So now I’m going to talk about the assumption that most people who live in Japan/Korea or have a lot of physical contact with asians have and that is that ‘asians don’t smell’. Now despite the title, of courseee asinas have B.O. everyone has a little bit of it at least! But they just tend to have it less.
Maybe you’ve heard of this assumption, maybe you haven’t, but it’s known that in Japan and Korea, deodorant is definitely not common whatsoever and Japanese and Koreans just never really wear it. At all. Why? HOW?! Because they don’t need to!
Various youtubers have covered the topic of deodorant’s availability in Japan but nobody has really explained why Asians don’t need to wear it. Why they don’t smell (as much as westerners can). People have guessed of course, culture, diet etc. and this is actually correct! It’s their diet that really results in this cultural difference and on another level genetics.
Apart from the fact that Asians tend to have a much healthier diet than westerners, they also eat considerably less animal fat than us. Animal fat contributes to B.O. so the more animal fat you eat the worse the odor will be when say, you’re sweating.
My dad, for example, does not by any means follow a vegetarian or vegan diet but he stays away from lots of animal fat. He eats meat yes, but as little animal fat as he can. In fact, upon thinking about it, he follows a diet very similar to an Asian diet. Beans, vegetables, greens, rice, grains, pastas/noodles. Because of my dad’s avoidance of animal fats, he does not have bad B.O if any at all. In fact, I remember a day a few months back when I hugged him when he was sweating (he’d been up to the allotment) and I sort of cringed a bit, but then he said ‘look SNIFF ME I DON’T STINK!’ and he shoved my head near his armpit to which I smelled…nothing! He was sweating and it smelled of almost nothing! Whatever odor was there was almost undetectable from where my head was and would certainly be non-existent if you were stood any further away than literally face to face. That was when he told me that because he didn’t eat animal fat his sweat didn’t smell. It’s true! My dad does not have B.O. not really anyway and it dawned on me that this was most definitely contributing factor in why Asians do not smell and more over why they do not need to use deodorant!
Kanadajin3 has done a recent video on deodorant in Japan which is quite informative and she mentions that if you stop wearing deodorant, for a few days yeah you might stink a little, but then your B.O. just goes naturally. The decrease in your B.O. is most likely because of your change in diet.
It has also been shown that most Koreans and Japanese actually have a genetic ‘mutation’ (although it’s not much of a mutation and more of a blessing!) that ensures that the bacteria under the armpit is non-existent! This doesn’t stop them smelling because of the food they eat or if they’re sweating because of lack of showering however, it just means that daily sweating under the arms doesn’t smell. Here’s more on this point, an article by scientificamerican.
So there you have it. If you’re not part of the 90% of East Asians who lack the underarm chemical that produces B.O. then don’t eat too much animal fat! (:
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now and I’ve finally got round to it. This post is all about androgyny and how it’s applied to the Asian race. For those who do not know what androgyny is it refers to having neither mainly male nor female physical characteristics making it, maybe, difficult to distinguish what gender someone is. *From this point on, I will be using phrases like ‘androgynous people’ and when I refer to ‘androgynous people’ don’t take it in an insulting way. Saying somebody is androgynous is not an insult but if you take it that way then fair enough. It is simply a term of describing someone who doesn’t looks insanely feminine or masculine.* You’ll have at least once in your life heard someone say ‘loooool looks like a girl’ or ‘paha that’s totally a boy though!’ when looking at an Asian. Comments like this usually come from people who don’t have the same interest in east asia as we do and if they do…they’re just trying to have a crap laugh and play the ‘dumb member of the group’. We shouldn’t go mental at comments like this though because, to some extent, these comments bring to light a decent point.
Some Asians are androgynous. But then again so are some westerners! Every country around the world will have a number of androgynous people. The point is mainly that Asia has a larger number of androgynous people than western et al countries. This is because westerners have a larger variety of physical characteristics e.g. blue, green, brown, hazel, grey, yellowy, maroony eyes, blonde, red, brown, black, thin and thick hair, black, olive, white skin with different tones, different muscle and boob sized, small and large curves and many, many, many body shapes from pear and apple to hourglass. The Asian race tends to have a smaller variety and more of the same little details such as thinner and shorter eyelashes, sparse eyebrows, monolids, black/dark brown eyes, black straight hair, petite or slender frame and usually less obviously different body types. Of couuuurrsssee Asians have different physical features, they don’t all have monolids, they don’t all have sparse eyebrows, some are muscly, some are more slender, some are short and some are tall. But the fact remains that westerners have a bigger variety of physical features – everybody clearly looks different and many Asians may look very similar. To us.
In a summarised paragraph; Asians tend to have less defined features. The Asian nose, many want it taller and thinner and more defined, monolids, many want double lids to make their eyes more defined. I’ve come to the conclusion that their natural faces are a perfect basic base. The Asian race was the first race after all, western features came afterwards. So their faces are the base, perfect for adding definition onto and not looking overdone which is why many Asian girls and guys can look amazing when wearing makeup. They can apply eyeliner and mascara and not have too heavy-an-eye. You could think of western features as natural makeup – but I don’t particularly want to think of it that way. The fact that Asians tend to have a clean basic-featured base kind of face, which is naturally so beautiful, means that any definition which would usually show a lot of femininity or masculinity isn’t really always there.
E.g. Westerners can have naturally long thick eyelashes which can give off a feminine look. An Asian may not have this physical trait.
*I’m going to take this opportunity to remind you all that I am not, not, NOT generalising a whole race, I am not saying all Asians fall into these characteristics and I am not saying one race is more naturally beautiful than another. Everybody is different. I am simply saying that these are just features mainly found in the Asian race and that westerners tend to have a bigger range of physical characteristics.*
The image at the top of this post is of the main character of the Taiwanese drama series Hanazakarino Kimitachihe, Lu Rui Xie played by Ella Chen. This drama is the first of quite a few versions of the series which is about a high school girl who sees a high jumper one television who she’s been inspired and influenced by, she disguises herself as a boy and moves to Taiwan to his all-boys-school where she stays and develops a friendship with him and other members of the school. She passes as a guy so well it’s unreal but when she stops and dresses like a girl my god she’s beautiful!
*It’s an amazing series I really want to watch it again! Awhhhh! What I’ve just told you is only a small fraction of the whole series which is quite a lot of episodes long! Watch! It’s brilliant!*
This picture is just one example of how much a girl can pass as a boy if she’s androgynous. This is why a lot of Asian cross-dressing or disguising-as-the-opposite-sex dramas are so successful, because they could actually pull it off if they wanted to. Look at Taemin from SHINee (Korean boy group).
Oh my god. What a guuurl! How his legs suit shorts…gawd…
So as you can see Taemin could pretty much be the most convincing transvestite ever if he wanted to be. The androgynous look is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to insult someone with and certainly nothing that people should really comment on. Firstly, it sounds ignorant when someone looks at an Asian idol or just a random boy sometimes and say ‘erm no that’s a girl’ and secondly it’s impolite! It may not be anything to be ashamed of but people don’t want to hear that they look like a boy or a girl every day. Their looks shouldn’t matter when determining your opinion of them.
Now I did get some thoughts from people close to me on what you should do if you can’t tell someone’s gender. I think it’s instinct and common sense here. If you’re stuck in a conversation with an androgynous person, ask subtle questions that should reveal their identity. ‘Do you think blah blah is cute?’ ‘Don’t wear heels tomorrow haha!’ or how about ‘What’s your name?’ nyahahah!
Anyway I just wanted to get across the point that nobody should turn around and argue that people are being rude and closed-minded when others say Asians are androgynous because it’s not wrong. Most of them are, and it’s not a bad thing at all! The Asian race can do many things with their natural looks. They can define themselves even more, they can stay natural and they can even disguise themselves successfully as another gender! Why would this ever be a bad thing 🙂
Goodnight peeps! Sleep tight!