Jame Lowe is a photographer. As he is not a male model or a movie star or a pop singer, to a lot of us, he can be forgiven for not looking like a male model or a movie star or a pop singer.
But, he is, also, the new boyfriend of Lorde, the latest project of the recording industry hype machine of young white female singers, which means that to some people that he has the nerve to exist, to be Asian, for not being conventionally handsome and to date someone famous, he is, therefore, somehow deserving of all sorts of abuse and harassment. On Twitter, both the famous and the unknown have taken it upon themselves to harass them.
The seventeen-year-old Lorde has attacked other young pop stars, so that Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Lana Del Rey and Justin Bieber would want to fire back at her is not surprising. But, using her boyfriend to do so, and the appearance-based and (in Bieber’s case) racial nature of their comments is shocking.
“The Huffington Post” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/lorde-james-lowe-cyber-bullied_n_4419637.html) and “Jezebel” (http://jezebel.com/teens-are-having-a-racist-meltdown-over-lordes-ugly-1479815260) have covered this. They both rightly pointed out the racism, but they missed the aspect of this of a non-celeb being held to celeb beauty (or handsomeness) standards.
While “Jezebel” called the fusillade of racial invective a “racist meltdown,” it seems more the case that it is just another piece of evidence disproving the myth of a post-racial America. While many young people may have friends of other races, be blase about interracial relationships and happily listen to Latin rap, Swedish metal and Japanese pop music, watch and read anime and idolize Jeremy Lin, Rey Mysterio, Tiger Woods and Anderson Silva, it seems that for many young people, the sins of their fathers and mothers are being carried on by them.