on the importance of seeing yourself out there

Filipinos are mutts. There is that asian, polynesian, hispanic pirate ancestry. I put myself in with the brown girls.

Interestingly, I’m classified as Asian in whatever checkboxes track that at work, and not hispanic. It was a revelation living with my chicano housemate, David. We were effortlessly family. Though the are-filipinos-hispanic is up for debate. A quick search and an unfortunate dally in comment-land shows this are-filipinos-hispanic question has some passion behind it. But, boy, did I digress.

She has my nose!

And my skin color!

And she’s fierce. Most of her poses are dynamic and powerful.

I wish I had her hair. The movie is great. But this isn’t a critique of animation or narrative. I reveled in seeing brown people with my nose and my skin there on screen being themselves, being important, not being the window-dressing for characters who didn’t look like me. Felt the same way watching Luke Cage. Not the exact shade of brown, but glorious browns and women too, who kicked ass.

When any story unfolds, you wonder who you identify with? Does anything about this character or situation resonate with you? So the first step is to latch onto obvious commonalities – socio economic status, geographic location, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion…all the ways one slices, dices and categorizes people; all the ways you figure out if you are us or them. Then…the story tries to break through all of the list that you are not and gets you ensconced into the POV they propose.

Gonna keep this short, because this isn’t a thesis (though it could be), and I haven’t had my coffee yet. Nothing against white folk (some of my best friends are white 😉 ), but it just felt good to see someone like me.

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