As I wrote E3, WONDER WOMAN, FEMALE REPRESENTATION, I remembered that I wrote a similar post last year upon coming out of seeing Ghostbusters. It’s a bit of a mess but here is that post, tl;dr at the bottom:
14/06/2016: The new Ghostbusters and representation in the media (aka: HOMGGGG)
(aka: My journey into realising the importance of representation in the media)
I just watched the new Ghostbusters movie and HOOOOO I love it. I love it so much. In the middle of the movie I had a lil realisation (and almost cried, honestly) and so I will attempt to put it into words. I’m not good at being concise right off the bat so this’ll be a MESS and I’m gonna jump from point to point but whatever I need to get this written down. So prepare yourself.
This Ghostbusters movie came into my life at the most perfect time. This past week I have been revisiting all the things I used to do when I was a child.
Here is a list of the ones that are related to this thing I’m writing:
- Playing the MyScene online games and watching the MyScene movies (do you remember this franchise? I miss it. Far out. They were so cool bc they lived in New York.. anyway..)
- Playing the Bratz online games and watching the Bratz movies.
- Watching the Cheetah Girls movies. All three of them.
So, a lot of my childhood was spent on franchises (brands? idk) that involved the main characters being a group of girls being BFFS and doing cool girl things like shopping, and getting into mad adventures. (Oh, SADDLE CLUB too. I remember that bc I was that weird girl who loved horses).
I probably would have never realised the importance of representation today if I hadn’t decided to go on a nostalgia trip through my childhood this past week. This past week I honestly watched all three MyScene movies and I still love them I’m not even gonna lie (but they always did Madison wrong in those movies man, anyway, I digress). The movie channels on Foxtel also played all three Cheetah Girls movies at three in the morning so I recorded them and I’m up to the second one rn. I’m getting to my point I swear.
When I was 9 and watching all these shows I wasn’t aware of how much these shows influenced me. Ten years later, I still didn’t realise until just this week. On this nostalgia trip (that’s what I’m gonna call it now) I went and found old stories I used to write for fun. I wrote them on our old ancient computer but before that went into the trash I moved them onto my new one and thank God I did. I found out a few things reading them again:
- Surprisingly not that embarrassing. In fact,
- I am convinced I was at my peak at writing in 2007, it’s all just downhill now. But most importantly:
- A lot of what I wrote had similar themes to the movies I was watching at that age.
My 9 year old self’s stories were always about a group of girls (all the friends I had in primary, lmao) who went on adventures. I also did horror stories on the side bc I used to watch a bunch when I was that age (why???? idk that was back when the grudge was all that). So obviously the movies you watch have an impact on you. But ANYWAY, BACK TO MY POINT.
If you read my stories you’d probably be like ‘dude, this is the plot from MyScene goes Hollywood but you just added more horses, wtf’.
In one story my and like 3 of my best friends owned a stable and then suddenly by some twist of fate we formed a world famous girl band and we won multiple Grammy’s obvs and later on an Oscar for the biopic of our rise to stardom. Seriously y’all should check my writing out. It’s great. That’s what I wrote because that’s what I saw the girls in these movies doing.
Honestly, the plot of MyScene goes Hollywood is about them getting into a movie by pretending they’re extras and by the end of the movie they’re BEST FRIENDS with Lindsay Lohan. I would know bc I watched it three days ago. THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IRL EVER but lil ol me believed in it so hard and so I wrote my own crazy adventures starring me and my friends.
When it comes to representation in the media particularly with minorities and with female characters some people just tell you to use your imagination. Like they say representation in a movie is not all that important bc you as an Asian person can just use your imagination and put yourself in the white actor’s shoes. They say ‘you’ll be fine, get over it’.
I was always for more diverse representation in the media but I didn’t really feel it on a personal level, I just knew it was the right thing to support. It wasn’t until recently with shows like Fresh off the Boat where I was like ‘oh, this is what it feels like to really relate to a show’s characters’. And even then the family on Fresh off the Boat is Chinese and I’m Filipino. I was going somewhere with this paragraph but idk now.
Representation is important because there’s no better feeling than seeing someone exactly like you doing something cool and showing you that you can do it too. So many little girls are going to watch this new Ghostbusters movie and write stories about them and their friends saving the world by catching ghosts. So many little girls are going to want to go into science because of this movie. And I’m glad.
Don’t ever tell me representation in the media isn’t important.
…I’ll punch u.
tl;dr – this week I went on a personal journey and realised that representation in the media is IMPORTANT and we should always fight for it like don’t cast scarlett johansson in ghost in the shell she’s not asian. Anyway. So much for tl;dr. Have a great day.
Side note: CAN WE TALK ABOUT KATE MCKINNON IN THIS MOVIE PLEASE. I’VE LOVED HER FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME I’M SO GLAD SHE’S IN IT.