Gone are the classic jet black hair and brown complexions of our slender sarong party girls (SPGs). Instead, they now appear in all shapes and sizes, fashioning different shades of hair colours and skin tones. Welcome to our globalised world where you start to see more and more Caucasian men coming into Singapore to work, proceeding to date the local women and then marrying them. So how does the negative stereotype still fit in with these women who date these men? Or does the tradition still live on all these years?

Sarong Party Girls

For those who have never heard of this term before, let me start by educating you on what a sarong party girl is. Usually decked out in black, the SPG is typically an attractive Asian girl who spots waist length jet black hair on her petite body, and maintains her brown skin by sun tanning on the beach during the weekends. In a nutshell, she is the complete opposite of a Caucasian woman. She despises local men, and will only go out with you if you are white, rich and well, just white. Many young and beautiful Asian girls have been spotted at pubs canoodling with white men. Never mind that the men are fat, balding, and openly leering. To put it simply, if you are white, you get lucky. Many people see the image of a sarong party girl as being synonymous with a high-class social escort that offers her company and so much more. It seems as if the tradition of the White colonization of the weaker Asian nations is still very much alive a hundred years after, as played out by the observation of the scene.

The modern day sarong party girl however, has discarded that old image and gone through a revamp greater than our legendary Singapore River . She has a career, can sometimes be a fanatic of skin whitening products and definitely does not go after white men just for the money. You are more likely to find her in Balaclava than Orchard Towers , and she certainly owns a more creative wardrobe of varied colours. Everyone knows that the skimpy all black outfit is so last year. However, the one thing that will never change is the white men that accessorizes this new generation of sarong party girls.

You might then ask yourself, what do these girls find in white men that they cannot find in the local guys? The most typical responses we hear from these women are that

  1. White men are more out-going and fun, while local men are boring and stingy. Most would still be living with their parents till they get married.
  2. White men are more proactive in going after women. Local men shy away in fear of rejection which is essentially an end to itself.
  3. With bigger builds with a much stronger masculine feel to them, these white men perhaps provide a sense of security to the women whom despite everything, still need a strong shoulder to lean on.
  4. Last but not least, and possibly the most important factor of all, most local men are not as well endowed in their (ahem) manhood as their white counterparts.

Ouch, that one must have hit the local men deepest in their hearts. (And perhaps somewhere else as well.) While reading this, you can see that stereotypes never did represent anything very well, as there are exceptions in every case. In any case, I would choose to defend these often misunderstood women.

They date white men, but most will not exclusively choose them solely by their race. The women are seen as discarding their Asian identity, when all they are doing is having a normal relationship like everyone else, except that the spotlight is on them when they are seen out with white men. The seemingly liberal society of Singapore rears its ugly head in times like these where old judgments overrule any form of reasonable thinking. Is it really that impossible for people to look past the concept of race when it comes to affairs of the heart? And is it always the case that the Asian woman who dates a white man would most definitely be one who yearns to be Caucasian herself? I say no for both, because I am what people will call the modern SPG.

When I go out with my boyfriend, who is your typical blonde and blue-eyed ang moh, I get more stares than if I were to venture into town naked. Not that I have tried, please do not be mistakened! I like him because he is extremely attentive, fun-loving and we can always hold interesting conversations during the day through to the night. I did not choose to date him because he is white, neither is it because he is rich. The matter is simple – I like him, thus I go out with him. However, narrow minded people choose to scorn at my choice, and see it as betrayal to the Asian race. When we are in the city, we get the occasional second glances from others, but it gets worse the moment we step into heartland zones, when we are many a time greeted with judgmental glares from the young and old alike.

A lot of local men get bitter when they see the local women dating white men, because they feel threatened and assume that the women just see them as inferior to their Caucasian counterparts. In the popular local forum OhGenki, much has been expressed about such relations. When speaking on the topic, the responses from the women and men show opposite ends of the scale, with the females showing nonchalance and the males expressing disgust and irritation. The following excerpt is taken from the forum.

“ One question first:
How come you gals don't think that the foreigners are also trying to get into your pants when they are being nice to you? How come you would pass that judgement if a local guy is doing the same thing?
And FYI - not all foreigners here are rich, well travelled...etc.
I am not into bashing them, but here are some facts and you would be surprised:

  1. the rich ones are normally the CEOs. board of directors...etc these are usually out of touch to you and normally they are in the late 50s and above. And you mean they are cute?
  2. most middle level or ground level foreigners (which possibly are the ones that you may come in touch with) are normally the rejects of their own countries - they could not find a decent job or are being politically oustracised at their own backyard before being posted overseas - they have no choice.
  3. given the choice they would not want to travel
  4.  their pay is not high as many of you would have imagined, many are drawing local terms now

How do I know? Go figure out. Heh!
So, before you made that plunge do your research first...
p/s Most of the gals are smittened by the foreigners because it is fresh and new, perhaps not the usual meal you would get at the regular foodcourt. And therefore it is enticing. I am very tempted to use that SPG word, but i would not, because everyone is free to make choices.”

The crux of what I am trying to say is that girls who fraternize with Caucasian men might not always choose to date them because of race, wealth or physique. Perhaps curiosity in the difference in cultures and lifestyles is precisely the spark that drew the couple together in the first place? There are, of course, exceptions to this, but I just want to urge the cynics to broaden their minds a little and try to embrace this new trend where it is possible to find love across racial and geographical boundaries. The grass on the other side might actually be greener.

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Written by:
Hildra Gwee

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