AITA for pretending not to understand a joke so that my step sister’s boyfriend would have to explain it?

How long has mocking been the usage? Did it, perhaps, begin as a mocking term, but evolve to be a complimentary, if also racist term? I haven't used it recently, but I know that the few times that I did, it was always in a "man, I wish I had those beautiful features" type of way, always as a compliment.

Then last year, I was at a backpackers in another country. There was a bunch of us hanging just asking "who would you...?" Kinds of questions (it was a CoVid lockdown), and one of the indigenous people of that country said, in reference to who is the most attractive, "There's beautiful, and then there's an exotic beauty, and she's got that exotic type of beauty!" He absolutely said it in a complimentary way. One of the other ladies, who is from a similar culture to the one being called exotic was like, "No, no! Don't use that term. Exotic is just a racist term! It's used to call somebody different!" (Idr verbatim, but that was the gist) Which, tbf, the type of people that fit my image of exotic would be people from tropical islands, so I can absolutely see how it would be considered racist, but I can't imagine that it's often used to mock or purposefully disparage anybody in today's world.

/r/AmItheAsshole Thread Parent