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Kristin Kreuk: Next Asian American Beauty?
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:59:58 PM)

t isn't a question of droolworthiness. Her looks are dazzling enough to have locked up a lead role in each of her first three auditions, including the title role in an upcoming TV movie. It's more a question of whether most of us would identify hazel-eyed Smallville heartthrob Lana Lang as a fellow Asian. Kristin Kreuk
     Kristin Laura Kreuk was born to a Chinese mother and a Dutch father on December 30, 1982. She grew up in Vancouver, Canada. Kreuk, 5-4, had decided to go to college to study forensic pathology until, in her senior year, her drama teacher suggested she go to an audition for a new Fox Family series called Edgement. She was promptly plucked out of the open audition to play a Chinese Canadian high school student named Laurel Yeung. Even as she won fans in the role, she landed the Lana Lang role for WB's dramatization of Superboy's life as Clark Kent, then the role of Snow White in the ABC TV movie set for release in 2002. Kreuk's star-quality was obvious to all who tuned in for Smallville's premiere last October. Some even proclaimed her the show's main attraction.
     But many Asian American viewers didn't even suspect Kreuk's Asian ancestry. Even those who learned of her mother's nationality questioned whether she can be claimed by Asian Americans. Without an Asian surname or obvious Asian facial features, they argue, Kreuk's success would do nothing for the image of Asians in the American media. Others might argue that most African American stars are, in fact, only fractionally of African descent.
     Should we claim Kristin Kreuk and other hapas like her as Asian American celebrities? Or should that designation be reserved for those with a more obviously Asian identity?

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Yes i think we should! I'm hapa, mixed with black and scottish an i was never accepted even with my asian surname (ming). even though i do consider myself mixed a lot of people never really put me in an ethnic group. my asian friends do not consider me asian because i had to much black and scottish, my white friends do not consider me white or asian because they say i'm to black,and my black friends say i'm black because black dominates. how does one race dominate the other if it's the same amount? I'm proud of my black heritage but i am also proud of my scottish and chinese heritage! when people ask me about my colour i explain it to them and they say "oh, well your not really asian or white because you have to much black in you." what does this mean? who are you to tell me what i am and what i am not? i know who i am and my heritage but i wish people would stop trying to tell me and just except me!
zwming14    Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 08:40:08 (PST)    []
Its a career move. Kristin looking all-american is going make her alot more money than if she takes on Asian or Hapa roles. Look at her Neutragena gig.
When she feel that she is established, maybe then she'll identify with her Asian roots.
   Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 05:43:05 (PST)    []

Like I said before, all or nothing! If you disclose your ethnicity be proud to say ALL. If you feel it's no-one else's business, then say NOTHING.

I agree with you on the point about Russell, Jennifer, yourself etc and your looks coming from both parents and all that, but I don't see what that has to do anything I've already mentioned.

I don't think it's justifiable to hide your ethnicity to help your career along. I think it's sneaky, calculating and shows a complete lack of self-respect. Besides, everyone knows that Keanu and Kristen are part Asian and it hasn't done their careers much harm! They will probably always get the big lead roles playing White people.
Anyway, didn't Kristin play a HAPA on her other TV show? And she is now playing a White girl? I rest my case.

I take it that you would like things to change. How are things supposed to change if people hide part of themselves because they're so concerned about what others label them? You don't want people to be label you 'Filipina-American'? Then tell them not to do it!If you are being laughed at because of your Irishness, consider the fact that it is THEIR problem and set them staight! How difficult would it be to say to these people:
"First of all I'm ME, but I'm Irish/Filipina. I happen to feel more IRISH inside so DEAL WITH IT!" Done. Finished.

Speaking up is the only way people will FINALLY GET THE MESSAGE! Things would change if people were HONEST about themselves and their backgrounds (if they wish to disclose it in the first place, of course) and not leave parts out because they're ashamed or don't want to face any hassle. It may take a while but it's the only way.
   Tuesday, December 17, 2002 at 05:00:34 (PST)    []

Could you educate us more on the Indonesian-Dutch? I don't think the majority in this forum are aware this is one of the largest Eurasian groups in the world.
I just think it would be good for people to know that someone Eurasian-looking looks very Dutch too since there is this long Indonesian/Dutch history.

I'd also like to know why this forum considers Kristin's mom Chinese? I always thought Kristin was Canadian. Her mother is INdonesian. Then maybe her grandparents or whatever are Chinese. I know her mother is of Chinese descent but isn't she Indonesian? Just like Kristin's not Indonesian or Chinese, she's Canadian.

I just don't get it. Why do we identify people by what their ancestors were and not what they presently are?
   Monday, December 16, 2002 at 14:02:32 (PST)    []
to lalala: that's because dutch is white and this isnt a white site. it's an asian one. anyway, in north america white is just white and no one really differentiates between dutch or irish etc. much.
   Sunday, December 15, 2002 at 16:18:55 (PST)    []
everybody is commenting on the asian part and the canadian part, but hello she is not canadian....she is half dutch...and nobody is talking about that...btw i'm dutch
lalala    Saturday, December 14, 2002 at 11:31:49 (PST)    []
I think people are making a big deal about her being half asian and half american. If she doesnt want to be called just "asian" then ok. Im sure she's not saying that she is ashamed of being it. I know exactly how it feels, because I am half asian and half american as well. She is very beautiful and exotic looking..... So just let her be. You go girl~
Rebecca    Saturday, December 14, 2002 at 08:24:39 (PST)    []
If we the Asian-American community do not recognize celebrities who are willing to acknowledge their Asian heritage, we will only delay our cultural surge into the American mainstream. When we have the likes of Kristin Kreuk, Tiger Woods, and Keanu Reeves sharing our identity, we should openly support their willingness to publicize their "Asian side". Afterall with their help, America will learn that being Asian doesn't mean you are a timid, mathematically proficient karate expert.
ballbanger    Friday, December 13, 2002 at 08:49:44 (PST)    []

Michelle Branch's mother isn't Indonesian. Her mother is actually is Indonesian-Dutch-French. There is a difference.

I really think Asians should find full Asian role models. I think Hapas should find Hapa role models. Too many Hapas are used as role models for Asians. It seems there are more Hapa Asians than Asian Asians out there and I don't think it's good for "full" ASians.

IN most cases, not all, the Hapa life experience is so different from a full-bloodied experience. I admire many people in the media but I have a special place in my heart for actors like Jennifer Tilly, Dean Cain, France Nuyen, Nancy Kwan, Kristen Kreuk, Rob Schneider, and especially Lou Diamond Phillips because is as mixed as me. There are more but what those actors share is mixed ancestry. That's why they have an extra-special place.

I have European and love Catherine Zeta-Jones. I have Asian blood and love Lea Salonga but those two women aren't as special to me as the Hapa stars.

I just find it more logical that a Hapa would see a fellow Hapa as a role model.
A full Asian find a full Asian as a role model.

Now the above was only in reference to American Hapas. Perhaps Hapas from Asia would make great role models for a full Asian but I don't think American Hapas make great role models for Asians with the exception of someone like Russell Wong and his brother. They are so in tune with their Chinese heritage.
   Friday, December 13, 2002 at 08:36:17 (PST)    []
Cmon, she is not Asian she is a mixed race person that is a different race altogether to me she doesn't look western either in fact I thought she is partially latino or American Indian at first
Some guy
   Thursday, December 12, 2002 at 19:03:41 (PST)    []
To frustrated,

Michelle Branch is part Asian. Her mother is Indonesian.

To hoping 4 more asians,

Liz Cho on ABC News is a good Korean (and hapa!) role model. :) In fact, I've noticed that they have an Asian woman on all 3 major networks here in the U.S. Julie Chen's on CBS, and Anne Curry is on NBC.

We're getting there....
   Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 15:59:20 (PST)    []
Kristin Kruek is a major babe, and I dont think it matters whether she's asian, american, asian-american or even african, race should not matter, but that babe should be up in there with all the hollywood celebrities, being adored by all of her millions of fans.
   Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 15:48:57 (PST)    []
Dear Dase,

From an actor's perspective I find it justifiable to hide one's ethnicity if it could be a hinderance to getting roles.

From an everyday person's perspective I think it is no one's business to know my ethnicity. I have different ethnicities and when I am truthful and disclose all of them, people only identify you with one. It's not fair to the other ethnicities. Russell Wong does not look the way he does because of his Chinese father. He looks the way he does because of BOTH of his parents. It's not fair to tell him in his face " Oh that's why you look the way you do."

THe same for Jennifer Tilly. SHe doesn't look the way she does because of her white mother. SHe looks the way she does because of BOTH her parents.

Unfortunately people don't think that. THey think you look the way you do because of some dominant race or ethnicity. It's not fair to me to disclose all my ethnicities and have people identify me as Filipina when I don't identify as Filipina. I don't want to be hyphenated Filipina-American. People tell me it's a shame I don't speak Tagalog but they don't say it's a shame I don't speak GAelic(an endangered language). I grew up with Irish stories and learned about Irish history but just because I don't have red hair and green eyes, I'm constantly told I'm Asian or Latina and laughed at for trying to connect with my Irish heritage.

HOw do I make people understand how you physically look does not explain your heritage and you shouldn't be expected to identify with what you look like. Gosh!!!
I'm so hairy like Frida Kahlo. Don't tell me that's from my Asian side.
   Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 13:58:12 (PST)    []
I think you missed my point. I don't care WHICH side (Black, White OR Latino) she chose to hide. The fact is she kept quiet about part of her heratige. If it was just the one time you could let it slide...but twice (and possibly more)? She was deliberately hiding it. Why do you think that is OK? If the interviewers called her just 'Black', then yes, she should have spoken up about her other sides too. And if she feels she is "both black and white" as you put it, why didn't she say simply she is "both black and white" and put an end to it?

"We have this view that being white is wrong. We feel we should be proud to be Asian, black, or Native-American but pity the fool who is proud of his or her European ancestry."
I have no idea what you are talking about there!

Look, I'm not saying that Mariah or Kristin or you should be running around telling everyone "I'm mixed! I'm mixed! Hey everyone, I'm mixed!!!" all the time. But if you are QUESTIONED about it, say all or nothing! Why would you leave some parts out? While I personally do think race and nationality is important (it's part of what makes us the kind of people we are), I know that it isn't EVERYTHING! I know there are other things in life too.
I remember reading an interview where Kristin was saying that the Lana Lang character was supposed to be 'All-American' and wasn't even sure that the producers knew she was half Asian. They probably thought she was White and had no reason to ask her about her race. Because she wasn't ASKED, she had no reason to say anything. The same reasons she rarely speaks about it in interviews is because she is never really asked about it. Fair enough. She isn't HIDING anything.

Just be proud of everything you are. That's ALL I'm saying!
   Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 04:04:33 (PST)    []
She deserves to be called an Asian American celebrity. For obvious reasons, one her mother is a Chinese, and two, I disagree with the statement that her looks isn't Asian-like. In fact, she looks like Heart Evangelista, one of the young celebrities here in the Philippines with an all-Asian descent.
Rocky    Sunday, December 08, 2002 at 20:43:29 (PST)    []
i think you guys are making a big deal out of nothing. She's an actress doing her job. She doesnt have to represent anything. nobody cares.
R. Nelson
   Friday, December 06, 2002 at 20:40:30 (PST)    []
Dear Hoping 4 more Asians:

Michelle Branch looks part Asian. She could be a role model. I think she's a better role model. She's a hit singer who writes her own songs.

What about Keiko Agena from the Gilmore Girls? She's not mixed, at least I think so. She could be a role model.

I'll let you know if I find anymore media-type role models
   Friday, December 06, 2002 at 13:52:54 (PST)    []
I love kristen kreuk but yes i do wish that she looked more asian. i'm a teenage girl so i wish i had somebody near my age to use as a role model in the media and kristen kreuk is the closest. yet nobody would know that she is part asian. i love lucy liu also but there are no korean women in the media that many people know of! i wish there was! but anywho, she is asian-american and a beauty so why shouldnt she be one of the role models for asian girls like me?
hoping 4 more asians
   Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 17:05:50 (PST)    []
She's Canadian!
   Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 13:22:56 (PST)    []
Hapa Keeping It Reel:
What if you were adopted?? What ethnicity do you call yourself?
   Wednesday, December 04, 2002 at 12:52:10 (PST)    []
to dase: well she IS white! i get ur point tho... at least she's now proud of it.

to frustrated: i agree completely. it's basically because humans are VERY impeefect and we have prejudices. society is messed up. that's why racism exists. there's no other explanation.
   Tuesday, December 03, 2002 at 22:58:28 (PST)    []
Dear Dase,

This is frustrated. I feel I am neither Asian or white. I am just mixed. On the other hand another mixed person may feel he or she is both white and Asian.

My point is ---Mariah didn't need to correct anyone if she feels she is both white and black. Now if the interviewer called her black, would we be condemming her if she didn't interupt by saying she was white too? I don't think so. We have this view that being white is wrong. We feel we should be proud to be Asian, black, or Native-American but pity the fool who is proud of his or her European ancestry.

Well that's Mariah's life. I shouldn't care. I belong to no race except the human race. If I want to play Swedish or Zulu in a movie, I'm going for it regardless of how I look.
   Tuesday, December 03, 2002 at 10:06:20 (PST)    []