Realizing the Role of the Asian man in Get Out: An Asian Girl’s Review of Get Out

So I recently watched Get Out.

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And HOLY SHIT.

It was one of the most brilliantly crafted movies of all time. The symbols and metaphors in every single scene were amazing. I want to watch it again, just to catch every single part. It told such an amazing story about the struggles of being African American and the fear of what it means to be black in a white world.

So I’m going to discuss the movie so this is your

SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t seen it, GO SEE IT. It’s amazing and stunning and important and just everything. Seriously, stop everything you are doing and go see it.

One thing stuck out to me the most. It was subtle and people might’ve missed it.
But I am an Asian woman and I could not ignore it and I think that was the whole point. I think when that Asian man came into the shot, Jordan Peele (the director, creator, producer, all around amazing person) was calling out and reaching out to the Asian population. I think he did it so subtly as a way that it would only hugely impact the Asian people watching. He was 100% correct. I was shook but my other friends weren’t as much. It really got me thinking. Seeing that man, in the crowd of white people who were definitely up to no good and then seeing him again as such as weird question, and then finally seeing him at the creepy ass silent auction made me realize something.

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I will fully acknowledge that as a whole, Asians are seen and are at times “have it better” but that in no way means that we are not discriminated against. However, Asians are known for assimilating better and have stereotypes, as people have literally told me, that are “not that bad.”

So to other POCs, it makes sense why an Asian man, not a Middle Eastern or Latino person or any other race, is hanging out willy nilly among the evil white people.

To me, it meant more than that. It made me reevaluate my own racial status, which I think was the intention. I don’t think it was meant to bring down Asians but to let us view our roles in society.

But another thing that really caught me was the question that the man asks, “Is the African-American experience an advantage or disadvantage?”

Now this, just elevated everything to a whole new level. This is where I fully understood why Jordan Peele is probably one of the smartest guys in Hollywood right now.

Asians are immigrants. So many of my Asians friends are first generation Asian Americans. I’m not even the first generation Asian American. My children will be. We are still outsiders. I am still an outsider. I am still an immigrant. When people yell, “Go back to where you came from,” it makes more sense than yelling at an African American person who was born in American and have ancestors rooted in America.

So while African Americans are discriminated against and racism between whites and blacks are still so rampant, an Asian man understands that being black is more likely to be a part of the American society than being Asian. The Asian man, unlike the other old white people, is not concerned with Chris’ strength, youth, or abilities. He simply wonders about Chris’ experience as a black man and tries to evaluate whether that is better than his own experience as an Asian man in America. 
One part that this movie got wrong was making the Asian man completely side with the scary ass white people in the movie. He was viewed as if he was never belittled for his race. I have had racial slurs and racist remarks thrown at me by people of all races. However, there is a difference in the racism that I experience opposed to a black man. I don’t fear for my life when I see a cop. I do not fear physical harm but that does not mean I don’t experience discrimination. I understand that the fearing for your life is more detrimental than being called racial slurs and told I’m a cultural experience for non-Asian men to have (“I’ve never been with an Asian girl” Yeah and you never will, you asswipe).
Okay seriously side note: I literally had someone tell me that Asian women are more disregarded because people who fought in the Vietnam and Korean war had Asian prostitutes in the Asian countries so now people equivocate Asian women as more sexual beings, so like if I find a prostitute here in America, do I go back to Korea and regard all white men as prostitutes? What the fuck man? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Like because of what happened YEARS and YEARS ago, it’s okay for you to think that I am more willing to have sex with you? Also if you seek out prostitutes in a different country, you will most likely get a prostitute of the race of that country so you cannot come back to your own country and then tell your children, “all Asian women are prostitutes.” You bigoted sociopath.
ANYWAY,
I have been disregarded as a human because of my race many times. My parents experience it more simply because they have an accent. They are viewed as lesser. We do not understand white privilege but for some reason, other races think we do.
I mean remember when Miley Cyrus did this and then said that she was just making a “goofy face.” Sure Miley, SURE.
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We also ignore Chris Rock’s shitty use of those Asian children during the Oscars. How am I supposed to applaud a man that talks about being discriminated against while he discriminates another race?
Why is it more acceptable to discriminate against Asians? Why?
If you are so upset about discrimination, then stand up for other people discriminated against too. Don’t say, “Well I got discriminated against so it’s okay for me to discriminate other people who don’t look like me. Let’s bring some Asian children up here and put racist stereotypes on them and make everyone laugh, what a great idea.”
I, personally, will always stand up for anyone who is being discriminated against. I will defend the rights of every human being if I can. I will not stay silent. I will march alongside people of all races. I will not use other people’s pain as a punchline. I will show up. And I would like everyone else to do the same.
So yeah, Asian people do need to do more but other NBPOCs need to do more as well. All POCs need to do more for one another. Along with that, everyone, as people, need to do more. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and watch other people get discriminated against. We all need to stand up for one another because we are all humans. We cannot keep categorizing one another.
This movie is a call to action for us NBPOCs. The movie calls us to do more. It wants us to stop being silent. We cannot sit by when an entire group of people is being discriminated, belittled, and attacked. We need to do something. A wake up call.
And to all people, this is a reflection of our society that we need to change. We need to step up.
This movie is so important. It is one of the most important movies. I will forever stand by that statement.
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Whitewashing in Hollywood

Okay, take a good long look at the title of this post, buckle down, and let’s get started because this is a big one.

If you know me in real life (I’m sorry) or you follow any of my social media (even more sorry), you might know of my strong hatred towards the continuous whitewashing in Hollywood. While I know that this applies to all different races, I am going to mainly focus on the whitewashing of Asian culture because I am Asian and that’s my only reasoning. This, however, can apply to all whitewashing out there.

Whitewashing has been prevalent in all of Hollywood. It has been ignored and “justified” by almost everyone. Going all the way back Mickey Rooney, the whitest guy to ever exist, playing an Asian landlord to comes off as the most racist thing towards Asian I have seen happen. This was just one of the many examples of yellowface that appeared.

Hollywood realized that it was probably racist (no duh) since blackface didn’t get the best reviews (for the most obvious reason in history) but they didn’t want to stop casting white actors to play Asian parts (for whatever ridiculous reason). So the best solution was to just put well-known white actors to play Asian parts without disguising them and just kind of look the other way. Okay, makes perfect sense, thanks. They leave the excuse of “well if we cast actually Asian people, no one will watch it” and then pretend that that statement isn’t a blatantly racist. EXCUSE ME? What kind of shitty excuse is that? That’s basically saying, “Asian don’t sell, white people are better.”

But of course, being racist against Asians isn’t the same thing as, say being racist against African Americans as I’ve been told, which just made me sit there in silence and wonder if these people have actually been in an accident that permanently damaged their brains.

Some people say that it’s up to interpretation much like popular animes getting turned into live-action movies with white actors. For example, Dragonball Z and Ghost in The Shell.

Let me explain why it is wrong to cast white actors in these movies.

Dragonball:

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  1. Dragonball is one of the longest, most popular animes in history. It started in 1984 and continues to run today. The story was inspired by a CHINESE novel called Journey to the West and the “West” in the novel was referencing the Western Regions which mainly consisted of Central Asia and India, NOT EUROPE OR AMERICA. I REPEAT NOT EUROPE OF AMERICA.
  2. While the races of the characters are not specified, the anime stems from (surprise) JAPAN. The characters were created and generally speaking drawn for a Japanese audience.
  3. Now, yes the movie was directed by an Asian person so it CAN’T possibly be racist. But MAYBE the director also thought that the movie wouldn’t sell in America if the main character was Asian which brings us back to Asian trying to cater to white people because of being told that as a race, we are inferior and not important.
  4. Only the main characters are white. While Goku, Bulma, and Piccolo are played by white people, the rest are Asian. This immediately puts Asians in the background of a franchise that was created and made popular by Asians. Do you see what’s wrong now? It’s like Asia taking Star Wars and making Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo Asian while everyone else is white. (Also Star Wars was racist too but whatever moving on).
    Or let’s take a popular western cartoon: Batman and turning him Asian while everyone else is white. DO YOU SEE WHAT I’M SAYING NOW? Also an Asian Batman would be awesome so shut up.
  5. Also the movie was terrible.

Ghost in The Shell:

  1. Okay so many things. A lot of the reasons are basically the same as the one above except for the fact that the series is literally SET IN JAPAN. The main character’s name is Motoko Kusanagi. Give me one white person with that name. TELL ME that is a viable white person name.
  2. Again only the main characters are white, everyone else is Asian.
  3. People even talked about how they wanted to make Scarlett Johanssen look more Asian and was like “oh too far, I guess.”
  4. Now getting into the concept of the series as a whole, yes the main character is technically a robot (in the simplest term) and can be interpreted in many different ways. That is totally understandable. Maybe the movie can be seen as a more futuristic take of it, not making it be set in a specific part of the world. Sure that’s fine but here’s the problem with that. The reason why this is insulting is that is the definition of whitewashing. It’s changing a prominently Asian franchise and saying “yeah but what if it was white people instead of Asians?” It’s saying that it will be better if white people were in it. This series is HUGE in Japan and anyone who likes manga/anime. It started in 1989. It’s pretty huge. That’s why when a big live-action movie comes along, it’s insulting to see a white woman play a character has been written as inherently Asian. Because we are systematically told that being Asian is ugly and not pleasing in Western culture. It’s insulting and annoying.

Changing long-standing originally Asian franchises and replacing important, main characters with white people is so insulting. It dashes the dreams of Asian children by telling them that they aren’t worthy. It dashes the dreams of Asian adults that we are also not worthy to play these roles. Some of us dream of becoming the live embodiments of these characters. Take example: Mulan. I’m not Chinese but I always looked up to Mulan because that was the one relatable Asian princess in the Disney franchise. I saw these characters and they looked a little like me and it made me feel important and special. Seeing Scarlett Johansson take on the role of a character who is supposed to be Asian is defeating. It opens doors for other big anime series that I enjoy to be whitewashed. Hollywood and entertainment cater to the biggest consumers, which brings Asian directors, writers, creators to make their characters look a little bit more westernized so that it will sell in Western culture. It tells Asian that our small eyes are not beautiful, that our dark hair is undesirable, and that we are not important enough. I used to hate being Asian. I thought I was the ugliest person in the world (now I only think I’m the second ugliest). I hated my small eyes and my overall Asian face. I hated my culture because I so desperately wanted to be white and American. I was fed through media and underrepresentation that my race was not important and ugly. Now I’m proud of my heritage and race. But it took years of self-affirmation and climbing out of the “white people are better” hole that was created for me by this massive underrepresentation that was occurring.

I’ve even been told that “being racist towards Asians wasn’t really racist.” Think about that for a second. I’ve been told that “being racist towards Asians was totally an okay thing to do because we didn’t have “negative” stereotypes.” You can take that bullshit and throw it right out the window because no, that is not okay.

Trying to justify the entire belittling and mockery of a race is fucked up and makes you a terrible human being. Just because our “stereotypes” aren’t negative, I’m supposed to be okay with you putting me in a box and labeling me?

I’m not good at math so people tell me, “wow that’s so not Asian of you.” Or when a math problem occurs, people turn to me and is like, “here you go, you’re Asian, go for it.” What kind of fuckery is that? Do you not know how insulting that is? How shitty that makes me feel? Being good at math is not an inherently Asian trait. We aren’t born knowing our multiplication tables and we don’t spend our time, solving math problems in the dark.

The reason why Asians are seen good at math or education in general is because it’s our culture. We are raised to believe that being smart and intelligent is the way to success. I remember my dad telling me that I had to get good grades and I had to be good at everything so that I wouldn’t get made fun of for being Asian. Let that sink in. My parents were so afraid that I would be mocked and ridiculed for my race that they pushed me to be intelligent. I don’t know if this is true for other Asian families in Western culture but it was true for me. We try so hard and we push ourselves in education because we know that being smart is a way of success because our skin color won’t do that for us. We don’t have the same privileges that white people do. Also the importance of being smart and intelligent is so big and SO stressed in Asian culture that it’s actually not a good thing. Students push themselves so hard that it becomes dangerous. I know people who killed themselves because they couldn’t get into college and was so filled with shame that they didn’ see any other way. I know the pressure of being pushed to the limit. You need to understand, family is everything in Asian culture and people laugh at the fact that we say “we are trying to bring honor to our family” but it’s true. Everything I do is scrutinized and reflected upon my parents in Asian society. If I mess up a little bit, my entire family is shamed. That’s why succeeding as an individual is important because it means your family succeeds, not only you. Sure that’s not the whole case and not every family is like that but it’s very cultural and I feel like a lot of different Asians understand this.

Now let me take this back to why whitewashing in Hollywood is a shitty thing to do. Also just the fact that I have to explain this is fucking ridiculous. Because movies like these exist:

Replacing characters that are supposed to be Asian with white people is just plain shitty. Also the white messiah complex in certain movies is ridiculous too such as The Last Samurai and The Great Wall. It shows that white people are superior to Asians. It shows us that we need white people to save us from whatever. It makes Asians watching feel slightly inferior. Like the Chinese can’t even defend their most well-known infrastructure, the Great Wall of China, without a white man swooping in and being like, “don’t worry, lower race, the white man is here.”

I think Constance Wu says it best here and here:

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While The Great Wall was directed by a Chinese man, the message still resonates the same. Asians are not important enough. Seeing that happen is heartbreaking. Considering Asians make up 60% of the world’s population, I still have to sit around and watch Emma Stone play a basically half Asian character or Tom Cruise restructure the Japanese Army for the “better”. I still have to be told that being Asian means not being seen as an equal to white people, that being Asian is basically equivalent to “not important enough to represent accurately.”
I’ve been told that I can’t take a fucking joke when people slant their eyes and tell me to say “Herro” instead of “Hello.” I can’t slip up a little bit without people mocking me for being Asian. I apparently become people’s definition of the Asian culture and have to “hold up my end” of their “Asian friend.” I am not token Asian so if you’ve ever said, “I have an Asian friend so it’s okay.” Go fuck yourself and we aren’t friends anymore.
I find it everywhere. I had someone ask me if I spoke English. Yes, I speak English. Probably better than you can. I had people judge me because I majored in English by saying, “shouldn’t you be majoring in math or trying to become a doctor or something?” They belittle me for what I want to do as an individual based on what they know about the stereotypes of my race. I had someone ask me if I was Japanese and I said that I was Korean and they had the nerve to tell me that, “Oh okay but it’s all the same, isn’t it?” NO. IT’S NOT because they are very different countries and we don’t even speak the same fucking language. I get it, we look similar. Sometimes I get confused but I don’t go up to them and start speaking Korean because I assume they are Korean. I don’t go up to white people and ask if they know this other white person because they are white. And no, I don’t know your Japanese classmate from your hometown of farawayville. BECAUSE THAT IS A SHITTY THING TO ASSUME. And for the last time, I don’t know Jackie Chan. WE AREN’T FROM THE SAME COUNTRY, YOU ASSHOLE.
They make fun of Asian immigrants who can’t speak English well enough while they only know one language. You try and learn another language at the age of 40 and come back to me. If I ever see you come for my parents, who literally lived in two countries that spoke two different languages that were not their native language and THRIVED, or any immigrant parents, I will fucking end you.

So to summarize, whitewashing is a big fucking problem in Hollywood and we need to acknowledge it now and change it.

Thanks for reading.

Peace out.

-jl

I Don’t Want To Be Cho Chang.

For a costume party, I wanted to be Hermione Granger. My friend laughed at me and told me that I had to be Cho Chang or no one would get it. But I didn’t want to be Cho Chang, no one wants to be Cho Chang but apparently I didn’t have any other choices.

One day we all picked what princess we wanted to be. I was assigned Mulan. I didn’t have a choice. I have nothing against Mulan. I think she’s badass but I just wish I had a choice.

One day I made the mistake of telling someone that I didn’t like sushi and they laughed and said “But you’re Asian.” I told someone I didn’t like math and they said “But you’re Asian.” I said I was an English major and someone said, “But you’re Asian.” I was so confused. It not only made me angry but it made me feel like I failed at something I didn’t even know I was participating in. I didn’t understand why me being Asian had anything to do with my likes and dislikes.


I met a boy once that told me that he didn’t date Asian girls. He said that Asian girls weren’t his type. I sat there and wondered if he would like me if I was white. Would he have tried to get to know me more if I was? He didn’t even care if we were compatible or not, he just didn’t date Asian girls.

I met another boy who said he wanted to date an Asian to see what that was like. I didn’t understand what that meant. Would dating me be an experience he can put on a resume? “I dated an Asian once. It was an interesting experiment. She really liked me but I was only in it to see what it’s like to date someone of a different race.”

I didn’t realize that my ethnicity played so much into my love life. I didn’t realize it was such a big deal to some people.


Whenever I got accepted into anything, my friends would say, “it’s probably because you’re Asian.” I know they didn’t mean it but it made me question everything. “They probably wanted to fulfill the diversity quota.” I don’t think they understand that they were saying that I wasn’t good enough to get in, that I only got in because of how I looked. It makes me feel small and useless.

“You’re just here for decoration.”


Sometimes you have to learn to laugh at yourself. Sometimes you have to make fun of yourself. Sometimes you just gotta be a good sport about it. Sometimes you gotta laugh it off. Sometimes when someone tells you to open your eyes, you have to brush it off so that you won’t want to go home and rip out your eyes so people would stop saying that.

That way it won’t hurt as bad. That way you won’t hate yourself as much. That way you learn to survive better.


One day, I woke up and realized that I wasn’t colorless. One day, I woke up and I couldn’t be Hermione Granger anymore.

Pet Peeves with a Side of I Do Not Like You

The first day back from Scotland and we had class.

It was pretty normal. We sat there and discussed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’ve read the book before. I still didn’t enjoy it the second time. It did bring about interesting questions about society and its views of normality as well as the suppression of emotions and the battle between good and evil. Of course when I was reading it the first time all I cared about was why any of this mattered and why I was reading it. Yay for growing up.

The rest of the day was kind of boring except for the fact that Ian McKellen was filming two doors down from where I was staying. Gandalf/Magneto was filming the new Sherlock Holmes movie a couple of doors down from me. The fangirl in me exploded everywhere. It was so great. I didn’t get to meet him but just knowing that we were basically neighbors for a few hours was enough to make my entire day.

Besides that little burst of excitement, I basically hung out with a few people and ate candy. 

This is a bit off topic and I couldn’t think of a good transition. 

Have you ever met someone that you were forced to put up with because everyone else seemed to like them? This happens to me quite a bit. I am actually terrible at putting up with people. If I don’t like you, I don’t like to associate with you in anyway. I try to give them a chance before I decide but if they don’t pass, I will not like them and I will never like them ever. My tolerance level of dealing with people I don’t like is very low. I will just exude dislike and you will be very aware that I do not like you. I try and not be very forward about my hatred but I can’t help it if it comes out once in a while.

Some of the people I cannot stand are people that try too hard. Like what are you trying so hard for? Who are you trying to impress so badly? Why does it matter so much to you? Why do you have to be acknowledged by every human being on this planet? 

Then there are the people who try too hard by talking out of their ass. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, shut up. If you are going to argue for the sake of arguing, please leave my presence because I will not put up with you. I will get you escorted out of my life. If you are just trying to get a reaction out of me, the only reaction you’ll receive is me walking away. You aren’t worth me punching you in the face. I will never do that to my fists because it would involve touching you and I have no intentions of being in physical contact with you in anyway. Goodbye.

On top of those people, there are people who try too hard by talking out of their ass and thinking they are the greatest people in the universe because of it. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people think they are better than everyone else. You aren’t better than me. I am not better than you. There might be different aspects of our lives that we are good and bad at. Just because you can play the piano does not mean you are better than me. Just because I have read a book you haven’t doesn’t mean I’m better than you. So shut the hell up. Seriously. 

Another one of my pet peeves is when people make sexist, homophobic or seriously racist jokes to be funny. I am a huge advocate in equal rights and if you think it’s funny to make a joke about how women are lesser, I will hate you til the end of time. It’s not just because I’m a woman that I am sensitive to women oppressing jokes. It is because I’m not an ignorant asshole. It’s just that I know so many people have gone through the worst times in their lives because of something they cannot control. I know so many people are fighting just for the right to be human. I know people get belittled, raped and murdered because of their gender, race or sexuality. People have killed themselves because society tells them they are wrong and see nothing bad in these “jokes” about them. People have sacrificed and are sacrificing their lives to be considered equal and you are going to sit there and joke about it? Are you that unfunny that you have to tell jokes about that? You can’t tell a damn knock knock joke instead? Oh also when I get insulted and people are like, “Learn to take a joke,” I’m like “Learn to tell a funny joke then.” How insecure are you that you have to belittle others just to feel better about yourself? It’s not funny. You’re not funny. You will never be funny. You are an asshole and I hope you play hide and seek and never get found. 

Stop being full of it and pretending like you’re the greatest human being. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I forgot you do know everything in the world. You probably wrote the bible, right? You also probably walk on water and heal the blind. You probably perform surgery with your eyes closed and can juggle 10 things in one hand. You probably know every word in the dictionary in 7 different languages. You can probably recite the entire Magna Carta to me in both english and latin. I bet you know how to play every instrument that was ever made. Ugh, why are you so smart and so much greater than everyone else in the world? How lucky I am that God has blessed my life with your presence. I would be so lost without your expert guidance in my life. Here are a few gifs to show you how much you mean to me.

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I usually don’t try to be a terrible human being but sometimes I can’t help it. Sometimes I gotta vent. Sometimes I gotta let my Mr. Hyde shine through. Literary plug = success.

Anyways, thanks for putting up with my ranting. 

-Jonny

Green and Purple Ketchup

I’m going to start this post by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone and that this is my own opinion of my own life.

I am Korean. I was born in Korea and my parents are Korean and I speak Korean. I am Korean. Just incase you guys were wondering.

However, I wasn’t raised in Korea. I wasn’t even raised in the U.S. I was raised in a small, Middle Eastern country called Qatar. I spent the majority of my life being confused about who I am. I’m actually always confused about everything. It’s kind of the theme of my life. Anyways, I can’t even say that I’m Asian-American because I’m not. The more I think about it, the more I realize how foreign the American culture is to me. I mean one time I heard people talking about green and purple ketchup and I was like “Excuse me, what?” That sounds so gross, I do not care if it tasted the same as red ketchup or that it was fun and cool. It’s weird. It forever will be weird to me and I’m glad it never caught on. So yeah, I wasn’t in this country for all of these little fads and whatever. Like American Girl dolls, when I told people I had no idea what in the name of Buddha that was, they looked at me like I was crazy. I looked at them like they were crazy and we just stood there looking at each other like the other was crazy. It was a crazy stare off. It was crazy. Also I think dolls are creepy. Even if I was in the States when I was young, I wouldn’t buy them. I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that those things come alive and kill people in the dead of night and I ain’t about to be killed by no creepy ass dolls. If I go, I’m gonna go by an epic battle between me and a dinosaur. So yeah, I’m not completely familiar with the American culture nor am I familiar with the Korean culture. I grew up watching Pokemon, Scooby Doo, Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Korean shows. I grew up reading Harry Potter and Korean comic books. So yeah I didn’t know what to call myself for a very long time.

But I am Korean. I will always be Korean. I can pretend to be anything else on the inside but on the outside I will always be Korean to everyone. I was never aware of my race until I got to 7th grade. I mean I always knew I was different, kids would tease me about looking different but I just thought I looked different but didn’t think I was a different race. I didn’t look like the other kids and I didn’t live like the other kids. I didn’t talk like the other kids and I didn’t eat like the other kids. I was finally able to classify myself as Asian and from then on I wore that label on my forehead. I legit wanted to be Lizzie McGuire when I was younger. I also legit thought I could turn into Lizzie McGuire so you can see much it rocked my world when I realized I could never be Lizzie McGuire. If I could be anyone, it would be London Tipton and I am not going to be London Tipton.

But I was labeled. I had to be smart, good at math, eat weird food, not be able to drive, become a doctor, have parents that owned a dry cleaning place, be a master at martial arts and etc etc. First of all, I hate math. I cannot stand math. I’m an English major, not Pre-Med, I want to be a writer, not a doctor. I am not smart, I do the best I can in my academics but I’m far from smart. I do eat weird food but it’s only weird to you because you don’t know what it is. I mean some American food is weird to Koreans. I might love kimchi and rice but I also love chicken nuggets and spaghetti. I am never picky with food, I love me some food. Mmmm, food. Now I’m hungry, well I’m always hungry. My parents also don’t own a dry cleaning place, they actually own an American burger place. Let that one sink in. Also my dad used to be the manager of a bakery in Qatar. I have a very strange life. Also I am terrible at driving but not because I’m asian but because I just suck. I could be white and I’d still suck at driving. I also don’t know martial arts, I used to take martial art lessons but I stopped taking it because I sucked. I hate fighting. I am terrible at fighting. I will run away if someone attacks me, actually I wouldn’t run away because I don’t run. I would just lay on the ground and pretend to be dead. I don’t really fit the Asian stereotype. I used to call myself a twinkie, yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Also I don’t get this whole yellow skin thing. I am not yellow. I am a golden brown. I have a perma-tan. I am not yellow. No asian I know is yellow. If I see someone that’s yellow, I would take them to the hospital.

I tried so hard to live up to these stereotypes because if I didn’t, I wasn’t asian but as much as I tried, I couldn’t live up to them. I hated myself for being who I was. I would not be able to look in the mirror for a long time because I wasn’t like the others, because I was different. I used to get so offended and mad when people would make a joke about me. I left so belittled and less of a person. I didn’t know what I was then I realized I don’t have to be anything. I am just me. I am my own breed. I might be labeled but I didn’t have to be what people labeled me. I was just Jonny. I didn’t have to be smart, I just had to try my best. I didn’t have to become a doctor if I didn’t want to, I could be whatever I wanted to be as long as I dedicated myself to it. I mean I tell asian jokes and I make fun of myself all the time. I don’t care if people ask me “So like what are you?” or “Where are you from when you not from here?” I know what they are trying to ask so I just tell them. It’s really not a big deal. It does annoy me a little when people ask if I’m from South Korea or North Korea. Then they try to justify that question by saying something like “Yeah I know you can’t get out of North Korea but I mean you could’ve like escaped or something, you know?” Why do people continue to be stupid? This only annoys me because of how uneducated the person is. Really? Watch the news once in a while or pay attention in class. I really am not as interesting as people think I am. I did not escape out of an oppressive country with only a few things in my worn out backpack. I didn’t carry my parents on my back as I crossed the border into freedom that is South Korea. I simply got a visa and a plane ticket and moved here. My life is actually really boring. There was some weird and strange things about my life but I’m really not that interesting.

I am all about equal rights and getting rid of racism. I am very passionate about people being treated like equals. I hate it when someone treats someone else less than human because of something they cannot control. I am all about fighting for justice and stuff like that.

But I am not going to let small minded people offend me. I am not going to let stereotypes define me. I am my own person. I don’t have to be asian or american. I can’t help what I look like on the outside but I can be whomever I want to be on the inside. I’m not saying this to make people walk on eggshells around me. I’m saying this so that I don’t let things like that offend me so go ahead and joke around about my race, I don’t care. I only care if you intend to do it to hurt people, to make them feel like less of a human being. I will only get angry if you say things like that because you believe you are better than them.

So when your friends make a joke about how small your eyes are or what kind of food you should like, just laugh it off. It’s not you, it’s them. Just know that you are better than a stereotype, you are your own person, you define yourself. You are whomever you want to be. Don’t let stupid comments break down who you are. Don’t let small minded people get into your head. Just accept yourself as undefinable to society. Be different. I’ve learned to let go of the anger and hatred. I learned to laugh at myself and I think that’s an important part in life, to be able to laugh at yourself, to be comfortable enough with yourself that little comments don’t hurt you anymore. I am a very weird person, I am super awkward and strange all the time. I don’t mind it. It’s just who I am. I am proud of my heritage and my nationality. I am proud to know two different languages. I love Korea, Qatar and America. I love where I am from and where I am now. It might’ve taken a long time to get here and there might still be parts of me that are trying to accept who I am but I want you to know that it’s not easy but it’s possible. Just be happy with who you are and your little quirks. Just accept yourself for not being perfect. Perfection is boring anyways. I love who you are and you should too. I don’t love you because I think you are perfect and there’s nothing wrong with you, I love you because you are different, you have flaws and you make mistakes. I love you because you’re human and you aren’t a stereotype. I love you for who you are not who they think you should be. As cheesy as this is, I love you for you. I just hope that you will love me in the same way too.

But seriously, look how disgusting these fries look with purple ketchup. Why would you ever be excited about this?

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-Jonny