What a Year So Far.

Life is moving fast. 2017 was a historic year for Asian representation in America.

Photo Credit: allkp
Photo Credit: chinafilminsider.com/

Last year Liu Yifei was cast as Mulan, Kelly Marie Tran became the first Asian American lead in a Star Wars movie, Bangtan Sonyeondan – better known as BTS – became the very first K-artist, besides PSY, to ever win a Billboard Music Award and the first K-group to ever perform at the American Music Awards and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. BTS also continue to break their own records in the Billboard standings and seem to only be growing in popularity.

Photo Credit: billboard.com

Only a month into 2018 Asian representation is looking up and just a couple of days ago BTS again made history as the first K-group and second K-artist ever to earn a RIAA Gold CertificationRIAA Gold Certification for their remix of their son “Mic Drop” with Japanese American DJ Steve Aoki and rapper Desiigner; and just today (February 4) Chinese Canadian singer Kris Wu became the first Chinese Artist to ever preform at the Superbowl Half-Time Show.

Photo Credit: nerdist.com

These examples are just a couple of the milestones that have been met in just a short amount of time. Hopefully these two events this year, and several from late last year, are indicative of how the rest of this year, and the future, will go on the Asian/ East Asian Representation front.

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Mulan — Finally

Chinese actor Liu YiFei has officially been cast as my all time favorite Disney character: Mulan. Childhood and current me are screaming, actually screaming, I couldn’t be more thrilled, finally there is a movie figuredheaded by an Asian (and a woman, no less)!

As a little kid it always felt weird that the only character I had that looked like me was animated, but NO LONGER. As someone who has always dreamed of being Mulan, yeah I’m a little insulted that a talent agent didn’t stop me in the street and go: “you, you are Mulan,” and cast me on the spot but let’s be real…

Photo Credit: cfensi.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: cfensi.wordpress.com

YiFei looks ready to stop the Hun Army and save China already.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when Disney anounced they were going to make a live-action version, I probably thought, “Oh god, another chance to whitewash.” But look at her. Although, I’m very worried that there will be some oomph lost from “I’ll Make a Man Out of You“, but you know what I am still so incredibly excited and want the movie to come out tomorrow.

This casting means so much to me not only because it means that, hello, I get relive Mulan again, but little kid me who thought a cartoon character was all I had to look up to and always thought I looked kind of strange is now jumping up and down yelling “I look like Mulan (not really, but the sentiment is there).” This movie had better go well or else my hopes and dreams will be dashed.

Photo Credit: cfensi.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: cfensi.wordpress.com

 

Interracial marriage

1 in 12, 8.4% of marriages are interracial in the United States, an all-time high. Compared to 1980, interracial marriage has increased more than 5 %!

Studies show that Hispanics and Asians are the most common to marry different races. Also, interestingly, Asian women have double the rate of Asian men marrying a different race, 36% to 17%. Additionally, black men were nearly three times more likely to marry a different race than black women, which is 24% to 9%.

In the United States, Hawaii was found to have the most interracial marriages for its population. Almost half of the population who married from 2008-2010 was interracial. On the other hand, the state that has the lowest rate of interracial marriage is Vermont, which has only 4%.

Despite of the growth in interracial marriage, the Southern States like Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi still think that interracial marriage should be illegal. I think this is sad, because the people there are still not willing to accept different races and I don’t think it’s right.

However, this article made me happy because the fact suggests that the relationship between different races has greatly improved.

Also, the more races mixed, the healthier and prettier the baby is!

Asian population in the U.S

I see a lot of Asian people (well, including me) in the United States, especially in California. I wondered what percentage of the U.S. population is made up by Asian-Americans.

An Asian-American is a person who has an origin from an Asian country (either combination with additional races, or alone) ; Cambodia, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Phillipines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India.

According to the U.S census Bureau, they occupy 5.6% of the U.S population in 2010 which is 17.3 million people (3.8 million of Chinese, 3.2 million of Fillipinos, 2.8 million of Asian Indians, 1.7 million of Vietnamese, 1.6 million of Koreans, and 1.3 million of Japanese).

Now, if you take a look at by state…

Even though this picture is from 2000, according to the U.S census Bureau, California still has the highest population of Asians than any other state, which is approximately 5.6 million people.

BECAUSE, CALIFORNIA ROCKS.

Anyway, there are many Asian people in America.

The Trials of Adoption

This may sound petty, but I have always wanted an adorable little Asian baby.

Similar to the one in the upper left picture, he/she will speak 3 languages and of course maintain the most cutest and stylish of haircuts.

He/she will attend New York’s best preparatory schools beginning at the age of  3 and will attend one of the 8 Ivy League colleges.

Hey, its possible. : )

So lately I have wondered exactly how this could happen.

Due to the fact that one cannot tell who their lifelong soul mate may be, I have realized how much I would love to adopt a child from Asia.

Curious about the procedures of adoption I did some research and discovered an article posted in “Psychology Today.”

Unfortunately, adoption isn’t so simple these days.

Today, the cost of agency and private adoptions ranges at a price of $5,000 to $40,000 while international adoptions can range from $7,000 to $30,000. As one could understand, this is the major barrier that disables people from adopting children. In addition, the delays to receive a child internationally are immense. Commonly, the adoptive parents must wait a near 2 years in order to hold their child for the first time. This is caused by the required “home study” as well as regulating whether all necessary requirements are met by the adopters.

In addition, international adoptions are “legal midfields” in such countries as Belarus, Guatemala, Nepal, and Vietnam. Harvard Law School Professor of Child Advocacy stated that international children are being “denied their fundamental human right to be ‘nurtured in their formative years by permanent parents in real families.’” Personally, I believe that families who are inclined to adopt a child should be thanked for their generosity and their ability to stop the world’s exceeding population. I do understand the cost for the international transportation, but should they really have to pay thousands upon thousands?

Honestly, believing that I would be in a well off financial state, I would not mind the costs for adopting a child, however this price range can easily halt an excited adopter’s future prospects.

In order to help the children and our nation, the government should make it more affordable for able parents to adopt, while maintaining the required regulations.

I really do hope to adopt a child one day and hold one of these most adorable little babies in my own arms.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything At All.

For the first time in a very long time, I was shocked and shaken to the very core. I was ashamed to know that I share the world with such narrow minded people and I was reminded of the ignorance and blind arrogance that plagues and clings to our society like a heavy, dirty rag.

A few days ago, my friend shared a YouTube video with me. It was a video of a blonde girl, Alexandra Wallace, from UCLA, singling out a group of people, stereotyping all Asians. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of disgusting. Click here to watch the video.

In her rant, she complained about the burdens of having Asians in the dorms on the weekend. Their family members come on the weekends to cook for them and she claimed that their parents were not letting them grow independent. Apparently, having parents who care for their children enough to come and cook homemade food for them is a huge nuisance for her. At this point, Alexandra left me thinking “Why does it matter to you?”

It only snowballed from that point.

Rolling her eyes, Alexandra continued to rant about Asians in the library. Apparently while poor Alex was studying her political science, Asians were always on the phone. She raised a mocking hand to her face and opened her flagrant mouth: “OHHH CHING CHONG BING BONG TING TONG.”She heartlessly disclaimed the severity of the earthquake in Japan and proudly mounted herself on a rocky pedestal of fool’s gold when she called herself “the polite, American girl.” She publicly and very ironically announced that Asians needed to learn “American manners.” Sadly, this queen bee, this high and mighty girl who studies political science has forgotten that America, a salad bowl of cultures, was founded on its immigrants. “American manners” is in part Asian manners as well as manners of Hispanics, Africans, Germans, Italians, and more.

What shocked me the most was the her complete dismissal of the disaster that has shocked Japan. In her few short words, she had repudiated the heartbreak and worry that the earthquake brought onto many. My friend, Minako Otake, could not sleep all night when she heard of the news because she was worried for her family at home. She was tense, waiting for the call to hear the comforting voice of her mom and dad telling her that they were okay and to know that they weren’t a part of the thousands that were reported to be injured or dead. My boyfriend’s family lives in Japan. As Alexandra called it, “the tsunami thing” is a very good excuse to answer a phone call in the library.

The motives for her video were racist, debasing, and facile. I am sure that Asian families aren’t the only “hoards” of people that come to visit on the weekends. I am sure that Asians aren’t the only ones in the library that are using their phones and I am sure that she has probably realized the magnitude of her words. In these 2 minutes and 52 seconds, Alexandra Wallace of UCLA proved her sheer ignorance.

I am Korean American and proud of it. I know that when I get into college, wherever that may be, my family will come visit me on the weekends too and bring me food and maybe do my laundry. It is not because I am Asian. It is because I know my family will try to make my first year of college as comfortable as it can be. I know that I will probably be one of the many people from different ethnicities that might use their phones in the library. I know that my language might sound like a harsh din of rushing vowels and clanging consonants to the foreign, prejudiced ear but it is most definitely not something to be mocked or ashamed of.

In a world where people strive to be different and find beauty in the rarity of things, it is remarkable and eye opening when I find someone so narrow minded and audacious as she. To label a group of people because of their roots is wrong. What kind of world would we live in if we were all one generic race, one generic language, and one generic look? Hopefully, Alexandra Wallace (and many others) will come to terms with the many cultures that constitute our diverse home that we call America. Until then, I hope, at the very least, the magnitude of her words and their ramifications has taught her that if she doesn’t have anything nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything at all.