Lately, it seems to be more and more common to see multi-racial or multi-nationality couples in Singapore, and sometimes it gets us, local Singaporean women very baffled, especially when seemingly more and more local men appear to prefer foreign brides to our local born and bred talents.
Like Marc*, a high-flying sales manager with one of the big newsprint companies in Singapore - with better than average looks - and he married a Chinese lady who currently teaches in a local kindergarten. Or Peter*, an IT manager who married another Chinese lady also teaching in preschool. And Charles*, an engineer, who fell in love with his factory-operator Chinese colleague and married her eventually.
Stereotypes in the Past
In the more recent past (okay, here we are not talking about 4-5 decades ago when a lot of Singaporean men married Malaysian wives) - it was often thought that, only the less than eligible men had no choice but to marry foreign brides. For instance, men with lesser educational level or working in less than desirable trades. Men who were single all the way at age 40 and their parents had no choice but to buy them an overseas bride or introduce them to some foreign woman working in Singapore.
Stereotypes No More
Nowdays, though, more and more eligible young men are looking for foreign brides or looking to marry foreign ladies working in Singapore - by choice, preferring them over our local females who may be higher -educated, earning more and more similar in culture and background.
Why is that so?
"The SG women always complain that local men are 'no class', 'not gentlemanly' and 'stingy' anyway," grunts Billy*, a car dealer. "Which is why you see so many of them dating angmohs these days also."
Angmohs, by the way, refers to white expatriate, or Caucasians.
Kirk*, a banker, who usually frequents Thai pubs in Singapore in the hope of getting to know a sweet girl from a poor background to make his wife. "I think Singaporean women are too practical and materialistic, even demanding," the 34-year old comments. "I would like to have a wife with simple values and inexpensive needs, hence I'd like to find a wife who comes from a poor background, so she would not be materialistic."
Engineer, Charles*, who married a Chinese wife, shares the same sentiments. "I don't really see her as 'Singaporean', 'Malaysian' or 'Chinese' etc - to me she is a down to earth and sweet, gentle pretty lady. I love her for who she is, not where she is born or raised, really."
Another sales manager, *Wayne, shares with us why he prefers foreign talents over local ladies. "They take the effort to dress up more," he says simply. "Men are visual creatures, if we look at two degree holders side by side, we notice that most Singapore girls tend to not bother with looking good. I mean, 'natural beauty' is ideal, but when one doesnt has it, please put in some efforts to look good."
Not untrue - looking around, we do see many local women not bothering to dress up nicely or apply some makeup to look more presentable - and here we are talking about younger women who are probably on the lookout for potential eligible partners as well. No, not just the heartland or industrial office areas as well - we see a lot of executive-types in CBD area walking around bare face as well. No wonder some of these fail to attract the attention of men on the prowl.
The Cons of Foreign Brides
So, to conclude, men prefer women who hail from other countries because they believe that these women are more pure in intentions, less demanding and live simpler lives. However, are they aware that people do change?
Wayne* makes another very valid point here,"Well, no doubt we do hope for the best, but to be honest, I do wonder how long these women stay simple and down to earth though. They were simple and naive because of their environment and the world they knew, but when they start to integrate into local culture and get exposed to our people, I fear they would slowly change over time too."
Another case scenario, Peter* recounts his experience, "Well, it is a kind of trade-off, in a way. I wouldnt say maintaining them is cheaper overall (but then marrying someone shouldnt merely be about costs of maintenance) - every year when we went back to visit her family hometown, we had to buy lots of tonic, gifts etc to bring back home, so she can show them she had a 'lavish lifestyle' after marriage." Peter* shook his head. "Each trip, including air fare and gifts - cost around $15,000, seriously."
And now? "We no longer need to take those annual trips back home to visit, but she has brought her parents over to stay with us, so we are taking care of them together," Peter* concedes expressionlessly. "It is expensive, period. But we chose the wife, so we have to be undergo it no matter what."
What about cultural differences?
"You go and ask those local ladies who married angmohs whether they experience cultural difference?" Billy retorts with a sardonic smile. "It is all in the mind. The foreign brides can learn to speak English or Mandarin over time, and learn to integrate into our culture, so no issue."
So here we have heard from different males and their views on why men prefer foreign brides. Local ladies, if you are still single and wondering why the good men are all being taken by overseas chicks, now you have the answer. Wait no longer - start dressing up a little, and show the men that we are not demanding, but we help to contribute to the household expenditure too so we need to have some say.
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