There still aren’t a lot of representations of interracial couples in the media or advertising, though it does seem to be improving a little. Even so, a lot of groups are still missing from those that do get represented. Outside of Asian countries, Asian men don’t seem to get a lot of air time generally and you especially don’t see them shown with Caucasian women. Even here in Japan, it’s rare to see such a relationship depicted; there are plenty of white men with Japanese women in advertising for things such as wedding venues, but it’s unusual to see it the other way round.
Being a white woman, there are lots of images of women like me depicted in other areas of life and so I don’t feel anywhere near as bothered by it as someone of a race that gets little to no representation at all. Still, knowing that couples and relationships like my own – me, a Causian woman and R being a Japanese man – are quite invisible can be a bit disheartening when I stop to think about it. Representation does matter, even when someone is just trying to sell me stuff. It’s validating. It’s a reminder that you are not invisible.
So, this ad by Cathay Pacific is actually pretty great to me. Not only do we have a Caucasian woman with an Asian man, but we have mixed race children too. I have to confess, Asian/white children have long been a source of interest to me, mostly so I can try to figure out what my own might look like and, these days, how Mr. K might (physically) turn out when he evolves from a grumpy baby. I already felt a lot of love for Cathay Pacific as an airline, having used them several times to journey between Australia and Japan (with a stopover in Hong Kong, always fun), but this makes me like them that bit more.