You Can Now Rent Humans In Asia
It may not be news to you that Asia has fabricated (apart from our guilty pleasures of cheap labor) an odd market for renting people—yes, like Avis car rentals, but literal homo sapiens. The trend, as far as we know it, emerged in Korea where one could rent people for company, like escorts, but with a greater emphasis on personal than sexual. Allow me to paint you a clearer image: in an episode of Viceland’s Gaycation with Ellen Page, the series documented a young Korean man who literally rented the gay icon to sit next to him while he came out to his mom… Cute, but also, where the hell was she for all of the vulnerable ‘straight’ queer kids in middle school? Though yes, this trending Korean practice proves pretty peculiar, China in its large-and-in-charge fashion, decided to one up the smaller Asian country with its own human renting service. Sigh.
Materializing from the dense, polluted fog of industrial China has arrived a fairly odd… no, pretty concerning… no, really fucking scary objectification of people in respect to their race. To put it short, it’s called “Rent-A-Caucasian,” and we’re not sure how to feel about it 😬 .
A Canadian man living in China who is certainly not for lease has expressed major discontent with the recent surge in white-man-rentals telling a Malaysian news outlet, “It’s an industry built on a platform of dishonesty and deceit.” However, on the other side of the coin is a white woman whose Chinese clients know her by the nice, sweet, Western alias of Katie. Making an average of $145 per night to simply accompany a Chinese businessman to weekly client dinners, she argues that its an innocent way to help her pay the bills and “there’s no harm in it.” Furthering her argument to a separate news outlet, she also claims that she has “never felt uncomfortable or nervous or unsafe in attending any of these dinners.” But is that the point Miss Katie? Is it your safety that keeps us awake at night? (Yes, partly.) Or is it the wacky ass, wildly explicit concept of contracting people solely for the sake of their white complexion that has us shook? (Yes, pretty much.) Stressing that this instance of racial distinction does not in any way measure to that which America’s POC public has faced (and still faces), the idea that Western beauty standards in Asia have reached such a significant place in not only the culture, but also its market, is something to seriously ponder. Take that, Katie!
Images via Reuters
Stay tuned to Milk for more shady trends going on in the other half of the universe.