As a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, I’ve seen myself represented in books, TV shows, movies and songs for as long as I can remember. I adored Cinderella (though I had many other blonde-haired, blue-eyed princesses to choose from) because I thought we kinda looked like we could be sisters. My dad took me to see the play when I was six and I just about lost it.
This is not the common experience. Many of my friends at school had very few characters with whom they could connect in the same way. And while diverse representation in media and the arts is certainly better now than when we were kids, it’s nowhere near perfect. Take the new live-action Aladdin movie: according to The Hollywood Reporter, “finding a male lead in his 20s who can act and sing has proven difficult—especially since the studio wants someone of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent.”
Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds), an “online community for nerdy Black women,” recognized the need for representation and created the hashtag #FirstTimeISawMe to remind people that diversity matters.
— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) August 1, 2017
Here are some of the most heartwarming responses.
— Brit-Brat :* (@OnAWHITEcloud_) August 1, 2017
— Tamika (@un_apologetic23) August 2, 2017
#FirstTimeISawMe Troine, a black transgender man in Queen Sugar. I cried during this scene. Thank you @ava for giving me hope.#QUEENSUGAR pic.twitter.com/9alb0m4eqU
— hunger is a mood (@loving_a_shadow) August 2, 2017
When The Rugrats did their Passover special it was the first time I ever saw any Jewish representation/families on screen.
— Coffee Spoonie (@coffeespoonie) August 2, 2017
— black barbie (@kimberlymade) August 1, 2017
#FirstTimeISawMe Parminder Nagra in Bend It Like Beckham: an Indian girl whose dreams were outside the norm of what’s expected. pic.twitter.com/5com3c3Og1
— Rukhmani K. Desai (@RukhDesai) August 1, 2017
Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell. Despite the tropes that show perpetuated seeing her shine in a predominately white space gave me hope. pic.twitter.com/hOShXn5NZa
— DIANCA LONDON (@diancalondon) August 1, 2017
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