Alrighty! Week 38 of #TWmemorymondays! I am feeling the drag of it being the 38th week of this project. But everytime I actually do it, it makes me feel better.
In my instastories (which you can always watch via my highlights), I started talked about this anxiousness that comes every so often. It's this fear that when the "hot topic" of race (or actually any another human issue) will be not so hot anymore and then everyone (mainly white people) will be over it. And then nothing really changed, because it was seen as a topic or another issue. I'm also afraid I'll lose my energy for explore, speaking up, pointing out human injustices whether it pertains to me or not. That's scary because its ALWAYS worth diving into because its a human thing and not another issue.
Ok let's get into my memory! Today I'm exploring how I remember growing up as a Chinese girl in America absorbing media. Basically as a child, I don't remember any representation of me (an asian american girl) on TV or in any movie or actually in any book! I watched all the movies and TV shows that anyone in my era (I'm 29 yrs old) did. Anime and foreign films or films with geishas don't count, because they weren't asian americans.
For most of my childhood and even into high school, I had this vision of my perfect self: green eyed, red curry haired, freckled, pale skinned girl. I wanted that look SO bad. It was influenced by a lot of media that I consumed such as Anne of Green Gables - I loved that carefree, tomboy, beautiful, sweet, a bit mischievous archetype.
As I grew up, here are some significant pieces of media that made a huge impact on me.
First, when I was 8, Cinderella with Brandy came onto TV and OMG. I was obsessed. That movie was amazing and the cast was amazing. Brandy was cinderella and the prince was ASIAN. It's on youtube, and I'm watching it again asap!
Second, when I was in my teens, I read Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, and it blew my mind. Before that, I read a lot of literature set in Japan and Chinese immigrants in early colonial days. The Joy Luck Club was so special to me, because when I read it,
I understood in a visceral way these tiny details that were in the book that I knew my white friends would have no idea about. I felt so understood as an Asian American having immigrant parents.
Third, when I was 14, the new Charlie's Angels came out with Lucy Liu. She was cast as a LEAD and she was American. She wasn't playing the typical mystical dragon lady or geisha!! She was funny, sexy, and strong - and her being asian wasn't the main focus of her role. WOW.
Fourth, remember Lana from Smallville? I thought Kristin Kreuk was the most beautiful woman, and part of it was seeing that she was part Chinese. I loved her so much.
It was so influential to see me represented in media, and it rarely happened. Since Crazy Rich Asians, thankfully that narrative is changing (its sad that we are now talking about it and its changing - it's freaking 2018). Better now than never! TV, movies, fictional books, podcasts - they all matter - because media is one of the fastest way to move culture. It's all political, because whether you want to admit it or not, your consumption of media informs you about yourself and the world you live in. It's an extension of people's hopes/dreams/fears/stories - sometimes it pushes us forward to seeing humanity and sometimes it perpetuates harmful narratives.
What were some influential casts that you remember growing up?
#TWmemorymondays: A painting inspired by a memory every Monday of 2018. Connecting abstract art to real life. Week 38/53. 'Represent' / 8x8 in / mixed media on paper