Why Are There No Filipina Disney Princesses? #YouthTakeoverKQED

13 min
Rachel Manila (Courtesy of Rachel Manila)

Filipinos are huge part of life and culture in the Bay Area. But the spotlight rarely falls on them, especially in media.

El Cerrito High School senior Rachel Manila doesn't remember seeing anyone who looked like in her in movies, on TV or in books.

"I just didn't see anything, like any Filipinos ever ... that had a Filipino, playing a Filipino," she said.

Rachel Manila (left) with her family. (Courtesy of Rachel Manila)

All week, as part of #YouthTakeoverKQED, we have been featuring young people on the radio and online to listen to what concerns them and their perspectives. Today on this podcast, we hear from 17-year-old Rachel Manila who reflects on growing up Filipina in the Bay Area. She can remember her lunches brought from home being different than her friends' at school. Or how her parents taught her to say certain words in English that always sounded just a bit different from her peers.

Rachel says as she continues to explore her identity,  she wants to see someone like her, a Filipina American, as a Disney princess character.

Courtesy of Rachel Manila (Courtesy of Rachel Manila)

"Princesses are kind of a symbol of hope," she says. "Something that can be iconic for all sorts of people."

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Click on the audio player above to listen to Rachel's story. Use #YouthTakeoverKQED on Twitter to find more KQED stories from young people.

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