Skip to content From 'Avatar' to London Tipton, Asian Americans look back on characters that shaped their self-image

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But for Asian Americans, the childhood favs viewed through a 2021 lens can be a reminder of what might not have been clear at the time: Asian faces are nowhere to be seen.

“For me personally, I would take anything that I could get.”This lack makes the few Asian characters who exist — good or bad — all the more pivotal for the self-image of a burgeoning population of young Asian Americans.

Asian women tended to be exoticized and hypersexualized, young people said, and Asian men fell into model minority territory.

For young Asian Americans at the time, the rich, fashionable airhead was a nice break from the stereotypes they were used to.

“Austin Powers,” a series of three comedy films from 1997 to 2002, is an example that stands out in the minds of many young Asian Americans.

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