The Importance of Exploring Outside the Bubble of Western Media

Adrian Lee and Fez are common examples from the 2000s of Latino and Foreign people. Photo By: and Article Of Everything.wordpress

Growing up, the only media I consumed was western media. But often, the western media consumed by Americans would portray a stereotypical racist view of different ethnicities and cultures. Common examples that come to mind are Fez from “That ‘70s Show” and Adrian Lee from “The Secret Life of An American Teenager.” There are plenty of examples of these racist stereotypes in western media, but these stood out to me because I grew up watching them as a kid.


In “That ‘70s Show,” Fez is constantly referred to as a ‘Foreign kid’ by his friends and commonly by Red (Eric’s father). When the group did this it caused an otherness for Fez: showing how Fez will never be equal to them.


Also, Fez was portrayed as the creepy foreign guy that tries to seduce every woman in his line of sight.


 In “ The Secret Life of an American Teenager” Adrian Lee was used in the same stereotypical manner as Fez by overly sexualizing her since she was Latino. Lee would always have outfits that focused on her chest area (she was just a freshman in high school, straight out of middle school), and she was considered a person who slept around. While the white girls in the show would contrast Lee by being more conservative in sexual activity and clothing. Lee also had the stereotypical traits of Latinos by making feisty and flirty her whole personality.


These stereotypes in the media are one of many reasons people should explore outside the bubble of western media. Once I was outside that bubble, I got to see a real representation of all people from different cultures and ethnicities. That is significant not only for me but everyone because the media is supposed to show a sense of representation for people that is not overtly stereotypical and racist. After all, representation is supposed to make people feel connected, not ruin someone’s self-image.


Some Shows I would recommend in place of these two are The Bold Type and Jane The Virgin. 

The Bold Type is a show about three women working at a Magazine and this show is one of the few shows in the media that tackles racism against foreigners and people of color. They tackle it by using the magazine as a space to talk about these issues. 

Jane the Virgin is one of the only good shows with Latino representation. So many shows lack Latino representation and when there are some it is stereotypical and blatantly racist. Jane the Virgin counteracts those stereotypes by having a full-fledged cast of actual Latinos that don’t lean on the stereotypes projected by the media and Hollywood. 


These recommendations are what people should strive for when representing a group of minorities because representation is important and we should not be projecting harmful stereotypes around without thinking about how that affects someone.