Chinese hair ornament, thought to have been worn by the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908).  Made from gilded copper alloy worked into phoenix-shapes, decorated with pearls, other gemstones, and kingfisher feathers.  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.

A lot of people think representation in media/Hollywood is a trivial matter and not one of the “real issues.” But when Asian-Americans are dehumanized by their portrayals (or lack thereof), the impact can go far beyond mere social perception, resulting in hate crimes and institutional harm like discriminatory legislation. For Asian-Americans to be treated as people, we must be depicted as people. Representation matters.

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