An Asian American woman made a Hinge account, and here’s how it went: ‘It’s 2023. Filter out the colonizers girl’

One creator is shining a light on how awful dating apps and dating in general can be for Asian American women.

On May 28, Katie Dnos (@katiednos), a 24-year-old Korean American woman from the D.C. area, shared a video on TikTok documenting the aftermath of her decision to install “hinge as an asian on the east coast.” Needless to say, the results were cringey and racially charged.

Set to the well-known “DO A FLIP” audio making its rounds on the digital platform, Dnos posted a series of screenshots, including a photo and prompt she settled on for her Hinge profile, followed by a response from an unlikely suitor named Dillon.

“a beautiful asian, just my type,” Dillon writes, as “50+” Hinge “likes” are seen in the top-left corner of the screenshot.

In the final screenshot of the 13-second video, Dnos contemplates deleting the dating app.

‘Bro couldn’t even wait til AAPI was over’

Unsurprisingly, TikTok users who’ve seen Dnos’s video were equally appalled by Dillon’s comment.

“Imagine being the person who’s like, ‘yea, that’s the opener that’s going to get them to want to talk to me,'” @matthew.tamasi wrote.

“It’s 2023. Filter out the colonizers girl,” @herbavore replied.

“Bro couldn’t even wait til AAPI was over,” @aguadesandiapapi responded, referencing Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Fetishization is not appreciation

While Dnoes has managed to poke fun at the situation, the truth of the matter is that Asian American women, in particular, are often subjected to immense fetishization when it comes to dating. And if they aren’t being fetishized, they’re often overlooked or deemed not desirable enough to pursue. These differing ends of the spectrum can yield dangerous, sexually violent or aggressive behaviors.

“The idea that Asian women are desirable and exotic and passive isn’t just an innocent stereotype or a desirable trait to envy,” Nancy Wang Yuen, sociologist and author of “Reel Inequality” told USA Today. “The shadowed side of that is they then become targets of hate, sexual violence and physical violence when they aren’t perceived as fully human and deserving of rights to be safe.”

“Appreciation for a culture should not mean you assume that someone fits into your ideas of that culture or that someone will share your passion for the culture because they’re that race,” Yuen added.

In 2021, following the Atlanta shooting, Vox writer Rachel Ramirez published an article on the history of the fetishization of Asian women. In it, she cites film scholar Celine Parreñas Shimizu, author of The Hypersexuality of Race, who writes that the “emergence of films and artwork after US-led wars in Asian countries is when the trope of hypersexual but docile Asian women really took hold in America.”

The idea that Asian women are domestic and sexual entities that exist to fulfill white male desires and fantasies has long been indulged.

“There was pornography that eroticized the relationship between the war brides coming back to the US after the Korean War, for example. And this was the first time that Asian women were in pornography that I saw, versus white women in yellowface,” Shimizu said. “They were romanticizing the compatibility of a docile war bride, as an ideal American wife, because she was sexually servile but also a domestic servant.”

Is it possible that we’re making too much of what was likely one man’s attempt to be flirty? Maybe, but it’s comments like Dillon’s — absurdly fetishizing but under the guise of appreciation — that reinforce the idea that Asian women are commodities or experiences waiting to be had. To discount the racially degrading element of these types of comments would be to overlook the correlation between fetishization and racial hatred.

The issue with fetishization is that those who resort to it often consider it as appreciation for a particular race — but that isn’t the case at all. At its core, the fetishization of a woman, of an Asian woman, is the objectification of an Asian woman.

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