Which Race Box Do You Choose?

Thanks to the American way of thinking, for a while now I’ve been thinking a LOT about race. It didn’t use to be a problem, I didn’t care about race because Peru was supposed to be this mix of races of white (mostly Spaniards), Andean people, Black, Asians (mostly Chinese and Japanese).

For a while now, while completing polls and documents, people have added the race option that usually carries some of these: Caucasian, Native American, African-American, Asian, Polynesian, Latino, Other. Though, recently I’ve seen the added option of Mixed, besides the Other option.

Perhaps I didn’t notice this before as I was a minor and my parents would be filling documentation, but I remember I’ve always checked the “other” option because I can’t consider myself Asian… and I’ve stopped considering myself fully Latin American because it just doesn’t feel that way any longer. Not when I’m nudge on the street as people either say “oppar Gangnam Style” or relate my slanted eyes to either Jackie Chan or Jet Li. I’ll actually take them over Psy and the horse-dance though.

So I understand your pain, guys, for either being told they don’t fit within the black or latino communities, or being told to act a certain way.

Also, don’t forget Alexis Bledel speaks perfect Spanish unlike America Ferrera — come on, her Spanish is competent, but not in the level for the roles she usually gets — so not having Bledel speaking Spanish in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was a total missed opportunity since no one freaking expects Alexis Bledel to speak Spanish.

And yes, Hollywood expects his latinas to look like Sophia Loren.

I need to be a casting director and throw the whole casting process on its head.

2 responses to Which Race Box Do You Choose?

  1. yeah, in the US it is so frustrating when they say “check only one box” or “check the one you most identify with” because I consider myself equally Asian and Latina. So I often end up going for the “I do not wish to share this information” or “other” box. Or if it’s there, then ~something of Spanish descent~ since the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 3 centuries. I’m so glad when they let me check more than one.

    • I wonder what would happen if these actors enter the room speaking Spanish and refuse to speak in English until is completely necessary. Would they be told they’re not latinos enough?

      The thing is, I look very Chinese, except for body type and hair (which you can’t see any longer, but I have curly hair), so people can think I’m Chinese. When my friend from HK first saw me in school, she wondered where in China they spoke Spanish because I was talking to the Latin American crowd in school lol

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