If You Don't Want To Be Stereotyped, Don't Be The Stereotype

If You Don't Want To Be Stereotyped, Don't Be The Stereotype

Another 'hard to swallow' pill derived from the Subtle Asian Traits Facebook group.


As an Asian American from the Midwest who came to Los Angeles for college, I had a unique viewpoint of going from an area with very little Asian American culture, to an area that was filled to the brim with it. In Southern California, I learned about all that characterized an Asian American, from a love of 'boba' to ABGs, raves, false eyelashes, and exclusion of non-Asians.

Quite recently, a Facebook group called 'Subtle Asian Traits' appeared, and within short weeks, garnered nearly one million members worldwide. Most Asians you ask will know of the group, yet hardly any non-Asians will have known anything about it. This group turned out to be a conglomeration of memes that delved up Asian-American obsessions.

Though the group can be thought of as uniting people of similar backgrounds, it also exposes many race-related issues. For instance, people would glamorize their adhesion to Asian-American stereotypes while trashing people who stereotyped them - in the same breath. By this, I mean people would talk about their obsessions with boba, anime, ABGs, and more (thus adhering strongly to the Asian stereotype), yet have a shared hatred of non-Asians who would then stereotype them. This is a huge issue that keeps racial barriers up and prevents Asian Americans from making any improvements of being more normally thought of in society.

Moreover, so many of the stereotypes that Asians pledge to aren't even because they truly like the item/activity - it's more driven by social acceptance in the Asian community. For instance, boba is a good drink but it's not a holy grail like some Asians treat it as. Likely the main reason that Boba is mentioned thousands of times in the Subtle Asian Traits Facebook group is that everyone appears to like it, and liking boba seems to be what garners attention and mutual interests. Another example is ABGs - Asian Baby Girls - who effortfully attempt to look like the ABG stereotype. This would include certain makeup, tattoos, always wearing false eyelashes, and loving money. There's no way that someone who had never heard of an ABG would decide one day to pick up this personality and look. There's a societal factor that glamorizes ABGs and makes Asian girls want to look more like this kind of person. But, by looking more like this kind of person, they are adhering to a stereotype.

Then, another common part of the Facebook group is to see a non-Asian posting, asking innocently curious questions, and then Asians commenting very exclusive, repelling comments about their 'ignorance' back at them because there was so much as a hint of stereotyping in their question. This itself is another stereotype of Asian Americans - being exclusive towards other races - which they enforce as they make these kinds of comments in the group.

Asians can't make any steps forward in society with groups and comments like these floating around. The Asian community is what I'm the most familiar with, of course, but this same concept applies to all different kinds of ethnicities. There are people all over the place who fall into their ethnic community and do their best to adhere to the most universal traits. It may be the easiest path to take for social acceptance. But at what cost? By a group having these shared likes/activities, it does become the stereotype, and we can't be so sensitive when people outside of the race notice and point it out.

If Asian Americans put as much effort into adhering to American culture, which should not be hard since it's where most of us were born and raised, we would start making more concrete improvements. Other ethnicities would then see more similarities between us and them, and they'd start treating us the way they treat any other person.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.


In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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