OWLS Colors Blog Tour: Crimson’s Upbringing and (Lack of) Connection to Colors

Hey guys! Hope you’ve all been enjoying all the OWLS posts this month (I know I have)

For this month we did a topic that a lot of our members were looking forward to. Two people that I can think of who were pretty excited about this month’s theme are Naja, who wrote about Killer Bee and the Shinobi of the Hidden Cloud Village, and Kat, who wrote about diversity in Bleach. For this blog tour I also noticed a lot of our members branching out of the anime fandom. For example, Arria wrote about live action movies, Lyn wrote about a South Korean webtoon, and Rai talked about Avatar

Me on the other hand. I was slightly nervous about the topic and for my tour stop I thought I’d do a little bit of “get to know me”, anime, and discussion post. Don’t worry, no baby pictures shall be disclosed in this post (hehehe)

“Colors” In My Life

Out of all my siblings, you could say that I had the most difficult time with my education and communicating with people. Since I was the first child in a non-English speaking family, I knew very little (if any) English when I went to school. My family is from Mexico and while they did try their best to teach me some English, all I really knew when I entered kindergarten was the alphabet. Luckily, my teacher was very patient with me and helped me along the way

As I grew up I had to take an ESL (English as a Second Language) class that cut into my regular school schedule. It was me and one of my bestfriends at the time and after about a year of ESL, I “graduated” from the class. I spoke English well enough that I no longer needed help

Outside of education, I’ve always lived with other Hispanics, specifically Mexicans. I used to live close enough to La Villita, which is a Mexican neighborhood out in Chicago. I grew up watching Telenovelas, which are Mexican dramas. I would camp out in the living room with my family and we’d all watch together. Most, if not all, of my friends up until college were either Mexican or descendants. It wasn’t until I went to college where the diversity among my friends began to expand

I started getting to know more people as I grew up. Being online has especially diversified the people I interact with, but my roots aren’t racist-free. My family has always been very vocal about what they think about other races. Things I don’t want to put here but that are common enough that I’m sure other minorities have heard them before, which is really sad considering we’re all in the same boat

Being Discriminated Against

In terms of discrimination, I’ve probably only felt put down because of my background twice. One time was when I was in high school and I went to see my counselor. I was really timid then and apparently being Mexican and quiet equated to not understanding English. It was the one time I was really humiliated because they spoke to me slowly and repeatedly asked me if I understood what they were saying. Suffice to say I never went back to see them

The second time wasn’t directly at me. It was during my youngest brother’s early elementary years. The school he was enrolled in was putting him in a bilingual class and my parents didn’t want that. We had to go to a meeting to get him placed into an all English speaking class. During that meeting one of the teachers? counselors? expressed sympathy (possibly) towards my situation as a kindergartener knowing no English. I took it negatively because of her tone and the way she implied I couldn’t handle learning

Now I mention all of this because I think it’s important as to why I had issues thinking of a post for the “Colors” prompt this month. As a bit of a recap, this is what the topic was:

We are all part of one race, the human race. “Colors” refers to people of color in anime. For this monthly topic, we will be discussing how people of color or characters of different “races” (a literal alien race) are represented in anime. Some topics we are considering is the dangers of stereotyping, bi-racial characters, and the importance of racial inclusion.

“Colors” In Anime

Like everyone’s mentioned in the previous posts, there are many people of different races in anime and they do a really awesome job at pointing things out, relating them to the real world, and just having a personal connection to them

Me on the other hand? I could only do surface analysis

  • Slaine is a Terran who grew up as a Martian and was abused and discriminated against because of his origins even though technically everyone was once from Earth
  • Haru felt isolated because of his genetics and has a complex over his eye color
  • Sohma is the Prince of Bengal and is usually cast aside, called upon by Ciel only when he’s needed. His personality tends to be childish and ignorant, which Ciel takes advantage of
  • Hitomi is from the Mystic Moon and treated differently because of her way of dress and ‘wives tales’ (not to mention that the Mystic Moon is said to be cursed)
  • Van is not only a Draconian (a cursed descendant of Atlantis) but from Fanelia, which is said to be a beautiful country but considered by others as ‘backwards’
  • Kazuma is an alter user from the Lost Ground who is pretty much a criminal because that’s what society views alter users that are not part of HOLY

There’s a lot of shows I could have written about in terms of “Colors” but I just couldn’t get into that mindset because I didn’t feel my post would be genuine and I really didn’t want to write something I wouldn’t be satisfied with. Especially not for OWLS, which is a group I really feel needs to have some passion behind it

So where does that leave me?

Lack of “Colors” In Media Doesn’t Bother Me

I had a bit of an OWLS crisis a few hours ago because it was already my day to post and I had nothing to really say about the topic. Yes, I really believe that being able to see yourself represented in media is important and it’s nice that people are seeing that more and more in new content (I hear a lot of people are excited about Coco since it has some Dia de los Muertos content and a Hispanic character). At the same time, however, I don’t really care for it on a personal level

When I watch something I’m not really concerned about the main character being a light skinned individual and oh look, his sidekick is darker, that’s me in life isn’t it? No. What concerns me is if I can connect to their actions, their struggles, and the message of the story regardless of what role they play in the story

Katsuki-Yuuri

For example, Katsuki Yuuri is asian. I’m not. Yes we’re essentially both people of color if we’re placing Caucasians as the majority, but he’s much lighter than me. We don’t really look alike and yeah, I don’t really know too many characters who have the same skin tone or background as me, but does that mean I can’t see myself represented in them? No, because race isn’t what makes me have connections to people and characters. I relate to Yuuri because he’s struggling with life, he doesn’t know what his future will look like, and he’s met people that inspire him to become better

And I think that’s one of the reasons so many people fell in love with him and the show

death-note

Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother me at all. It does, but not because I don’t feel represented or represented wrongly. It bothers me because it just doesn’t go with the story. For example, I was really upset about the Attack on Titan live action, which Lyn can testify to, because everyone in the movie was asian. Since it’s an adaptation of the anime/manga, I felt like the only asian actress should have been Mikasa (and 1 other) because it’s canon she’s the only asian left

Attack on Titan was a ‘last of humanity’ show and by having everyone cast as asian, I felt it took away from my enjoyment (so much I think I rated this movie less than 5/10)

“Colors” In Your Opinion

I know that Kat mentioned there are people who say they “don’t see color”. I fall into this category. I don’t see color in media in the sense that I won’t be upset if the main character doesn’t “look like me” (this phrase annoys me, lol). I just don’t see color as important unless that’s the point of the movie. If the story deals with the struggles of a person of color, then I pay more attention to how they’re treated, the way they’re portrayed, and their environment. I’ll feel less of a connection with them because I’ve never experienced much discrimination, but I can empathize

I haven’t really heard many people who take my view of race in media, especially now-a-days where everyone wants the main character or hero of the next big hit to be a person of color

I really do think it has to do with my upbringing and my lack of “Mexican pride” (I do think my culture is interesting but I don’t know too much about it and my family isn’t like your traditional Mexican families), but what about you guys?

What is your stance on race and representation in media?


Wow sorry this post got longer than I expected and I feel like I still didn’t get my point across but I tried. Don’t forget to check out Eren’s post Races and Themes in Sailor Moon: Good vs. Evil or Judgement vs. Acceptance, which was posted at the start of this week. We’re already nearing the end of the “Colors” tour, our last stops being over at Pinky’s Palace (4/28) and Two Happy Cats (4/29)!

Don’t forget to check out everyone else’s posts this month and join us during our monthly Recap Livestream on April 29 8pm CST

20 thoughts on “OWLS Colors Blog Tour: Crimson’s Upbringing and (Lack of) Connection to Colors

  1. This was an awesome read. I like how you talked about yourself instead doing something like anime like us. Sorry to hear you went through a lot. At least you were able to remain strong and show people you can do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with the comment above. This was a great read, and I really respect that you have shared so many personal things about your own life. All I can say is that I think it is awesome that you have stayed so strong throughout it all. Not everyone can do that, so as mentioned: respect! Thank you for sharing this post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: OWLS: Growing Up Biracial with Anime – Two Happy Cats

  4. THANK YOU CRIMSON for evaluating works NOT by the roles actors and characters are supposed to play, but HOW they act, involve the viewers, and work themselves physically and emotionally into the story. That’s my huge bit with the Ghost in the Shell live action and why I loved it, but more on that later. Your own experience was very insightful, especially for someone who has had the pleasure of meeting you IRL. It’s these kind of things that you’d never suspect, and you should never judge people for things you may not even know. For not having something to talk about, you sure put together one heck of a post! I love how you tied so many different characters together to one heavy theme. And of course, I’m always excited to see A.Z being mentioned (#SlaineDidNothingWrong). Sorry I was a lil’ late to the party, but great job this month dude!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • DUDE i had some issue over the bashing over GitS casting! but the masses beat me so i’ll just carry on with my own opinions in my head xD you know, i did have another idea but because everyone would be talking about minorities i didn’t think it was appropriate ^^;; so i just shelved it, will probably make a post of it one day

      yes, i try to think about that whenever i interact with people. everyone always puts up a front i think and i don’t think it’s bad bc why would you spill all your secrets to everyone you meet, you know? and i always hear the whole millennials + younger generation being so emotional and “crazy” and the older generation compares it to their “back in my day” stuff and i’m just, how can you compare things like that. i think even the most minor of things shouldn’t be dismissed because they could mean everything to others

      LOL, reading over this post it felt more like a brainstorming session where i’m just telling you all why i had trouble and my thought vomit xD and i’m like, what is the point of this post? /squints/ oh man, i always wonder at the point of my posts

      when we first got the prompt i IMMEDIATELY thought of slaine and i was like i’m going to write about it! but i ended up not because everyone else picked the ‘good guy’ characters and Slaine wasn’t really your ‘good guy’ character (i mean, he was the enemy in the war after all) and YES #SlaineDidNothingWrong

      thanks :”D and LOL i’m WAY behind. i think i was keeping up halfway and then i just lost track, still going through some and i haven’t left comments bc i read them at work Orz

      Like

  5. Pingback: “Colors” Blog Tour Round-Up! – OWLS: Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect

  6. Pingback: Last Week Today: Week End Recap- Apr. 23rd to Apr. 29th – Nice Job Breaking It, Hero

  7. Pingback: Mel’s Round-Up Week 31 – Mel in Anime Land

  8. Pingback: OWLS April Tour Schedule and Other Fun Updates! | My Fujoshi Life

  9. Pingback: OWLS’ “COLORS” APRIL TOUR WRAP-UP | Anime Girls NYC

  10. Pingback: [Take Two!] April 23-29 – ARCHI-ANIME

  11. This is a very interesting read, Crim. And of course, thank you for sharing your personal experiences with us…although I would have loved to see actual photos of Baby Crimson. 😉 Anyway, I live in Toronto which is an extremely multicultural city. I feel like we have almost all representatives from all colours here, especially when you walk downtown. That’s why when I travelled once to a small town in Pennsylvania where the majority are white, I felt this odd feeling of culture shock. I felt very “different” because I was so used to seeing people of different colours, and then suddenly being in a place of all white people. But I got over it quickly because I realized that ultimately, we are all humans. Besides, I didn’t experience any racism and they were all very nice and accommodating during my stay there.
    And regarding your post, I can totally relate when you honestly shared that your family has some strong opinions about other races. Mine has, too. Some of my family members have stereotypical opinions about other racial backgrounds that I’d be too embarrassed to share openly. When I disagree with them, I’ll be the odd one out, so I just shut up and let them vent their opinions out. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this post. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh man, baby crim is too cute for this blog and then people would think i still look cute when i don’t LOL can’t lie to the people like that 😉

      i don’t think i’ve ever been to a place where i feel like that though i’m curious to know how that might feel. actually, i don’t think i’ve ever felt culture shock before, but maybe i might experience it in the future, once i start to go out some more, visit new places. and i think i’ve also been lucky to meet really nice people wherever i go!

      oh man i think everyone has a family member like that. and i do the same thing. i used to argue with my parents about it but it just doesn’t seem to work. instead i kind of flip it around, give them a similar situation but with them at the receiving end and that usually makes them stop and think. other times i just don’t bother much because that stuff has been ingrained in them. it bothers me more when they speak a certain way in front of my youngest brother though, in that case i make sure to say something so that he doesn’t grow up with those notions but he’s pretty open minded about things so i don’t worry too much

      glad you liked xD

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for sharing your experiences and opinions in this post! It was pretty fun to read. It seems like you did a great job finding the way that the Colors topic fits for you.
    I always like to see diversity in the media, especially positive diversity because we do see a lot of instances where characters of only the culture’s dominant ethnicity take lead rolls, relegating any other ethnicities to secondary positions. It’s never a deal breaker for me, though, if the creative work doesn’t have a lot to show in the way of diversity. I’ll still watch and enjoy it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • ah, thanks, i’m glad you liked reading it and yeah, it was something i wasn’t sure if i should write about but some of the other members encouraged me and i thought i might as well. if i did anything else i felt it would be a lie @_@

      oh yeah, story is a really big thing for me when deciding if i like a show or not, and seeing diversity in media is something hard for me to notice but a lot of people are asking for it and i’ve noticed some people delivering. hopefully we get even more diverse content!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Magic mirror, on the wall—who is the fairest one of all? aka. Crimson talks a bit about Body Type | My Fujoshi Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s