Connie Yoon

The Model Minority Mirror: Who’s Looking Back at You?

Mentor: Kevin Rutherford

Through my project, I will be exploring the personal experiences of Asian Americans and how the model minority myth affects their lives and their self-image. I’ll be unpacking and focusing on how this myth, which permeates perceptions of Asians in the United States, impacts the very people that it is centered around. Although it is typically seen as a “flattering” stereotype—in comparison to previous ones like the “Yellow Peril”—the model minority myth is harmful in two ways. It’s harmful to society as a whole by perpetuating the false narrative that there is just one ideal for minorities to aspire to, and it is harmful to Asian American groups whose internalization of the myth can impact their self-image. To pursue this main line of inquiry, I will ask individuals open-ended questions about how they have perceived themselves throughout their lives in regard to their racial identity and place in society all under the theme of the model minority myth. Ultimately, I hope to produce a multimedia website showcasing the personalized stories of the interviewees to help Asian Americans better understand the impact of the model minority myth and minority stereotypes in general. I will also weave my own personal experience into my final product, along with some foundational background information from outside resources.

See Connie’s website The Model Minority Mirror