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diversity header

there’s been some talk on diversity (among race, gender, and sexual orientation) on the internet and i wanted to join the conversation! this might be a controversial and heavy topic, but i still want to voice my opinions.

here’s what specifically triggered my blog-posting-inspiration:

  • a post on rookie magazine
  • a video by jefferyfever on why chinese people aren’t cool
  • people on twitter discussing the diversity of luke’s casting for the shadowhunters
  • a video by motoki maxted on saying “you’re gay.”
  • the dive into diversity challenge!
  • another post by rookie. (thanks for sharing it with me, annie!!
  • discrimination among races and sexes continue to exist.

    for those of you who don’t know, i’m chinese. i never thought much about it; it’s honestly just who i am. for most of my life, i was ignorant of the strong oppression and mistreatment to blacks and other races/colors in america. i mean, i knew, but i didn’t really know until this year – thanks to ferguson, baltimore, etc. i feel like asians in general are the “middle men.” by that, i mean we’re not completely oppressed, but we’re also not the ‘standard’ for humans (which is primarily known as whites). sure, we’re not treated 100% equally, but we’re also not treated poorly. if you see an asian stranger, you’d probably assume they’re capable enough and smart. (see: “why asian americans might not talk about ferguson”) however if you see a black stranger, you’d probably be cautious of your belongings and self. why do these stereotypes exist? why should they exist??? the answer is simple: they shouldn’t. if you read the rookie post – which you really should – you’d know from the first paragraph that racial stereotypes and differences are acknowledged even from a young age. four years old! the only thing babies know are what their parents taught and what they learn from their peers/observing others.

    assuming someone is “_________” due to their race, gender, or sexual orientation is stupid.

    there are good and bad people everywhere, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation… how can you assume someone has ____ personality simply because of their race? it makes no sense, whatsoever. it’s something someone is born with, not something by choice. if you disagree, please enlighten me.

    a cardboard cutout of a human being shouldn’t exist; living creatures are all different and unique in their own way. having a standard on how humans should look, be, or act is frustrating to those who seek it and disappointing/hateful to those who can’t fulfill it.

    if you read paper towns, by john green, i think this – stereotypes and the like – is what margo meant when she said “paper people.” it’s time to accept these few permanent facts:

  • people come in all different shapes and sizes.
  • that also means they come in different races and colors.
  • people are free to love whoever they want
  • judging someone based on something they have no control over is absolutely awful*
  • *this is not an actual fact, but my opinion is so strong it may as well be a fact.

    i believe pop culture is one of the main reasons as to why discrimination continues to thrive.

    in the rookie post, the little girl didn’t want the black barbie because “they weren’t the dolls from the commercial” – even though she was black herself. can you imagine if your own child had said that to you, not knowing what it really meant? the way i see it, the kid was saying, “i’m not proud of my skin. i don’t like it, and there’s nothing i can do about it.” obviously, with the child being only four, she may not have meant that, but that isn’t what i interpreted. people shouldn’t be afraid to be proud of themselves.

    television, magazines, books, movies, and music are all things that add up to pop culture. the internet is also extremely impactful. we may not know it, but our small actions online (such as blog posts and tweets) can really change someone else’s perspective. especially in our day and age, the media is the main seed for everything.

    which is why i’m extremely grateful and happy and proud that the shadowhunters cast is diverse, as there are still many shows and movies that are white-centered. i also love books with diversity (duh!) such as: simon vs. the homo sapiens agenda, by becky albertalli (LGBTQ); to all the boys i’ve loved before, by jenny han (race); eleanor & park, by rainbow rowell (races), to name a few. there’s also an entire blog dedicated to diverse books! you should definitely check it out if you haven’t already. these small things, including this blog post**, make huge changes.

    many people – like i was – are ignorant to all this (which is why diverse shows/movies/books are so important!), or they’re choosing to ignore it. ignoring the problem does not fix it. some may argue that it’s fruitless and dumb, but is it so wrong to hope for a better future? i know it’s impossible to change everyone’s viewpoint, but i think it’s still worth an effort. i’d like to live in a world where we don’t need to worry about others judging you about the color of your skin, or what your gender is, or who you sexually prefer. maybe it’s too much to ask, but maybe it’s not.

    **i wasn’t sure about publishing this blog post, but after talking to a few friends and their encouragement gave me a small confidence boost.

    what do you think about diversity and stereotypes? please let me know in the comments!

    – alexandra

    Alexandra Ling

    alexandra is a nineteen-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.