reading a post about asian ethnotypes and stereotypes and
(excerpt from this post)
hate to relate everything to homestuck but there are clear stereotypes leading to the popularity of a particular trend within homestuck ethnicity headcanoning: AKA poc prospits vs white derses. and, by extension, asian prospits vs. nonasian derses.
the reinforcement of stereotyping is so unabashedly blatant that it pains me to think about and try and explain this in terms that are understandable; but i’ll try my best to properly communicate my thoughts on the issue.
prospit is less popular than derse. not gonna lie, i’m a derse kid fan myself. prospit is less popular for many reasons (development is just plain better for the derse kids, most of the prospits except john get largely ignored/ character arcs aren’t completed well at all, people find that the derse kids are more relatable due to their less obviously bright personalities, etc. note that this is swapped for the trolls.) and for some strange, twisted reason, this makes people want to shove their poc headcanons on to the prospits. Well, not necessarily prospit is less popular therefore they have more poc headcanons, but:
there is a clear link between the “prospits are more likely to be HCed as people of colour” fact and the “prospit kids are generally less popular than derse kids”. you can argue that it’s because people prefer the whole prerequisite for derse, but that isn’t solely the case. People like to project their fantasies onto the characters they like; ergo, they like to envision their favourite perfect white model Striders and Lalondes, because it’s something they want to see in the characters that they view as superior. I was the same, when i first got into homestuck: i was all for imagining jade and john as fun quirky chinese kids versus dave and rose, pale as the moon and perfect in every way. because, despite how much i love all the kids, i related to dave and rose more, especially, and i was eager to project my fantasies in the same way.
while the most popular depiction of all the kids is skinny and white, this is the case even more so for derse. i’ve seen my fair share of POC headcanons for the strilondes; plenty of black and hispanic headcanons for them but the fact remains that they are still generally the vast minority in comparison to the majority of “perfect” looking white daves, dirks, roses and roxys. whereas if people want to make their art look more “diverse”, what’s their first thought? change jade’s skintone a little darker, by a shade or two, cause she lived on an island. jake too. dark hair? prospit thing, so they’re “more suited” to being depicted as POC. the weird-ass general image of all the prospits being glasses-wearing nerds? obviously the derse kids aren’t so they’re white, and if anyone’s gotta be POC, then its gonna be the Prospits. imperfect prospits, with their buckteeth and glasses.
(ignoring the fact that all the kids are nerds.)
this is bullshit.
people seem to forget that hair dye is a thing, that the art style of homestuck is vastly interpretive, that the #FFFFFF of their skin is merely for artistic ease because hey guess what? all the kids are aracial.
now, onto the asian thing.
isn’t it just absolutely astounding how han chinese is the largest ethnic group in the world and yet it’s the most underrepresented main group in the entire fandom?
Not to mention the fact that asian headcanons, if they exist at all, consist largely of japanese and korean ones. i have absolutely nothing against this, because they’re few and far between as it is, but you’re forgetting that the rise in popularity of japanese and koreans is due to the influence of pop culture; namely, anime and k-pop. both of which have western fanbases that can be incredibly harmful upon the livelihood of their respective root countries, and the increasing rate at which fetishising “cute japanese schoolgirls” and “hot korean boys” etc. becomes more and more common. fetishising east asians is not a compliment. it’s on the same level as fujoshi culture normalising the fetishisation of m/m relationships. it’s harmful and uncomfortable for all involved.
as a (mainly) han chinese teenager, all i can tell you is this: as a child, I sometimes wished that i could be korean, maybe. or japanese. because if i couldn’t be white, then it’d be nice to have been viewed as part of the group of “perfect asians” - the skinny, pale, beautiful japanese / korean models that apparently represent asia for the rest of the world. obviously, there are many, many problems with this mindset- the world’s view on asian people had forced me into thinking that i wasn’t good enough if i wasn’t exactly how they saw asian people should be. representation matters, in that it’s comforting to find characters just like you, that have the same or similar cultural experiences to you, being showcased throughout fandom and media content. i cannot emphasise this enough.
the fandom has an abhorrent habit of ignoring the rest of asia which, in case you didn’t get the memo, contains over 60% of the world’s entire population. that’s right. and within that 60% contains a plethora of different cultures, languages and racial groups (within China alone there are 56 different ones.)
so, where are my malaysian lalondes? my chinese-indonesian striders? pakistani rose? tibetan roxy? kazakh dave? there are literal hundreds upon thousands of different separate groups i could name all of which don’t necessarily include the main ethnic groups within japan and korea.
*i’m not trying to bash on korean or japanese people. i know that as a chinese person i already have a highly significant vantage point over even the more commonly acknowledged south asian groups ie. thailand, indonesia, cambodia, india, malaysia, etc. but, the effect of the popularity of weeaboo/otaku/koreaboo culture has gone too far and it’s become sickening.
*i’m also not trying to make people who already have nonasian POC headcanons for the kids feel bad. i appreciate everything you’re doing; this is just me trying to remind the world that asia exists.
basically, if you realise you’re making fancontent that follows this trend of either:
- all white kids, or one slightly-darker-skinned-jade-amongst-a-sea-of-pale-faces
- POC prospits vs white derse kids
maybe, just maybe you could think about researching and including asian derse kids in your headcanons. I know that a lot of people like to see themselves in these characters (myself included- why do you think i’m so worked up about telling people about asian striders?) and i understand that. At the end of the day, i can’t change anything about what anyone’s doing and i certainly don’t want to pressure people into thinking that they’re doing everything wrong.
my sole objective is to maybe let people at least consider thinking over what their accepted headcanons are, and perhaps push towards a change that will mean that i don’t feel quite as alone as i do creating south-east asian strider-lalonde content.
in conclusion: the white derse vs nonwhite prospit dichotomy is bad and needs to be stopped. and also asia is a very large continent with over 4 billion people on it and many, many ethnic groups.