By Genesis Rose, Senior
The lack of racial representation in film, television, and media is an ongoing conversation. Despite the many strides towards creating diverse and inclusive casts, the pressure remains for more accurate depictions of just how racially and ethnically diverse America is.
The standard Hollywood quota seems to have shifted from a single token black character to two black characters, an asian character, and a racially ambiguous character to “balance out” an otherwise all white cast (As seen in Spiderman: Homecoming, 13 Reasons Why, Famous In Love, Fox News, Major Crimes).
Another common relationship displayed in superhero films is the minority sidekick to a white hero. This is seen in Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Green Lantern, Arrow. This depicts minorities as people who are only able to follow. If we are to be represented it should be in all positions and aspects. Despite the fact that Marvel is releasing Black Panther a film with a majority black cast, it is only a small stand-alone in comparison to the countless superhero films that have a majority white cast.
Representation should not be treated like the newest cinematic trend destined to die out. It is imperative. The sense of self and connectedness that is achieved by having a face similar to yours personifying the struggles unique to your people and embodying your culture is a phenomenon everyone deserves to feel.
Representation is pointless if it is inaccurate. The recurring stereotypical and offensive representations of minority groups just further perpetuate those stereotypes and normalizes the offensive interactions we are regularly forced to partake in.
I hope the release of the Black Panther film shows large cinematic studios that there is a market for movies that have a cast that defers from the norm. The growth and expansion of diversity in media, film, and television will usher in a new beauty standard.
The current standard of eurocentric beauty encourages those of us who don’t meet the standard to not only hate ourselves, but our traits and ancestry.
Everyone should be proud of who they are and what they look like, and having people who look like them praised like Regina George, sought after like Sandy Olsson, acclaimed like Carrie Bradshaw, and in love like Ross Geller on a mainstream platform with the same audience and exposure would create a new definition of what is considered beautiful nationwide.
Only time will tell whether or not society is ready for such a drastic change; however, the current growth in minority appreciation as well as the resistance against eurocentric beauty standards and racial expectations that exists on social media seem to indicate a shift in demographics that point toward an audience that is more tolerable and open minded.