For my new story I have a character who is half American and half asian. He’s popular, A student. He gets good grades because he has a photographic memory. But I don’t know I should include that he is A student, because I don’t want to stereotype him. So, my question is how can I portray him correctly without stereotyping him?
I’m scared to do that. But I was thinking to add another asian character who struggles to get good grades. I don’t know xD
I think you shouldn’t add another Asian ethnicity character who gets bad grades, I think that would make it worse. Him being mixed makes it a bit better. I’d suggest not all his grades being good - grades that don’t require only good memory. For example, him having photographic memory could make him not focused on other senses, making his hearing bad, consequently he wouldn’t recognise notes and be bad at Music? Be used to other art he sees, so he couldn’t be original in Arts and Design, making him bad? Try to think in that way! Let me know if I helped!
Thank you for asking this question! Representation is important and I’m glad you care enough to ask.
I’m Asian American, more specifically, Chinese American. Personally, I think it’s okay to include that he is an A student, as long as you show that he has strengths, flaws, and motivations like every other character. What makes the stereotype harmful is when the only reason a character is depicted as intelligent is because of their race or ethnicity. Asian Americans, like any other group of people, have “good” grades and “bad” grades too.
There is no one “correct” way of portraying Asian-Americans because there are millions of us and our personalities cannot be reduced to a few traits. Asian characters should be as well developed as all of your other characters, instead of their entire identity revolving around the grade they receive.
Also, make sure them being Asian isn’t portrayed as a personality trait! People do that sometimes.
You should make him a slacker and unmotivated to get the work done but he glances at the page and passes with flying colors
Maybe he even prefers different food like his mother makes a traditional Asian meal but he’s playing video games with a pizza hanging out his mouth then later comes to respect his heritage and makes more effort to not disappoint his family
If your character is meant to be really smart and that actually has something to to with your story, I think you should keep it, and agree with having more asians than just the one,
It’s good to ask, but I dont think you should change your WHOLE vision because of others.
I think the most prevalent part of the Asians are smart stereotype — for both south and East Asians — is that parents push them into it. That they come from a strict home life where their parents expect them to get good grades. This stereotype happens whether they’re Chinese, Korean, Indian or Japanese or anything else!
While it is often true — some of my Indian friends got told not to come home from uni if they didn’t get a first in their degree — it’s one that we’d like to break away from. So it’s nice to have a character who’s smart because they’re smart! Instead of smart because of parental expectations that border on abuse
That is a super good idea. I have a black character who is smart. The two of them had some history (She broke up with him because she discovered that she’s asexual.) But I still can use your idea! Thank you
Yeah, I don’t want that either. I try to make the parents being supportive ( like motivate them to get A, but not punish them if they don’t get A.)
Okay cool happy I could help you!
I love the asian parent I know haha. He’s exactly how you would want. A parent who doesn’t just expect the kid to be smart and respectful, but teaches it and is a good role model.
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