I think the main difference between a hero and a heroine in traditional narratives is that a hero’s strength is defined by how much he can win, while a heroine’s is defined by how much loss she can endure.
I think that’s kinda fucked up.
Whilst still in his teens my father was sent to the UK to finish his alevels and after that go to university. At the time, during the late 50s, a turban wearing sikh boy was a rarity even in london. Utterly unsure of himself on arrival in a very very different place to Kenya the only reassurance he felt, the only thing that made him feel that everything would workout was the sight as he was driven to his lodgings of another turban wearing sikh boy walking down the street.
The only abiding memory he is left with of his arrival, the only thing that mattered in the long term was the relief and joy at seeing someone who was like him. Someone had already been on the path he was on, someone had already blazed a trail. He wasn’t entirely alone.
It is very difficult to describe to someone who isn’t an immigrant, or a decendant of immigrants, or a person of colour just how alienating life can be. We may not strive to see a face like ours whilst walking on the street but that same exictment, that same exhileration at someone like us appearing on the TV or in the cinema still exists. My siblings and i still shush everyone and point when a sikh appears on tv. Theres no rational reason for it really, we don’t feel discriminated against in our day to day lives, we aren’t persecuted by anyone.
But still. Theres one of US! On the actual TV. Someone made it.
Our parents cling to their past by watching satellite tv channels from ‘back home’. We stare at the tv channels in the country we consider our home and point at the british programmes when someone who looks like us appears on them. Its one more step to acceptance. One further step towards belonging.
Thats why its all the more heartbreaking when we’re reduced, in the countries we consider our home, to mere backdrops. Hip ethnic enclaves where white heteronormative storylines can be played out. The problem i have with Girls is similar to the problem i (and many others) had with the movie Notting Hill. Its very location was chosen because, bluntly, its ‘real life’ ethnic mix provided an area that was/is considered fashionable and as such attaching what was a pretty straighforward lovestory to a ‘trendy location’ was commercially attractive.
“And I know that people are accepting those images and are under the impression that that is really how my body looks, that I’m hairless and sexless and weigh 90 lbs. That really worries me. And I really don’t know what to do except talk about it.”
The actress conceded that men in the industry also feel pressure to lose weight, referring to a report that Jason Segel, the Hollywood actor, was told to lose 30 lbs for his role in a romantic comedy. She said: “Executives said it just wasn’t credible that anyone would want to have sex with him the way he was.
“I think that is such a profound misreading of what people want out of sex and relationships. And I want no part of that. I wouldn’t want to sit in a room and have someone say to my face, ‘No-one is going to want to have sex with you’. No job is worth that.”"
An Asian woman has never won best actress
Only one has ever been nominated
And that was in 1935