White women talk about Nicholas Sparks, Eat Pray Love, Carrie Underwood and mascara. Black women love lip gloss, self-help and “Pretty Woman.” Latinas are gung-ho for the “Twilight” saga and “Sixteen Candles.” For Asian women, it’s “A Walk To Remember,” lip balm, and Tuesdays With Morrie that make the cut. Middle Easterners get excited by Vogue and Elizabeth Gilbert, while for Indians it’s “When Harry Met Sally” and Jane Austen. Pacific Islanders just love Mitch Albom, chivalry, and a bargain.
You might be wondering what I am talking about.The online dating website OkCupid has analyzed 526,000 random profiles to “find the interests, hobbies, tastes, and self-descriptions that are specially important to each racial group, as determined by the words of the group itself,” according to its blog.
Sociologically, it is interesting to learn how men and women of different ethnic groups describe themselves and their interests. But by doing so, OkCupid problematically stereotypes them — which is ironic, considering the whole point of dating is to get to know people for who they really are. There are dozens of different ways to define yourself as Asian, black, white, etc. but they are not reflected in OkCupid’s data. Besides, what purpose does it serve anyway? Somebody call The New York Times — Latinas like merengue music and Asian women like sashimi and pho!
There is one piece of data that might be useful. All that Nicholas Sparks, “Twilight,” and lip gloss? Women of OkCupid, this is why you are single. [OkCupid]