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  1. Tamara says

    I don’t really have anything to add, but this is a great post and very important. Hopefully characters in books and all other things will continue to become more diverse. Both for understand and so people can have characters similar to themselves.

  2. Annie says


    I actually noticed that same article on Rookie a few days ago and though i didn&#039t read the entire thing, even the bits i read were very impactful. and it came after another article i read on rookie (written by one of my favourite contributors, jenny zhang!) about being chinese and being different from her classmates. (called not that girl in the weezer song? or something like that?) and i just thought it was so eye-opening. so for that reason, i&#039ve been thinking a lot about this same topic lately.

    i&#039m chinese too and definitely understand where you&#039re coming from about chinese / east asians being the middlemen. like yeah there is a lot of racism against chinese and asians too im sure but especially in america, i feel like you also don&#039t have that same level of negativity surrounding chinese people as you do with black people and i guess you can&#039t complain for not being discriminated against but i feel like chinese people on a whole are just ignored? like there just isn&#039t a lot of representation in pop culture / media at all so i think a lot of people have hurtful / wrong perceptions of chinese people. like how we all can&#039t speak english and are super smart and don&#039t focus on anything else besides schoolwork.

    and so because of that i&#039ve noticed that i&#039ve sorta subconsciously tried to rebrand myself as the opposite of that perception? so in that way i&#039m like really paranoid that i have an accent when i speak english even though it&#039s my first language and i&#039m paranoid about saying the right thing and acting the right way so maybe it&#039s not THAT subconscious but like yeah i definitely agree with how it starts at a young age. like i&#039ve never been made to feel an outsider bc i&#039ve been really lucky and live in a country that has a lot of diversity and multiculturalism but it&#039s hard not to notice when you&#039re not seeing people who look like you on tv or in books.

    there&#039s this really great quote from shonda rhimes when she was asked about the diversity in her shows (i don&#039t actually watch any) and it was so kickass. like YES. it was something about how she&#039s sick of getting asked that because all she&#039s doing is representing the real world and the real world has people from all different backgrounds… something along the lines of that and it just so reflects my opinions like that&#039s amazing.

    i wish for the day when diversity won&#039t be something that you have to consciously make an effort to have. i wish for the day when it&#039s just natural because hey while its great that there&#039s such a strong focus on inclusion of all types of people i also think that as long as it&#039s still something that has to be FOCUSED on, there will still be judgement etc. although i guess its wishful thinking that everyone is equal one day but at least if there weren&#039t as clear cut lines as there are now.

    so anyway love this post because it&#039s so important. you&#039re right, even little things like writing a post can make such a huge difference and could have the potential to open the eyes of someone.

    • alexandra @ twirlingpages says

      THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! your comment seriously made my day. it was super insight and exactly the response i was hoping for. i was iffy about posting this, but i feel much better about it now 🙂

      was that rookie post you were talking about this one? i just read it, and all i can say is… wow. jenny has always been one of my favorite contributors as well, so i can’t believe i missed this post. it’s beautiful and wonderful and accurate. it is literally the best thing ever. she says something along the lines of “being the idea of someone is better than being no one at all” and i feel like that relates to what you were saying about chinese people being invisible. in some ways, the small fact that we’re being ignored is as equally hurtful as being directly insulted like blacks. there are a lot of people (who are black) that are being discriminated, yes, but there are also a lot of people who aren’t discriminating them. for us, they don’t have a definite or sure opinion. it makes me SO HAPPY whenever i see asian characters in books, tv shows, and movies because people still don’t know what to think of us – except: “tiny eyes,” loves to study, and bad english.

      i definitely know what you mean when you say you’re trying to be the opposite of that stereotype. i never felt like an “outsider” as a child because i was raised in an area that is 90% asian/chinese. by the time i moved, i was already 9 or 10. i did receive racist remarks afterwards but never felt like i was ‘wrong’ like jenny mentioned.

      the quote you were talking about is SO TRUE. the world is created with people from different races and places (rhyming!), so that’s how people should be represented. i wish the clean differences among people didn’t exist. but unfortunately as of right now, that’s wishful thinking. (whatever, we can do our wishful thinking together hehe) hopefully, everyone can do little things that will add up to the big things.

      again, THANK YOU for commenting!! i love love loooooved your input. <333

  3. Silanur says

    hi alexandra! first of all i would just like to say that this was a really important post and thank you for writing it. i can totally understand where you’re coming from, because although i’m not asian, i’m a *muslim* turkish-american. (emphasis on “muslim”) my mom wears a headscarf and i really hope to wear one as well in the near future.

    of course, though, there are the steorotypes that surround muslims, especially women. “did your father force you to wear a headscarf?” “why do you wear it?” “isn’t it annoying?” and the thing is, its so damn annoying. noone’s being forced to wear a headscarf, which is what people don’t understand, and i just hate the steorotypes that come along with it.

    anyways, again i would just like to thank you for writing this post because people need to STOP with their judging. i hope that, in the future, it will stop, and also there will be more diverse books, movies, tv shows, etc.


    • alexandra @ twirlingpages says

      thank you for commenting and appreciating it, silanur! i was really unsure about posting something as controversial as this, but after seeing some people comment, i’m really glad i put this out. it’s really awful how you get questions and remarks about wearing a headscarf and being “muslim.” it should be none of their business.

      however, i realized that some people don’t intend to be (incredibly) rude, but they’re just genuinely curious. which brings me back to the fact that there isn’t a real and accurate representation in the media for people to know. (not that i know of at least) i sincerely hope the stereotypes stop/change and there is more diverse content!

  4. Alejandra says

    Oh, I love this post Alexandra! I totally feel your struggle. Maybe not the same way because I haven’t been exposed to the real world and judgement, but really seeing what others go through make me sick.
    I had the same discussion about race and judgement (with myself of course, weird I know) when all of this casting for The Shadowhunters happened. It really made me mad and sad how hateful and mean a person can be towards the race of other person; and since I’m hispanic and they casted hispanic actors (who recieved and are still recieving hateful comments) I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to me, or someone close to me when we explore those kind of societies? would white privileged people put me aside just because I’m hispanic? Really, it sounds awful. I know not everyone is like that, I still have a *little* faith in humanity.
    Also, that thing of the stereotypes… again, awful. You see, some tend to think hispanics/latinos have this certain hair/eye/skin color, that we listen to salsa all the time, that we have an ´´attitude´´ and that basically we live in an old era or something like that. When in truth, being latino embodies diversity of races and ways of thinking. I really hope all this crap of stereotypes and judgement stop once in for all, and it gets replaced with peace, acceptance and love for everyone <3
    Great post, Alexandra. I&#039m glad you decided to dive in this important topic!

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