Media exposure has heightened throughout the years. We live in a culture where people are excited to see movies and TV shows that come out. Although there are a few outliers that don't enjoy it as much, it is inevitable to hear about it, especially if the media content is trending because people are constantly raving about its excellence. "Crazy Rich Asians" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" are a few of the movies that have been trending, and people cannot stop talking about them!
For the longest, there has been a lack of Asian representation in the media. However, the only time Asians were represented in media was when they are the nerds or the ones who excel in school; talk about repetitive. Creating this kind of perception as the standard almost always is wrongly portraying the true Asian representation. Since media only portrays Asians that way, non-Asians will assume that all Asians are like this, which is not the case. In terms of the Asian people, we must deal with the stereotypes implemented in everyone's brain, which can be a burden on us. It can pressure us to push towards being like that, which is not wrong. However, we will be disappointed in ourselves if we couldn't live up to that standard of being the model minority.
The directors of the respective movies created a different plot and identity for the Asian characters. "Crazy Rich Asians" and "To All The Boys I've Loved Before"are dealing with everyday problems relatable to the audience. The Asian characters in the movies have problems that do not relate to school, which challenges the portrayal norm. Society is used to portraying the Asians in media as only trying to excel in school and not worry about anything else that isn't school related. This unconventional attempt at portraying the Asian characters as not school-oriented emphasizes the idea that we shouldn't stick to the labels society presents to us. Instead, we have the choice to challenge the stereotypes.
Having this new Asian representation is truly empowering because Asians people embrace the fact that we don't have to be only identified as the nerdy kids who want to do well at any cost. The bigger picture is that people shouldn't feel obligated to follow the stereotypes presented to us. Moreover, we shouldn't feel ashamed for defying the labels. We can foster a plethora of identities if we put our mind to it!