The conversation about Emma Stone being too white bothers me. A lot.

There has been a veritable uproar-to the point where the director has apologized- about Emma Stone being cast in the movie Aloha has a quarter Chinese, quarter Hawaiian, half Scandinavian character. While everyone seems to think the movie is not that great in the  first place, people are pissed that an actress that is clearly white is playing a character of Asian descent.

And it pisses me off. Nay, it makes me livid.

Not the casting choice, but the commentary.

It is entirely within the realm of possibility that a woman with that ancestry could look (at least similar) to Emma Stone. How do I know this? Well, for starters, I’m married to a (gorgeous) man of mixed heritage himself. He has four siblings, and when you see a photo of them–they’re clearly related, but they’re not clearly siblings. Some of them look markedly more Filipino, while some of them lean much more towards their Spanish/Italian ancestry.

However, the reason it makes me livid is on behalf of my (non-existent) children.

My children will be (roughly):

1/4 Irish
1/4 Italian
1/4 Filipino
1/4 General English Mutt

and part Native American, Spanish, French etc.  And it makes my heart beat faster and my blood pressure rise that some day they will have to defend their Filipino heritage to someone because “they don’t look Filipino”. Or have to explain when someone comments on their excellent potatoes or pasta that their Mom was Irish and their dad was Italian only to have someone say “But you don’t look Irish, Italian” etc.

How dare you. How dare you force my children to defend their cultural heritage because they don’t look they way you think a Filipino, Irish, Italian person “ought” to look. My children should not be pigeonholed because of a narrow definition of what the world thinks they should look like.

Does Emma Stone have any Chinese or Hawaiian heritage? No idea, but I bet not. Could Allison Ng, the character she plays look like her? Absolutely.

Advertisements