Move Over, Ginny. The Blonde is Back.

The new old trophy wives: white women

By Oliver Saria
Illustration by Noah Dempewolf

Tiger Woods did Tiki Barber a solid. Last month, mere days before the 2010 Masters Golf Tournament—where Tiger made his return to the PGA tour after his obsessively publicized sex scandal—the New York Post’s Page Six broke the story about Tiki Barber’s own longstanding extramarital affair. Luckily for the retired New York Giants running back, nothing could come close to the sheer breadth and depth of Tiger’s douche-baggery. In comparison to Tiger’s gaggle of porn stars, Tiki’s infidelity with a former NBC intern seemed almost quaint. Besides, most of us were too enthralled by the scintillating visual spectacle that is televised golf to pay much attention to certain minor details that emerged surrounding Tiki’s marital woes. Detail #1: Ginny, Tiki’s wife of 11 years and mother to his two sons, was 8 months pregnant when he confirmed that his marriage had ended. Detail #2: Not only was she pregnant, she was carrying twins. Detail #3: Not only did Tiki dump his wife (who is in her mid-30s) at the roundest her body has ever been, he dumped her for a smokin’-hot, 23-year-old, flat-bellied blonde.
There is one other detail, however, that might not be so minor. Ginny is Asian—half-Vietnamese, half-Korean, 100 percent MILF, to be exact. Why is this significant? Well, from the look of things, the tide has been shifting.
In the past decade, men of wealth have been leaving their doddering, decrepit white wives in droves for young, vivacious Asian women. A Marie Claire article proclaiming this, titled “The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women,” even ran in August 2009. And who could argue when the article provided literally a handful of examples? There’s Woody Allen, who ditched his longtime partner Mia Farrow for her adopted daughter, 35 years his junior, Soon Yi Previn (ew, it still sounds gross after all these years). Media-mogul Rupert Murdoch (then 68) married Wendi Deng (then 30) 17 days after finalizing his divorce from his Estonian-born second wife. Ten months before his death in 2009, billionaire financier Bruce Wasserstein (who died at 61) gave his half-French, half-American old lady the old heave-ho and wed Angela Chao, the much younger sister of former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. (Angela scored that pre-nup in the nick of time, didn’t she?)
While a great many Asian men (and few jilted white women, for that matter) might disdain these new “trophies” as race traitors, I for one think they are trailblazers of racial equality. After white women enjoyed generation-upon-generation as the ultimate sex symbol, Asian women finally broke that glass ceiling. Once it was okay for creepy, desiccated rich white men to tool around town with an Asian babe, it was only a matter of time before nubile women of all colors—black, Latina, Native American—would eventually feel desired in the same way. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.” It was as if we, as a society, were finally beginning to understand that until a wealthy man of means and power can dump his haggard, used-up old wife for a tight-bodied mistress regardless of her race, status symbols being equal, we can never truly be a color-blind nation. Welcome to post-racial America. Thank you, Obama.
Unfortunately, things appear to be backsliding. For a while there, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons was dating tawny-haired swimsuit model Julie Henderson shortly after his divorce from Kimora Lee became official. Now Tiki’s blasian babies might soon have a Caucasian step-mommy. Even half-Thai Tiger couldn’t bring himself to send dirty text messages to a single token Asian home-wrecker. (Apparently, the only thing he likes Eastern is his religion).
What is with the resurgent white woman? It’s like we’re back in the dark days of the early ’90s. Dust off your biker shorts and 8-ball jackets and pop in your VHS copy of Spike Lee’s 1991 Jungle Fever. Remember the scene when Nilda dropped some knowledge on Drew and her friends after Flipper (played by Wesley Snipes) got busy with Annabella Sciorra? “Look at the bruthas who are successful,” she says, “look at them. Most of the bruthas who have made it got a white woman on their arms.”

It’s like déjà vu, Nilda.

Oh, wait, hold on a second. Maybe it’s a black guy thing. Maybe wealthy black men are experiencing buyer’s remorse about their trophy Asian wives the same way poor white voters are feeling about Obama. Maybe subconsciously we all want to re-live simpler times, when race relations felt less complicated. Maybe rich white men are secure enough in their status to stick with their Asian wives for much longer. Or maybe in these tough economic times the white ga-gillionaires can better afford the tubs of pearl-cream (made with real pulverized pearls) that keep Asian women looking youthful and desirable.
Or maybe men in general just need to stop cheating on their wives.