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Pet Sins January 2004

Asian airlines market images of young Asian women for white audience

Has anyone ever noticed how Asian airline TV ads like to feature young pretty Asian women serving white people? Why not serving black people, Latinos, indigenous Americans, or Asians? Clearly white folks are the marketing demographic targeted here.

I saw this Asiana Airlines (Korean airline) TV ad which featured a young pretty Korean stewardess serving a middle-aged European-descent heterosexual couple. Singapore Airlines ran an ad showing a Singapore air stewardess riding in a car through some town in the British isles. White people were all running out to bid the lovely Asian woman farewell. Rustic, charming images of European children on horses, running across lush green fields and knolls, just to say goodbye to their favorite Asian angel. The line, I believe, was "Singapore Girl, what a great way to fly."

I heard Singapore Airlines does not employ stewardesses beyond the age of 35. (in keeping with the "Girl" image) I also heard this restriction does not apply for stewards.

And also I must ask why do they show stewardesses instead of stewards in the advertisements? Clearly the woman is the marketable commodity here. Why is that? What kind of demographic that appreciates young Asian women are we trying to appeal to? Let me guess - African and Native American lesbian and bisexual women!!! Duh! I am so sure it is not white straight males.

Racism, sexism and stereotypes are being self-perpetuated by a group already stereotyped by Europeans. Who is to blame?

1999