Glee’s “Born this Way” – the self-hating Asian

by doorhalfopen

I don’t watch Glee regularly. Not because I’m ashamed to do it, but because I found it to be a little monotonous after a few episodes (not the biggest fan of musicals). Nonetheless I paid some attention to where the show was headed. Like Star Trek in the 60s, Glee’s setting and storyline allows for a truly diverse cast that gives each actor and actress pretty significant screen time. Of course, this also means someone like Harry Shum Jr. gets a rare opportunity to have real lines on a popular American TV show.

Recently it was brought to my attention that one of the new episodes had a powerful message. Based around Lady Gaga’s track Born this Way, the theme was to be happy with yourself. This isn’t an uncommon theme amongst shows for children and teenagers. What stands out for me in this episodes, however, is that the characters bring up examples that are close to the kind of pressure real students face today.

The episode touches on subjects like plastic surgery, disorders, obesity, and homophobia. I think this is great. The teenage audience is also the most insecure, and I’m happy there are episodes like this available for them. For the purpose of this blog, I’ll be focusing on one issue that was briefly discussed by one of the characters: the self-hating Asian.

Mike and Tina, played by Harry Shum Jr. and Jenna Ushkowitz

Read the rest of this entry »