The Asian Image Amidst COVID-19

It’s hard to accept change as the new every day. It is the human condition to thrive in familiarity: when I was living on campus and had to balance classes and extracurriculars and events, I would plan my days out to the second on Google Calendar. It was my best friend. Right now, though, our relationship isn’t as strong: I’m learning to live in the moment. But that’s a topic for another day.

Change doesn’t come out of nowhere, and when people have a hard time dealing with change, it’s natural to want to place the blame on somebody or something. Unfortunately, this pandemic has led to the blame being placed in large part on the Chinese. It’s reflected in the way that COVID-19 was dubbed as the “Chinese virus” just because the first cases were seen in Wuhan. 

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Walking Backwards

You hear people preaching about representation and diversifying the racial makeup of the entertainment industry. It permeates news sources, casting pages, guest lectures at universities. They speak wonderful dreams of equal opportunity for all people of color amidst a white-washed Hollywood. They hail Crazy Rich Asians (2018) for taking major steps towards bringing Asian faces into the scene.

I would love to jump onto that dream. It fulfills every desire of mine in creating a career for myself in the future, one where I can fight an equal fight with everyone else who chooses the same path. One where if I do land a job, it’s because of what I can offer and not because of how I look or what I symbolize. I don’t want to be present in an artistic process just because I have the face of a Asian-American woman. I want to be there because I can contribute the experience of being a woman from an Asian-American background with an honest and genuine point of entry.

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