Asian Stereotypes | Teen Ink

Asian Stereotypes

February 11, 2010
By PK4evr ELITE, Allen, Texas
PK4evr ELITE, Allen, Texas
105 articles 5 photos 107 comments

Favorite Quote:
When life gives you lemons, make grape juice, then watch everyone wonder how you did it!

I think that stereotypes don’t make sense and they’re just plain stupid. You want to know why? I’m going to tell you why.

I’m going to say one word, and tell me what you think of as soon as I say it.


Most of you people out there (especially if you’re not Asian) immediately think smart and stingy… correct? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m telling you it’s an absolute stereotype— you people like me out there, you understand that this is so difficult, don’t you? I especially hate the smart part- it’s true that most Asians are book-smart, and very much show. But that doesn’t mean that all Asians are book-smart. It’s like saying that everyone born on Earth will one day know how to read and write. But that’s not true, and neither is the myth that all Asians are book-smart.

Ever since my family moved to the United States, it’s always been, “Nat, I don’t understand this. Help me. Nat, I need help with fractions. Nat, I forgot how to set up proportions. Nat, I can’t find the answer in this passage. Read it for me. Nat, read this book, I don’t understand it. Tell me the answer!” Who is this kid saying these things to me?

My little brother, my flesh and blood brother. For one thing, we don’t look alike—I am pale enough to pass for Asian-American, while he is dark skinned and well-tanned from his hours of outdoor basketball. He’s just as Asian as I am, but he will never be book-smart or in an advanced academics course, because he is not the typical Asian, and that is OKAY.

My parents accept this about him. I accept this about him. It’s a fact that can’t be denied. My entire family accepts this and knows that it’s not going to change. What I really hate is that everyone expects Asians to excel in school, because not all of them have the ability to, and that is FINE.

I truthfully can’t imagine my brother as book-smart. If he wasn’t street-smart, we would be dead meat, especially me. He is our human GPS—almost literally. If he goes to a place a few times, he knows how to get back there. He knows all the intersections, where all the stores are located, how to get to everyone’s house because he is a different kind of smart. Me? Couldn’t do it to save my life.

See, he pays attention to things outside of himself, while I’m stuck in books and rely on them. And in some ways, I even envy him.

However, he is the only Asian in his whole middle school on the basketball team, and I am proud of him for that. I am so non-athletic that isn’t even funny—after all, it takes skill to trip over flat surfaces like I do (and have), resulting in spraining my ankle twice while running. Most Asians don’t play basketball—and while my brother is around the average Asian height (and catching up to me, which I’m getting annoyed about), he makes up for it by being the most valuable player you can get—left-handed, fast, speedy. Unlike most Asians, he plays basketball and is actually good at it, even excels in it. People are meant to be different, and different he is.

The human race was created to be unique. Every race is unique as well. Not all of us have squinty eyes, are book-smart, and non-athletic, but that’s okay. We were created equally. No one has the right to judge other human beings—so please don’t judge us Asians, or any other races out there. And never think that you have to fit the stereotype of your own race.

This is the reason I hate stereotypes.

The author's comments:
This is a revised editing of "Asian and Stereotyped" for the Points of View contest.

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This article has 6 comments.

Joselilli14 said...
on Sep. 6 2014 at 11:08 am
Joselilli14, Guayanilla, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"If we dont end wars, Wars will end us" -H.G.Wells

Hey PK4evr. i was wondering if you could provide me with your full name, birth place and date. im sorry if this is sudden but i have a project and i kinda need your name and date of birth and place. a picture would be nice too. plz reply with an answer

on Jul. 9 2011 at 2:19 pm
Gymnastgirl26 GOLD, Austin, Texas
10 articles 0 photos 8 comments
My school is as racist in this way as you can get. I'm dyslexic when it comes to math, and struggle with it, even though I want to be a physicist. As an indian, everyone is shocked when I said in 8th grade that I was taking Algebra instead of geometry. Since I struggled in Algebra, I'm retaking the class next year. I can only imagine the shocked looks I'll get, when I say that I am Indian.

on Jul. 5 2011 at 3:49 am
ZeeBYoung BRONZE, Coatesville, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 72 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away from them, and you have their shoes. :)

Im not gonna lie, when I think of Asians I think of swag. I love Asians :)

on Jul. 2 2010 at 2:20 pm
Nuclearnerd BRONZE, North Adams, Massachusetts
4 articles 6 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
You won't know until you find out!

When I think of Asian people, I think of a nation(s) made up of people all with different skills, personalities, and habits. Let's not let stereotypes influence what other people think. Power to the the victims of prejudice!   

E.Hartell said...
on May. 30 2010 at 10:04 am
E.Hartell, Undisclosed, Virginia
0 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
Half of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at. -David Gerrold

“Fundamentally, all writing is about the same thing; it's about dying, about the brief flicker of time we have here, and the frustration that it creates.” (Mordecai Richler)

I hate stereotyping, and all of it's many types. There's stereotyping by race, gender, age, school grades, clothing choice, hair color- now isn't that ridiculous?

And I wonder sometimes, sitting next to the otherwise nice kids in class commenting on said stereotypes, what they would say if I told them I was offended, even though what they're saying doesn't apply to me (they wouldn't have the nerve to say it if it did).

Rboy15 said...
on Feb. 26 2010 at 12:17 pm
Rboy15, Mckinney, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
pepole tend to sterotype muslims to just becuse of 9/1/1.They call you "terrroist!wacth out he is gonna blow you up"some times when i hear that it makes me mad and sometimes when that happens i feel like i want to kill myself just becuse of the streotyping pepole do