Silent: An Ode to Lilly Onakuramara
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Politics and Activism

Silent: An Ode to Lilly Onakuramara

Oh Lilly, you deserved to be created for so much more than a racist character trope.

Silent: An Ode to Lilly Onakuramara
KoreAm Magazine

Pitch Perfect was released on September 28, 2012 with an ensemble cast. The movie centered around an all-female acapella group called the Barden Bellas.
One of the eight Bellas was Asian. Named Lilly Onakuramara, she was played by Hana Mae Lee, an actress of Korean and Japanese descent.

Out of the 112-page script, she had only twelve speaking lines. The majority of those lines were inaudible.

In 2015, Pitch Perfect 2 was released.

"Hello. My name is Lilly Onakuramara. I was born with gills like a fish."

When my slightest breath is still too loud here,
When my smallest footsteps make too much sound here,
Can I just be quiet?

When my word spoken is a word too much here,
When my world broken is a world too far from here,
Can I just be quiet?

Is there time for a breath,
Is there a time for a moment,
Before the heels of my shoes slap the streets again?

Can I afford to speak softly now,
Can I afford to bow my head now,
As long as my signs read loud and clear?

When just existing is already too loud for them,
When living unhushed lives isn’t enough for them,
Am I allowed to be silent?
Or only Silent Asian?
Or only Silent Asian Girl?

Though Hana Mae Lee is largely known for her role in Pitch Perfect, she is a hugely accomplished designer and model, having designed for Juicy Couture and Mossimo while also owning her own clothing line. Support her fashion line Hanamahn and read more about her here!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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