Recently, I rewatched an old favourite Wong Fu classic series, Yappies. Yappies follows the story of Andrew Wang, a 29 year old Chinese-American Software Engineer that never questioned his place or his purpose and unintentionally became a “model minority”. After a date calls him a “yappie”, a young asian professional that acts like a yuppie, he begins to question his Asian American identity and his place in society.
I first watched Yappies in my freshmen year of my current program and then again recently as a graduating senior. It resonated with me then, and resonates even more now.
Being at the University of Waterloo, an elite university with a strong asian population, many of my peers are on the “yappie” trajectory whether it be as software engineers, accountants, or doctors. While being a Yappie is not a bad thing, it frustrates me that many of my smartest friends and classmates seemingly don’t question their place or purpose. We’re capable of so much more than just chasing prestige and accolades. We then play into the model minority myth, a narrative created by the dominant culture to keep us in our place.