By: Dorice Lee

Growing up, I was always the yellow Power Ranger. Despite the fact that 26 seasons of Power
Rangers have now aired and only the first one and a half featured a female Asian Yellow Ranger, I’ve found that the role has somehow become a part of many Asian female millennials’ childhoods. This is
most likely due to a lack of diversity in television and movies at that time, which limited our choices when it came to play: which do you want to be today, Mulan or Yellow Ranger?

When I was in the fourth grade, we studied The Wizard of Oz. We read the book in class, watched the movie, and then went on a field trip to watch a local theatre production of the musical. I actually remember very little about the musical—I don’t recall if the acting was believable, if the singing was good, or even if the costumes were convincing. The only thing that I remembered out of the entire performance, was that Dorothy was played by an Asian actress. At first, that didn’t really stand out much to me. Being a bookworm with a love of fantasy, I already had a lot of experience imagining myself as the main character of everything I read or watched; in my mind I had already pictured my straight black pigtails trailing in the wind as I skipped down the yellow brick road, so I wasn’t surprised when I saw that image reflected back at me while I watched the theatre production. I was however surprised to find that this portrayal of Dorothy really stuck out to a lot of the other kids in my class.

Let me explain. The week after our field trip, our school was having an assembly where each
class had to send up a representative to demonstrate or explain what they were learning about at the
time. One girl in our class happened to have a Dorothy costume, so our teacher decided that one lucky
student would get to wear the costume and talk about The Wizard of Oz on behalf of our class. Voting
for this student began, and I was shocked when one of my classmates immediately elected me for the
job instead of one of the multiple doe-eyed, pale-skinned, long-brown-haired girls in my class. When
asked by the teacher, “Why her?” my classmate specifically referenced the Asian Dorothy they had seen in the musical theatre production as the reason why I should get to wear the costume. And then one
after another, more and more of my classmates jumped on the bandwagon agreeing that I looked the
most like that Dorothy, so I should get to wear the costume. After a bit of back and forth, wearing rights and privileges were ultimately awarded to the owner of the costume, which I think was the right
decision, and that was that.

Even though this whole incident lasted five minutes or less, it has always stuck out in my mind
because of my mixed feelings about it. I was secretly extremely relieved that they didn’t pick me that
day because I hate public speaking, but I was also caught off-guard by how inexplicably validated and
seen I felt when I was being nominated. As I said before, I originally hadn’t thought much of the fact that
Dorothy had been Asian in the theatre production. But that other people had taken notice and that it in
turn altered their perception of what Dorothy could look like was so exciting to me—there is no way
that my name would have been put forth for the vote if it had not been for that musical production.
From it, my peers began to see me in roles that previously only I had imagined myself in, which when
extrapolated to a larger scale is actually such a big deal. It means that for every prominent role that an
Asian woman lands in Hollywood, that many more people will come to accept it as a norm, and that
many more young Asian girls will feel like they can exist in those narratives too.

Looking back on it now, I can appreciate how my small experience gave me a taste of what
diverse representation in the entertainment industry could achieve, which is an equal chance for
minorities to be seen, heard, showcased, appreciated, and related to. And even though kicking butt as
the yellow Ranger and saving China as Mulan can be really great, sometimes its nice to get to survive a
tornado as Dorothy Gale, too.

Dorice Lee is originally from Winnipeg, MB and since moving to Vancouver, BC she now finds -5°C cold. She once read that she was creative but also very shy and puzzled about life; she has never felt more personally targeted than by that Chinese Zodiac placemat. She is a practicing optometrist with a passion for words, and is currently trying to figure out how to make that work. In her spare time, she enjoys procrastinating doing taxes, climbing rocks, and eating carbs.

Find Dorice here:

Instagram: @doricelee

32 Comments

  • Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before
    but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m certainly pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back
    often!

  • Hello terrific blog! Does running a blog such as this take a great deal of work?
    I’ve virtually no knowledge of computer programming
    however I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should
    you have any ideas or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic but I just wanted to ask.
    Cheers!

  • Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your website on my
    iphone during lunch break. I love the information you provide here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, excellent site!

  • Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after checking through some of the post
    I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy
    I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking
    back often!

  • Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so
    much, However I am going through difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anyone else having similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

  • 홀덤 룰 says:

    Hi, yes this paragraph is genuinely fastidious and I have learned lot of
    things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

  • Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your
    useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  • VL says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow,
    just wanted to say superb blog!

  • I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this blog on regular basis to take updated from hottest information.

  • QY says:

    We stumbled over here from a different web page and thought I may
    as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  • RN says:

    Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a
    similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any help is very much appreciated.

  • BE says:

    Hey there! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and finally
    got the courage to go ahead and give you a
    shout out from Austin Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the
    great job!

  • SG says:

    Hi there I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Bing for something else, Regardless
    I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and a all
    round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but
    I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I
    will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great b.

  • HT says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

  • Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home
    a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • WR says:

    My relatives all the time say that I am killing my time here at
    net, however I know I am getting experience all the time by
    reading such fastidious articles or reviews.

  • ZR says:

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off-topic however I needed
    to ask. Does running a well-established blog such as yours take a lot of
    work? I’m brand new to running a blog but I do write in my diary everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and feelings online.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for brand new
    aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  • OB says:

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one
    or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  • VC says:

    Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a quick visit of this web site;
    this blog consists of remarkable and truly fine information in favor of visitors.

  • GK says:

    Howdy very nice site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Wonderful
    .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?
    I am happy to search out numerous useful information here within the post, we’d like work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  • Hurrah! At last I got a weblog from where I
    be able to in fact take useful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

  • ZD says:

    Very good blog you have here but I was curious about if you
    knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed
    in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I
    can get comments from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
    Thanks a lot!

  • When some one searches for his vital thing, thus he/she desires to be
    available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  • Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and
    gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit
    crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  • I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable
    for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your
    theme? Outstanding work!

  • Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers?
    I’d really appreciate it.

  • A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I think that you need to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter
    but usually people do not talk about such issues. To the next!
    Many thanks!!

  • You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be actually one thing
    that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very extensive for me.
    I’m looking ahead in your subsequent put up, I will attempt to
    get the hang of it!

  • My partner and I stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might as
    well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again.

  • What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience about unexpected emotions.

  • of course like your web site but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I’ll certainly come again again.

Leave a Reply