Schedules are updated every Thursday.

Mehr Shafiei 22 Feb 2016

American Men: The “Dream Girl” Is Middle Eastern

What is the American ideal of the perfect woman? It’s usually a simple question to answer considering that no matter where you live in the world (thank you, globalization) you get bombarded with it constantly in movies, television, and fashion magazines. What typically comes to mind is the so-called Barbie aesthetic: blonde hair, baby blue eyes, and legs for days.

But alas, it seems the winds of change have blown and created a shift in perceptions of beauty.

At least according to a study conducted by the oh-so-sleazy dating site, What’s Your Price, where single American men can actually bid on various women for opportunities to date them. The men were asked which particular features and traits they valued the most (ie what they would spend the most cash on) and the results showed that brown eyes, dark hair, and darker skin tone came out on top.

When asked specifically about ethnicity, women of Middle Eastern descent came out as the most desirable one, followed closely by Jewish women. But the preference for leggy women still remains, with 5’9” (175 cm) coming out as the winner for the average desirable height (six-inch-heels, anyone?). Not all the questions were about looks, the men polled also said they prefer a woman with a graduate degree. Maybe it’s the Amal effect.

This is not the first time that Middle Eastern beauty is being celebrated. Back in September, social media was abuzz with the hashtag #thehabibiatitag where almost 20,000 girls posted selfies in order to showcase their ethnic pride and reveal how on fleek their eyebrows are. The social media campaign was created by two Palestinian-American students: Sarad Mahmoud and Yara Assadi and deserves more attention than the thoughts of random dudes on a dating site.

Admittedly surveying men on what they consider to be the “hottest” type of woman is super shallow, but it does say something about the effect that technology and social media has had on shifting hegemonic beauty norms. Every selfie that is posted online is yet another shot aimed at Barbie’s pedestal.