Had to take a break from studying for my final finals (Neuro written & practical exams then finitoooooo!!!) to make a quick note about Emma Stone playing an Asian
(Allison Ng) in the new movie, Aloha.
Aside from the fact that I like her as an actress, think she's beautiful, etc., etc. and how people think she will still do a great job in the movie...that's not the point.
I can't continue studying until I get this thought out: I hope Asian women don't feel even more pressure to look Western.
|Oh you know, just your typical, average Asian woman with the last name Ng and all.|
There's already a growing demographic of Asian women (and men) who opt for cosmetic surgery or things like eyelid tape, etc. because they feel like they'd be more beautiful with stereotypically Western features: small, sharp noses, big eyes, double-creased eyelids, etc. That's what's sold to them.
The problem isn't whether Emma can "PASS" as a hapa or not. The problem is that blatantly choosing a naturally blonde Caucasian actress
(known for being uber fair-skinned and becoming famous as a redhead) to portray someone who is supposed to be naturally hapa sends the message to Asian women that they are, yet again, expected to look like Emma Stone. Only they're not supposed to. Because Emma isn't Asian.
Not even 1/4! It's not like there's a lack of naturally beautiful young Asian women they could have casted or anything.
Let's be real...the only girl whiter than Emma Stone would be Taylor Swift, but at least she'd be more convincing. But still...that takes us back to the point. You can't just type-cast someone for a racial role because you think they could pass at it since they have almond eyes or whatever criteria you think they satisfy. It's 2015 and there are PLENTY of Asians, Asian-Americans, & multiracial Asians looking to break into acting. What's the point of making a movie set in Hawaii with a main character who is supposed to be Asian and then NOT have Asian or Pacific Islander actors??
Unless they edit the script to show her as someone adopted by an Asian family, how did they expect people to react? It also still doesn't excuse the reports of no Asian or Pacific Islander actors in a movie called ALOHA set IN Hawaii
(what, background extras count???).
I mean, where they drunk
when they thought this was a great idea? Or have they been missing for the last 50 years and thought Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's would still elicit high fives today?
Sometimes I wonder if the character was supposed to be a black woman or a half-black woman, would they still have casted a white-white woman?
Or would they be able to realize how unrealistic that is? It's the same thing they're doing now, only I can't believe how many times all the various Asian communities have to keep speaking up to remind everyone/each other how underrepresented we are at a public level. Isn't it high time we get decent representation as the diverse population that we are? We aren't all fobby. We don't all look alike. Not all of us know karate or like anime or are super rich or super poor. Many of us are just middle class. Hardworking, middle class, educated, skilled peeps just like someone you might know.
At the end of the day, Hollywood makes something very clear: if you're Asian, you either get casted for being fobby or ... nope. Sorry, that's the only role available.
If there are even any roles to remotely represent a "normal" character, we can't see you in them because, in our minds, you should be fobby and you're either too fobby for the normal roles or not fobby enough for the fobby ones.
K, now that this is out of my system...all of the real Ngs, stand up and applaud yourselves.
To every Asian woman out there: You are 100% beautiful as you are.
Don't feel pressured to look like Caucasian women playing Asian characters because they Biologically just don't have the same genes that you do. It's not fair for you to try and bend yourself to fit into a mold that someone else created for you. If anything, feel flattered that they're
trying to look like you