THE LACK OF ASIAN REPRESENTATION IN HOLLYWOOD


As a kid I was completely oblivious to the lack of Asian representation in Hollywood. I found beauty norms of Eurocentric descent were ideal. Of course, I wondered why there were no Disney princesses other than Mulan or TV characters that represented my Asian heritage but I didn't think much of it.

It has taken me the absolute longest to realize the Asian stereotypes in Hollywood and how prevalent they still are in the media. I don't know if I've been choosing to be ignorant about this particular topic but I'm glad I started doing more research on this topic because there is a lot of bull that goes on and we're all just ignoring it.

Why is everyone so okay with accepting Asian stereotypes?

To be completely honest, I never really thought of Asian stereotypes as being "wrong" but I have never really thought of them to be harmful either. Over the past few years I have grown increasingly woke and came to realize the internalized racism that had gradually become instilled into my way of thinking and I have been correcting it and myself ever since. I think the first time I had fully become aware of these stereotypes was while watching Aziz Ansari's Master of None, in the "Indians on TV" episode (which is the 4th episode in the first season if you were interested). I guess I never really noticed these stereotypes because I have become accustomed to believe that those were the norms without having to even think about how harmful and completely racist there are.

The more I think about it, the more that I realize the pattern of how the Asian community is represented in the media. The only show I can really think of that broke the mold with the stereotypes is the Suite Life of Zack and Cody, although it might not have been that noticeable, the stereotype was subtly broken. Maddie, the blonde was the smart one in the show as opposed to being the dumb blonde and London Tipton, who normally would've been the token book smart one of the show was the complete opposite of her usual stereotype. Other than this, I haven't really seen any representation of Asians that weren't fitting a stereotype or borderline offensive. The deeper I dig into "yellow face" the more offensive it gets, the history of racism against Asians in American culture is still quite common. If you want to take a look for yourself, here's a link to a website about yellow face (the logo is a bit problematic but ignore that).

While surfin' the net, I found a cool hashtag and movement on twitter that included Asian people who were voicing their opinions on yellow face. At first I was a bit confused because I never have known any beef between the Asian community and Hollywood (but then again, I never looked into it) but I found that Hollywood has been whitewashing Asian roles since probably forever!! Personally, I don't understand because Asian women are breathtaking but obviously even when playing the part of an Asian woman, that actress must have Eurocentric characteristics because who knows what would have happened if they actually let an Asian person play the role of an Asian!

After stumbling upon this nightmare by accident, I came across a really cool blogger who "corrects yellowface" on her blog! She is honestly amazing and here's a link to her marvelous DIY project: My Adventures Correct Yellowface! With every "yellow face correction" she provides a brief summary of the character while poking fun at the prevalent racism in regards to yellowface. She's also Thai, so I am gonna be extra EXTRA with her! Mimi has definitely opened up my eyes and has given me inspiration to speak out and to slowly but gradually, correct yellowface. Well, of course I can't do this alone but another voice talking about this topic is another voice that is bound to be heard somewhere and that's a start.

Although as a teenager who honestly doesn't really do much, I wondered how I could help correct yellow face and to be honest, I don't really know. The furthest I got to "taking a stand" was writing this blog post and hopefully I will be successful in reaching out to people and making the problem known. I don't know how many people I could reach out to but it can't help to try. I invite you to pass this blog post along to friends and family and maybe you could even educate the people in your lives about yellowface! They might not even know it's a thing! Take a stand!

Thanks for reading this week's blog post, sorry I've been on a hiatus! I plan on posting more content from here on out!

Love,

D


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