HomeBad Ass AsiansTo All The Boys I've Ever Loved to Premiere This August;...

To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved to Premiere This August; Slights Asian Boys

Lara Condor
Lara Condor plays Lara Jean, the main character in the upcoming ‘To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved’

 

Crazy Rich Asians is getting all the hype for must-see movies for this summer, but the sleeper film could be another movie with an Asian American lead, To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved.

AAPI looking for representation in the movies will experience representation overload this summer. To All the Boys I Ever Loved is based on the best-selling coming-of-age trilogy by Korean American author Jenny Han. The highly anticipated movie will be coming to Netflix Aug. 17, two days after Crazy Rich Asians premiers.

All the Boys follows the misadventures of American teenager Lara Jean Song Covey, played by Vietnamese American actor Lana Condor, after someone releases a box of letters she’s written to her crushes — without her knowing.

It has been described as this year’s The Edge of Seventeen, which came out last year starring Filipina American actress Hailee Steinfeld. Unlike Seinfeld’s portrayal of a white teenager in Seventeen, All the Boys’ Lara Jean will undeniably be a Korean American character.

It will be interesting to see how all the teens and preteens react to having to relate to an Asian American. My bet is that the emotional ups and downs experienced by Lara Jean will be instantly recognized by that demographic.

Lara Jean has two sisters, Margot and Kitty played by Janel Parrish (Pretty LIttle Liars) and Anna Cathcart (Descendants 2), respectively, so the movie is a bonanza for Asian American ingenues.

“Being Asian” is not part of the plot, said Han in a GMA interview. She asserted that race is part of a character’s identity, but it is not the whole identity.

“I don’t know if people realize how long it’s been since we last saw a movie starring an Asian American girl,” the author tells Teen Vogue. “It’s been 25 years since The Joy Luck Club! That is a really long time to wait to see yourself reflected back at you on screen. My priority is for Asian American kids to see themselves in stories, to see a face like theirs. They need to know that their stories are universal too, that they too can fall in love in a teen movie.”

Hoo-ray for representation!

Unless you’re an Asian American teenage boy.

Not one of Lara Jean’s exposed crushes is Asian American and that hurts a demographic that has been at the bottom in the date-ability scale based on the Asian male stereotypes. We know the racist hurdles placed in front of Asian males for hundreds of years so that now its become — in some circles — a deeply entrenched part of American culture.

Asian males get swiped right, again. Han’s novel, and now the movie, seems to go along with this trope. Ouch! That hurts!

Honeybuttergal

Perhaps we should be so use to this stereotype by now that we should be able to tough it out for this movie. However, even as we celebrate the representation in the Asian American family featured in this move, the oversight or marginalization or whatever you want to call it, doesn’t lessen the emotional and psychological harm caused by the absence of Asian guys. At this point, in this movie, I would have settled for even a token Asian guy if he could have merited Lara Jean’s interest.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Re: to all The Boys I’ve Ever Loved to Premiere This August Slights Asian Boys: 30% or nearly 1 out of 3 humans on Earth are Asian Men. In the West, folks have not realized how sexy we are! Just saying. We just be doing something right! :))

  2. RE: To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved to Premiere This August: Slights Asian Boys: Netflix seems to have a habit of producing this whitewashed content, and still they don’t learn. Having a selection of international content doesn’t make it ok.

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