Growing Up Asian-American Told By GIFS

Growing Up Asian-American Told By GIFS

5 things you can definitely relate to if you grew up in an Asian-American household.
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Growing up Asian-American, there were a lot of questions people asked me; some being reasonable and some were just flat out ridiculous. There are also a lot of things that you realize that only you do and that none of your non-Asian friends do.

1. No Shoes In The House

EVER. As soon as you walk into the house, you better take off your shoes and leave 'em at the door because mother would not be pleased with you tracking all this outside dirt into the freshly cleaned house. And when your friends came over, you would have to tell them to take off their shoes and they would be momentarily confused and you have to explain, "It's an Asian thing." But you can never forget the look on your mom's face when you took more than two steps in the house with your shoes on...

2. The Fear of Telling Your Parents Your Grade

That moment you were in class...your teacher is handing back your test and you pray that it's an A. Ever since I was in elementary school, I was expected to excel in my classes. Whether I was in the most advanced reading group or got the most advanced spelling list, (I was spelling postmortem at the age of eight.) I was always expected to get the best of the best of grades. It sounds so stereotypical, which it is, but I always needed to get that A. I remember a specific time where I got a 96 on a test and my mom asked me, "Where did the other four points go?", like REALLY mother, really.

3. That Moment You Pull Out Your VERY Asian Lunch at School

If your mom didn't pack you a super Asian lunch at least once a week IDK what y'all were doing because I was out here in fourth grade pulling out my fried rice and eggrolls while everyone else was chowing down on Chef Boyardee cans and Lunchables. Sometimes, though, you just wanted to be like all the other kids and get to make your own personal pizzas.

4. Your Parents Being Strict On Everything with Money

I have never met someone so meticulous in regards to money like my mother. She isn't completely stingy but rather so careful with her funds and careful not to get charged extra for everything. When we are at the store checking out, she will check what the cashier scanned, how many items she scanned, if the cashier took the security tag off or not, and then look over the receipt immediately after. I thought she was just being extra until one day when my sister and I went shopping without her and we weren't paying attention and the cashier scanned the same item three times and left a security tag on the other. We then had to go all the way back to the mall the next day. Lessons learned.

5. Growing Up Immersed in Culture

Even though I was born in America, my parents always wanted to make sure I never forgot my roots. I attended a school every Sunday in order to learn the Vietnamese language. I was constantly immersed in the Vietnamese culture and I am so grateful for that. Even though I was born and raised in America, I am still full-blown Vietnamese and I will never forget it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Netflix's 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Is The Best Kind Of Social Justice Statement

...and that's because it doesn't try to be.

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Netflix recently released a teaser trailer for its new rom-com, "To All The Boys I've Loved Before." Based on the novel written by Jenny Han, the film is set to be released on August 17, 2018.

To remain as spoiler-free as possible, the general plot follows Lara Jean Song Covey, a teenage girl who writes love letters to all of her crushes. She stows them away in a hatbox, only to discover that, somehow, all of the letters have been delivered to each boy.

Oh, and Lara Jean also happens to be half-Korean.

This fact isn't touched upon in the teaser trailer, and if the movie stays faithful to the source material, it plays a small component in Lara Jean's overall identity (aside from the sweet, genuine efforts her Caucasian father makes to preserve her connection with her Korean heritage).

Speaking from my own perspective of an Asian-American, this is exactly what we need.

I don't mean to downplay the significance of representing one's culture in a person's identity; movies and books that explore that deep connection in Asian-American lives, like "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan and "The Woman Warrior" by Maxine Hong Kingston, are riveting and powerful tales. They thread the intricacies of cross-cultural experiences through memories of the ghosts of countries left behind that linger still.

But this style of storytelling about an Asian-American, biracial teenage girl sweetly falling in love is refreshing. This is not only because it's rare to find fleshed out Asian characters in mainstream media, but it's also because it doesn't make a big deal of it.

Lara Jean is part-Asian, but there's so much more to her than simply being a check mark for diversity. She's treated like any other protagonist found in typical teenage rom-coms. She's normalized. And for now, that's all Asian representation really needs.

You see, the fact remains that there is very little visibility of Asian-Americans in the mainstream media. I won't pretend to know an exact cause for that, and I don't believe there is a singular answer. Part of it may be rooted in the cultural values of stability that Hollywood isn't notorious for providing, and part of it may be rooted in the lack of fulfilling and well-rounded roles for Asian-American actors.

Nevertheless, Asian-Americans only account for three to four percent of all roles in scripted broadcast and cable shows, at least in a UCLA report cited by The Guardian. They are overwhelmingly underrepresented across all types of media.

So when this teaser trailer came out and I saw Lana Condor, an accomplished actress of Vietnamese descent, playing the protagonist in a movie whose trailer already had over 2.5 million views, I couldn't help but feel a giddy surge of elation. Because Netflix has done it right.

They gave diversity a place on the big screen, but they didn't make a billboard out of it. They didn't market this story as one championing diversity in a political and social climate that demands it. They didn't portray this movie as a groundbreaking step for people of color or women, even though it is in both respects.

In the vein of recent films like "Love, Simon," underrepresented minorities are presented casually, focusing on the character development and story above all else. "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" follows suit, offering a story that normalizes seeing minorities on the silver screen even more. And that's the truest and best way for social justice and representation.

Because you see, I'm one of many. I grew up barely seeing people who looked like me in roles that fully explored the depths of their character beyond gross oversimplifications or stereotypes of Asian-American cultures and personalities.

My story is not unique, and I won't pretend that it is. It's been told again and again before me.

So when I read books like "The Joy Luck Club" and "The Woman Warrior," I appreciate and admire the face of the Asian-American experience that they portray. But "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" gives that experience another face; perhaps, as some may say, a more assimilated one. A more relatable one.

Because it's not the color of Lara Jean's skin or the shape of her eyes that people focus on when they see this trailer. It's the gentleness of her character, the sweetness and earnestness and shyness she shows about falling in love that many of us understand.

And for that, there is a powerful universality to Lara Jean Song Covey, a girl whose heritage may belong to two different worlds, but whose experiences belong to us all.

Cover Image Credit:

Netflix

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