‘Sesame Street’ features Filipina character in Asian empowerment ‘Proud of Your Eyes’ segment

Sesame Street’s “Proud of Your Eyes” segment | Photo by Richard Termine/Sesame Workshop

AS anti-Asian hate and racism remain key issues in the national discourse about race, media properties in the youth space are creating content to help combat the effects of bullying and harassment.

Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational branch of the renowned children’s program “Sesame Street,” released a video last week geared toward Asian American children called “Proud of Your Eyes” that was designed to help families navigate the complicated discrimination Asian Americans historically and presently endure.

In the five-minute clip, two characters Wes and Alan are approached by their friend Analyn, a Filipina American girl who tells her friends that a boy at the park called her ugly and called her eyes “slanty.”

After Wes and Alan affirm that her eyes are beautiful and that what the bullies said was wrong, they sing a song together about the beauty of her eyes.

Your eyes tell the story of your family / They show where you come from and how you came to be,” the characters sing. “The color, the shape and the size / Should always make you proud of your eyes.

Wes, who is also Asian American, shares that he was also bullied about his eyes but has grown to be proud of being Asian. By the end of the song, Analyn grows to embrace her eyes, noting the similarities between her eyes and her family’s.

“That song reminds me that my eyes look just like my lola’s (grandmother’s). She’s from the Philippines and I think she’s beautiful,” Analyn says with a smile.

Sesame Workshop, over the last few years, has intensified its efforts in racial justice and providing children (and their families) of all backgrounds with tools to empower them and stand up to racial discrimination.

The organization recently put out a student that found that 86% of children believe that members of certain racial communities are treated unfairly in the United States. That study also found that half of all the children they surveyed reported experiencing some form of prejudice, with a third experiencing racial discrimination.

Klarize Medenilla

Klarize Medenilla is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at k.medenilla@asianjournalinc.com.

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