Lucy and Ricky to Lara Jean and Peter: The evolution of interracial couples
From Lucy and Ricky to Lara Jean and Peter, the amount of interracial couples on TV shows and movies have been increasing by the year. Along with the importance of representing more actresses and actors of color, representing interracial relationships is essential to diversifying television. As someone who grew up with a Chinese dad and a white mom, I was sad but never surprised watching movies with strictly white couples or Black couples. If a Chinese person ever appeared, and they rarely did, they would never date someone Caucasian. Then I began watching I Love Lucy, and Lucy and Ricky quickly became my favorite couple on TV.
My favorite representation so far has been Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky from the Netflix hit To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This is not only because the main characters, Lara Jean and Peter, were in an interracial relationship, but because Lara Jean also had a white father and Korean mother. This was truly inspiring to me because you could see how the open mindedness of Lara Jean’s parents and their relationship inspired their kids to be open minded in their own relationships.
Over the years I have noticed a gradual increase in the representation of not only interracial couples, but interracial relationships in general. When I saw Captain Marvel, I was pleasantly surprised to see the protagonist’s life at home revolve around not only her best friend instead of her boyfriend, (as so many female protagonists' backstories involve a boyfriend) but an interracial friendship.
Inclusivity does not have a one dimensional solution. There are tons of identities and lifestyles that are represented in popular culture today, but there are also tons that have yet to be represented. I am always glad when I see an Asian actor or actress represented, but there are intersectionalities of different identities that are prevalent in everyday life for many people, but not seen in media. It is gratifying but also frustrating to see people on screen who can represent you, but not wholly. It is a challenge to represent biracial identities on screen, but I feel that it is an important one and one that is important in increasing diversity in film.