. While I see nothing wrong with having a preference of who you are or are not attracted to—we all have different characteristics that we find more appealing than others—however, I've found that a lot of people who are "into Asians" aren't simply attracted to girls with straight black hair. Instead, they are attracted to the countless stereotypes that often come with being an Asian woman.



Too often I have been unintentionally alienated due to my Asian background. Even when people do not mean it, some of my closest childhood friends saw me nothing more than simply their "Asian friend." While every caucasian in my friend group was identified as the "funny one" or the "serious one," I was simply the Asian girl. My identity has always been characterized by my ethnicity; and although I love my culture and heritage, I am more than my own race.

Men who strongly prefer Asian women are attracted to my Asian identity. They do not care about whether I am funny or serious, nor do they question my whether my personality is compatible with theirs.

To men who only see that I am Asian, that's enough for them. The fact that my ancestors were from Vietnam is enough for them to warrant an entire relationship with me.

Men who claim to have a "thing" for Asian women are attracted to the image or idea of a submissive sex-object—a recurring archetype that countless media outlets have ingrained into our society's minds for years on end.

Rather than paying attention to the actual personality, intelligence, and humor of an Asian woman, they are attracted to the simple assumptions that they make before they even get speak a word to her.

They fantasize about a small and cute schoolgirl that is willing to answer to their beck and call.

They dream about a fragile woman that will allow a man to protect her—for she is severely incapable of doing anything on her own.

In characterizing an entire race of people as docile and submissive, men who dream of this are only fueling their own fragile ego. In order to feel like a "real man," men will fantasize of an Asian woman as helpless and dependent on them to survive- therefore only satisfying their need for a testosterone boost.

If the only reason that a guy dates a woman is that he is fascinated by her race or the stereotypes that people make about Asian people in America, then I want nothing to do with him. Asian people are not museum objects that someone dates only for their the color of their skin. Try to think about that next time you try to speak purely Vietnamese to a girl who was born in Texas.