When it comes to East Asian women, there is a very specific view of what they should look like. People often expect them to be small and thin, with sleek, straight black hair. This is not what all East Asian women look like, but it is certainly what most of the East Asian women succeeding in American media look like.
Popular Asian-American actresses like Constance Wu, Lana Condor, and Kelly Marie Tran, all seem to fit this description. And it isn't their fault. I'm happy to see their success since Asian-Americans are so underrepresented. The issue is not that these women are succeeding, it's the perception of what Asian beauty should be. There is enough pressure to fit a certain body type in many Asian-American households, with these same beauty standards being widespread in East Asian countries.
In the United States, women are beginning to promote body positivity, with many of them being more open about their bodies on social media, and a number of plus-size models, such as Ashley Graham, speaking out about issues of inclusion in the modeling industry. What's missing from these movements is Asian women. Yes, of course, there are some, but Asian-American women seem to be rarely represented in these discussions of body positivity. East Asian women should be encouraged to embrace their bodies too, especially for those who don't exactly fit into what many see as the standard for Asian beauty.
Everyone deserves to see themselves being represented and to see that they can succeed no matter what they look like. Going forward, I hope to see more Asian plus-size models being celebrated. There are already some steps being taken in South Korea, with models like Taylor Tak promoting size inclusivity in the modeling industry. Hopefully, this extends to Asian women in the United States as well. It's been a great year for Asian-American representation, and I'd love to see this continue with Asian women of all sizes.