More than One Noun

dearLast night I watched the movie, “Dear White People”.  I found it enjoyable to watch young black students who weren’t the typical stereotypes we often see in films. Instead, each character felt like a real person who I would come across in ordinary life. The movie touched on a topic deeper than race but identity which is something we all face no matter which tribe we are from. We often go towards those who are like us but what if we feel like we identify with no one. The reason we get upset at labels are the limitations they can put on us.

Should we pretend we are or aren’t the labels? It can feel like a betrayal against our ancestors or even our close family. For myself, I am told to mark Mexican on forms even though I’ve only been to Mexico three times in my life, but when I travel, I am American. I use to call myself, Mexican-American-Australian because I connected with the Australian culture so much when I lived there in college.

There has been more culturally diverse entertainment released, “Fresh Off the Boat” about an Asian family, “The Mindy Project” with Mindy portraying herself, and Jane the Virgin, about a Mexican family. It’s been great watching these new types of stories and insight into different cultures but some of them still make the white person the evil antagonist.

Every human, no matter our color, have different types of antagonist through out our life. Most of the time its ourself.

When I was 8 years old, I had a best friend come over to play. When she met my cousins, she realized I was Mexican. When she asked me, “Are you Mexican?” Her question made me feel like it was wrong to be Mexican. After that day, our innocent color blind friendship was never the same. For years, I thought she pulled away from me because of my race but when I discovered she married into a family that wasn’t white, I realized it was I who pulled away. That day, she made me see my label, and it wasn’t until college I found a new tribe to belong to – the tv and media geeks tribe.

Today we see the wars, and riots that are taking places because of our differences. Labels of any kind, true or not true, can put us in a circle of limitations and we can also put those limitations on others. We are more than one noun but are indeed complex with many stories.

What are your thoughts about the new wave of diverse entertainment, do you feel the depictions are true?


  1. Sounds like an interesting film and one I’ve never heard of – I must watch it!
    I think that sometimes, however rightly or wrongly, we cling to our labels as a way of quickly communicating who we are to the outside world but also so that we understand ourselves.

    Personally, I’m all for a world or more diverse entertainment as long as the depictions are accurate and not harmful to anyone. For example, as a woman, I enjoy seeing shows with women in them but I like for them to have strong roles and not be passive as I find that damaging to young people.

    All in all, a really interesting post. Thank you.

    Liliya Chain

    1. Well put, and I think that had always been the fear, entertainment in general exaggerates which usually leads to stereotypes or give the wrong impression but when done well it can be insight and thought provoking. I did ask a few friends what they thought of the film and some of them said they related to the characters. What is needed is diversity in not just the actors but writers and directors. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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