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Why Constance Wu Is The Role Model We All Need

"You don’t think this movie or my TV show represents you? Then I want to see what represents you. I value your story even if Hollywood doesn’t."

In case you haven't heard, there's a ✨ Hollywood ✨ summer ✨ blockbuster ✨ called Crazy Rich Asians coming out on August 15th, and Constance Wu plays the female lead, Rachel Chu.

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She's also on the July cover of Harper's Bazaar Singapore looking like smokey-eyed royalty, and more importantly, talking about her voice in Hollywood and what her work means for the Asian community!!

Instagram: @constancewu

This cover and interview inside the magazine proves why Constance, year after year, is a badass who isn't afraid to address racism, Asian American representation, whitewashing, gender disparity, and sexual harassment with zero hesitation.

ABC Studio / Jimmy Kimmel Live!

In her cover interview with Harper's Bazaar Singapore, she puts her desire to stand by her values this way: "When I speak out about something that means a lot to me, whether it’s sexual harassment or whitewashing, that matters to me more than losing jobs."

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She goes on to say, “People will say a woman is mouthy if she says anything," which is a BIG MOOD. Constance is more than ok with ditching the haters “because the types of people for whom those statements came from would lower my credibility." She says, "I don’t care if they’re the biggest studio head, I want to be around people who feel like my tribe. So it’s not that scary.”

That's the right attitude for 2018 and literally any time and forever. 👏👏👏

For instance, remember when Constance spoke about the stereotypes and fetishization of Asian American women at L.A.'s Women's March earlier this year (while wearing a boss uterus sweatshirt)?

In a Huffington Post article, this line stood out the most to me: “I march today for Asian-American women who have been ignored, or judged or fetishized or expected to be a certain way to fulfill a certain idea of what a sweet girl should be,” Wu said in her speech. “To that, I say you can be anyone you want to be.”
Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

In a Huffington Post article, this line stood out the most to me: “I march today for Asian-American women who have been ignored, or judged or fetishized or expected to be a certain way to fulfill a certain idea of what a sweet girl should be,” Wu said in her speech. “To that, I say you can be anyone you want to be.”

She's graceful, yet has extremely thick skin — when you're involved in a very small pool of mainstream Asian-centric projects, you have to be. Constance constantly has to field criticism about representation and authenticity, which she says is a "natural response to not being heard or respected your whole life."

SK Global Entertainment / Warner Bros. Pictures / Via instagram.com

In regard to Crazy Rich Asians, she says, “Fresh off the Boat was the same situation — it was the first TV show to center on an Asian American experience in over 20 years. There was a lot of pressure because, obviously, one story can’t represent the whole. People were anxious because of the way Hollywood has treated and portrayed us before. And before you even watch it, you’re defensive and ready to hate it and be offended."

But I can tell you for a fact that Constance isn't satisfied with *one* TV show and *one* movie that represents *an* Asian experience — she'll keep fighting for stories of all origins and perspectives to be told. "You don’t think this movie or my TV show represents you? Then I want to see what represents you. I value your story even if Hollywood doesn’t."

As an Asian American myself, I'm so extremely proud Crazy Rich Asians will be playing on thousands of big screens across the country. Like Constance, I can't relate to the very specific experiences of families with decades-old Singaporean wealth — but what matters is that this movie represents the tip of the iceberg and paves the way for more diverse Asian and Asian American stories to be told! The talent's out there. We just have to get and keep people's attention, and Crazy Rich Asians is such a massive vessel/opportunity to do so.
Claire Rothstein / Harper's Bazaar Singapore

As an Asian American myself, I'm so extremely proud Crazy Rich Asians will be playing on thousands of big screens across the country. Like Constance, I can't relate to the very specific experiences of families with decades-old Singaporean wealth — but what matters is that this movie represents the tip of the iceberg and paves the way for more diverse Asian and Asian American stories to be told! The talent's out there.

We just have to get and keep people's attention, and Crazy Rich Asians is such a massive vessel/opportunity to do so.

Ok, and if all of that heavy stuff wasn't enough to convince you why Constance Wu is someone we should all strive to be, even her attitude about playing with hair colors is eloquent and chill.

Instagram: @constancewu

She says: “Don’t worry so much in general — and especially don’t waste energy worrying about something as temporary as hair color. If you want to do it, just do it. If it’s not great, it’ll grow back.”

Take risks, people!! You never know what can happen.

So, Constance, what CAN'T you do?

Fierce Baby Productions / ABC

Read her full interview on Harper's Bazaar Singapore!

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