Why It's So Important That Mulan's Reflection Will Actually Be Asian

Finally. FINALLY. After a worldwide search for the perfect actress, Disney has finally found its Mulan.

Her name is Liu Yifei, or Crystal Liu.

She is a veteran Chinese actress known for her sweet and angelic personality and appearance, granting her the nickname of China's "fairy sister". Her break out role was when she got the part of Wang Yuyan in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. Oh, and she's a cat lover. At point, her apartment in Beijing was home to 30 cats. Adorable. Can she be more perfect?

When casting for Mulan, Disney was looking for three characteristics: an Asian actress with English language capability, martial arts experience, and most importantly, star quality. Liu Yifei is the perfect match for all three criteria. She lived in Queens, New York for a while after moving there with her mom at the age of ten and although she never had true training in martial arts, her experience in films with martial arts proves she more than meets the requirements. Lastly, she clearly has star quality, being one of the most famous actresses in China.

We're glad Hollywood has finally taken this initiative to actively search for an Asian actress to be the face of Mulan. Hopefully this will set the standard for future films involving people of color. We still have a long way to go, but change starts with baby steps, so kudos to you Disney.

Hollywood has been known to have controversial castings in their movies recently, specifically in Asian movies. In fact, Hollywood has always had a problem with whitewashing, and unfortunately has only recently been reprimanded for the crime. Minority representation is extremely important, especially for highly impressionable children. When you never see your own skin color in the media, you begin to think that you're invisible.

Although white-washing has always been present, some of the most relevant examples today started with Avatar: The Last Airbender when Noah Ringer was cast as Aang. Not only was the Asian title character cast white, the other two main heroes were white actors as well and yet the main villain was an Asian actor. What message does this send to its audience? That white people are the heroes and people of color are villains.

Then there was Dragon Ball Evolution, originally a Japanese anime. Once again, a white actor was cast as the main character. So yeah, did the original character EVOLVE into a white person from Dragon Ball Z to Dragon Ball Evolution? What were you thinking, Hollywood?

Last year, Hollywood came out with the film, The Forest, starring Natalie Dormer. At first glance, there seems to be no problem with this movie. On the surface, it appears to be just another horror movie with a hot girl. In reality, the movie is based off of Japan's Suicide Forest, or Aokigahara where over 100 bodies are found. Instead of memorializing the forest as a sacred place in honor of those who have committed suicide there, The Forest romanticizes it and turns it into entertainment.

And of course, more recently, there was Ghost in the Shell with Scarlett Johansson and Great Wall with Matt Damon.

We try to sweep it under the rug, but the truth is, whitewashing is still prominent in the United States and it needs to be talked about. Whitewashing is a disease that has plagued the U.S for far too long and it needs to go. So let's get down to business and get more representation in media!

Make us and Mushu proud, Liu Yifei.