I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise

Bad driver. Math wizard. Model minority. In this hilarious and insightful talk, eighteen-year-old Canwen Xu shares her Asian-American story of breaking stereotypes, reaffirming stereotypes, and driving competently on her way to buy rice.
Canwen Xu's slogan for life is “Canwen can win.” Born in Nanjing, China, she moved to the United States when she was two years old, and since then has lived in some of the whitest states in the country, including North Dakota, South Dakota and Idaho. A senior at Timberline High School, Canwen is passionate about politics, and is the national membership director and Idaho state director for the Young Democrats High School Caucus. Also a programmer, she started an all-girls computer science workshop called Code For Fun and received National Runner-Up in the 2014 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing competition.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at ted.com/tedx


  • MURU
    MURU17 orë më parë

    awesome talk.

  • Andyna Rose
    Andyna Rose19 orë më parë

    "are you asian?" "yes" "you dont look asian tho?" LIKE OK TELL ME WHAT MY RACE IS

  • Jason Mason
    Jason Mason20 orë më parë

    yes you are an asian and anchor chinese .

  • May Bennett
    May BennettDitë më parë

    Some of many conversations with Caucasian MIL (the conversations took placs after she had known me for more than 5 years). Conversation 1 Mil- Hey, how's your parents in Thailand? Me- you mean Taiwan. They are fine. Conversation 2 Mil- hey, how's your parents in South Korea? Me - you mean Taiwan. They are fine. Conversation 3 Mil- how's your parents in North Korea? Me- They wouldn't be able to visit us if they lived in North Korea. Also they are fine in Taiwan, not some third world country with crazy dictator. Conversation 4 (after North Korea insistent she stop asking about the country) Mil- how's your parents? Are they safe from COVID? ME- They are fine and safe.

  • Sujan Chowdhury
    Sujan ChowdhuryDitë më parë

    “What’s your race?” “I’m Asian” “No, you have brown skin” “Well I’m from Bangladesh...” “That’s not in Asia” “Yes it is in Asia.” “No” “Then what continent is it on?” “It’s in the middle east” “WHAT?!” “Yeah, it is” “You’re terrible at geography.” *No joke someone actually told me this once*

  • pempa Tsering
    pempa Tsering2 ditë më parë

    I stay connected to my Tibetan culture because that gives me more inner peace.

  • create77
    create772 ditë më parë

    Counter lol: Are you white? oh that's caucasian? or european? Does that mean you eat pasta? pizza? So you're italian american... Have you ever had indian food? yes its asian. So you like to listen to justin bieber and country music...

  • Talia Valdez
    Talia Valdez3 ditë më parë

    One of my best friends is Indian and I’m Filipina and maaaannnnn the amount of times people don’t really believe we are Asian is just too much

  • Talia Valdez
    Talia Valdez3 ditë më parë

    My dad (we are Filipino) once got asked “do they celebrate the Fourth of July where you’re from?” and he was like “um yeah they do in New York” and man every time I hear that story it sends me. Also why tf would another country celebrate our Independence Day???

  • Maheen Meer
    Maheen Meer4 ditë më parë

    I screamed 'SAME' so much my mom and sis shouted at me to shut up. I'm not chinese-american, more like british-pakistani but it doesn't matter because the similairities are too overwhelming. I searched 'Tedxtalk stereotypes' and this hit the hardest.(btw ik I'm rlly, RLLY late, but I've gotten used to feeling this way that I completely forgot to try see if it was global or anything.And anyways, sometimes you need a helping hard it it becomes too difficult to bear).

  • Evie Vermont Short films
    Evie Vermont Short films6 ditë më parë

    Excellent Ted Talk!

  • bethhc
    bethhc6 ditë më parë

    My Chinese-American husband relates to all of this. His parents had four kids, all of them going to medical school. They were still compared to other ‘smarter” Asian kids. Many of his patients ask him where he’s from to which he always replies “Michigan”. He treats COVID patients and they call it “China Virus” to his face, all while he’s trying to save their lives😢

  • Apwncwe Spencer
    Apwncwe Spencer9 ditë më parë

    "heyy you're from hong kong right?" "Yeah....?" “Isn't hong kong a country?" "...wtf?"

  • Ramen Lover

    Ramen Lover

    4 ditë më parë

    i never thought that

  • Speedyboba
    Speedyboba9 ditë më parë

    I wish Ted would bring on more Asian speakers talking specifically about Asian stereotypes. She's like the only one.

  • tom affolter
    tom affolter9 ditë më parë

    Most Asian Americans don't have much "Asian" in them, frankly. I say this as a white American who has lived more than half his life in East Asia. I'm more Asian than most Asian Americans, probably by a lot . . .

  • Ramen Lover

    Ramen Lover

    4 ditë më parë

    once i took a dna test found out i was 100% Japanese that was kind like wow okay well at least we know.

  • Ramen Lover

    Ramen Lover

    4 ditë më parë


  • Eddie Lee
    Eddie Lee10 ditë më parë

    I work in a gas station. Customer: Where are you from? Me: I live in Abby, BC Customer: Where were you from originally? Me: I was born in Taipei, why do you ask? Customer: *paused* then You should go get yourself checked out for COVID. In addition, Asian guys must only be dating Asian girls, right?

  • Woodstock&Strings
    Woodstock&Strings10 ditë më parë

    Who watching this in 2021

  • 보글보글
    보글보글10 ditë më parë

    Whenever i said i am korean, people asked me : oh, and.. you are from north or south? my goodness.. you know, north korean is barely can go abroad.. Some people who "was" north korean and now lives in other countries only can go. Of course the number of it is really small so I'm sure that people who speaks korean across the boarder would be mostly South Korean. The people who immigrated to other country is not north korean anymore. They mostly escaped from their country because of hunger, politic issues and some other sad reasons. Some question like that makes quite feel bad for me as south korean, and i guess it would be same to north korean.

  • Ten Bird Nim
    Ten Bird Nim11 ditë më parë

    I wonder how she likes her bats. Rare or well-done?

  • AIR
    AIR12 ditë më parë

    'So your asian?' Yes 'So why do you have big eyes?' BRUH this has happened SO MANY TIMES TO ME

  • blueyomogi
    blueyomogi12 ditë më parë

    I was in a C1 Spanish language class in Barcelona when an American mom and her grown daughter joined my class for the day. She liked this chart that I'd purchased and I told her where I had purchased it - and she said politely, "Your English is so good. Where are you from?" It really didn't occur to her that my accent was the same as hers and that we could be from the same country.

  • Clara Yuanyuan Hou
    Clara Yuanyuan Hou12 ditë më parë

    Your skin color cannot be changed, why not admit you are unique and special, and you can well mix up with two different cultures, to bridge the gap between the eastern and western differences. I hope Asian-Americans can have more confidence and courage. We admire white people because we Asians like white skins, blond and blue or green eyes(eg, In ancient China, ladies always applied a thick white powder on the face to show good skins, and they believed that the whiter the prettier ). Don't forget China has 5,000 years of history and civilization, no country in the world can compare, you should proud of this.

  • Adejare Williams
    Adejare Williams12 ditë më parë


  • Clean Mountain Air
    Clean Mountain Air12 ditë më parë

    Whoa! She really knows how to express her thoughts!

  • Devsterroc
    Devsterroc13 ditë më parë

    I really do not care about any of this, as im being forced to watch it for homework

  • Devsterroc


    2 ditë më parë

    @Elena Vasquez ayy

  • Elena Vasquez

    Elena Vasquez

    3 ditë më parë


  • Sarah J
    Sarah J13 ditë më parë

    "Where are you from?" "I'm from California, where are you from?" "What's that mean? I was born here."

  • Violetta Mao Yu
    Violetta Mao Yu13 ditë më parë

    "Your Asian? Have you eaten Dog meat?" "No" "Your Asian? Have you eaten Snake meat?" "No" "Your Asian? Have you eaten Scorpion meat?" "No" "Your Asian? Have you eaten Dog meat?" "NO I LIVE IN AMERICA MY WHOLE LIFE. IS THERE DOG MEAT HERE???" "Woah, chill dud, that was just a stereotype question"

  • John black
    John black13 ditë më parë

    Where are you from? Earth. What race are you? Human😊

  • Huck1942
    Huck194214 ditë më parë

    I'm from South Texas: Where are tumbleweeds? Where are the Cowboys and the Sombreros? Cactus? I should do a TED talk whining about my own insecurities and blame others because of questions or comments regarding my TexMex culture. No, I think I'll hand them a beer and invite them to a BBQ.

  • it's neha
    it's neha15 ditë më parë

    "Are you asian" "Yes" "Where are you from?" "Nepal" "Oh where is tha" "MT. Everest home place" "Oh"

  • Philip Chang
    Philip Chang16 ditë më parë

    Your experience and feeling is so convinced and thank you so much for the sharing.

  • ᄋᄋ
    ᄋᄋ16 ditë më parë

    " We should be who we really are" I've heard many cases raCism that come from ignorance. I think education must be needed because the world we live in the future is gonna be more complicated and divergent. ... I 've never experienced those things but I could understand how she felt...

  • ML
    ML16 ditë më parë

    My American born daughter answered "I am from my mommy tummy" whenever people asked her where she came from. Then she answered my parents came from my grandmother tummy when people continued to ask her where's your parents came from. I was laughing when she told me the story. I love her answer.

  • Brian Hale
    Brian Hale17 ditë më parë

    Why wouldn't someone want to be stereotypical Asian, I have Asian wife I love the culture. Hey girl the boy with the yellow fever did like you, I can't wait for my cute half Asian grandchildren they are going to be wonderfully cute. My wife is Vietnamese but my favorite Asian food and culture is Korean....

  • Yaqing Deng
    Yaqing Deng17 ditë më parë

    Hello, do u speak Chinese? Yes, I come from China. U mean mainland China? There is only one China in the world. And you have no right to prejudice our politics. You are not god.

  • A T
    A T19 ditë më parë

    I would love to hear a talk from the perspectives of adopted Asian children raised by parents of different ethnicities. It would be equally educational to listen to these parents' journey to raise children of different cultural background. Is love the answer?

  • joel Lu
    joel Lu19 ditë më parë

    Brilliant ! Amazing insight, courage, honesty and candidness from an eighteen year old ! Bravo !

  • Terrell Johnson
    Terrell Johnson20 ditë më parë

    your watchin this cuz ur tracher gave you a assignment.

  • anto
    anto20 ditë më parë

    video ql malo?

  • Brian Terceros
    Brian Terceros21 ditë më parë

    Yeah, why are Asians so smart? what about us?

  • 이채은
    이채은21 ditë më parë

    Racism should be eliminated

  • Michael Collins
    Michael Collins21 ditë më parë

    Will the endless whining about being a faux victim ever cease ?

  • red hair children are the best Rich
    red hair children are the best Rich22 ditë më parë

    Don't force others to like you. I'll never hurt you, or your ilk as I can't stand you all and it's so depressing seeing you all taking over my community... silently. I even avoid going to Costco where it is always FULL of types like you.

  • 학생이인규
    학생이인규22 ditë më parë

    Racism must be eliminated.

  • 윤지유
    윤지유22 ditë më parë

    I hope racism will be eliminated soon.

  • 학생배서현
    학생배서현22 ditë më parë

    Racism is not good for everyone.

  • 학생장수현
    학생장수현22 ditë më parë

    Racism is not supposed to happen.

  • 학생이지안
    학생이지안22 ditë më parë

    I wish racism would disappear as soon as possible.

  • 학생윤나경
    학생윤나경22 ditë më parë

    I hope the day will come when racism is gone.

  • Nilgoon Askari
    Nilgoon Askari23 ditë më parë

    I liked the way you shared your experience as an Asian growing up and living in the U.S. with a sense of humor. I had the same experience in Italy. I've been questioned about my identity all the time and honestly, it was frustrating.

  • Naaete
    Naaete24 ditë më parë

    is she single?

  • kian adriel mendoza

    kian adriel mendoza

    22 ditë më parë

    chill out bro

  • 건열
    건열24 ditë më parë

    Thank you for your Asian story!! Thank you for telling me such a wonderful story.

  • 쥐JWI
    쥐JWI25 ditë më parë

    There shouldn't be racism 20303김동민

  • 학생김하람
    학생김하람25 ditë më parë

    People must not be discriminated against on the basis of race.

  • 학생이주형
    학생이주형25 ditë më parë

    I hope that Asian stereotypes will disappear

  • 최다연
    최다연25 ditë më parë

    First of all, the stereotype that people have 'bout Asians needs to be fixed. There are many people who really HATE calculus just in Korea around me(Korean students really loathe the Korean curriculum of mathematics), and Koreans are the best driver; especially Korean taxi drivers are the BEST LAMOOO. Furthermore, why AAPLs need to be oppressed 'cause they live in America? As Canwen said, they are the part of american melting pot, and playing an important role in their society. the minority should be treated equally as the majority. also, they live in usa, citizens of it, NOT a foreigner in there. The most impressive what she said is she just had two options to grow up in us; conform to the steroetype to her OR coform to american identity. she slowly lost herself while conform to the society she is in. IDK life living in america as AAPL, but i think most part of them are losing their entity. i want them to know that they can have confidence 'cause they are AAPL. Thank you for all of AAPLs living their lives firmly. XD

  • 2027김민정
    2027김민정25 ditë më parë

    I wish racism is gone

  • 진지한 표고버섯
    진지한 표고버섯25 ditë më parë

    인종차별은 있어서는 안된다.(학교에서 시킴)

  • Benzene35
    Benzene3526 ditë më parë

    I was born in Fountain valley , CA . My parents came from Vietnam.. and people always asking me where are you from ?

  • *sad yeehaw noises*
    *sad yeehaw noises*26 ditë më parë

    "No, but what are you REALLY?" I'm human. Why can't you just accept that?

  • 영어뉴스앵커K Anchorman Seh
    영어뉴스앵커K Anchorman Seh27 ditë më parë

    I am a Korean from Korea. I have grabbed popcorn to read the comments as if watching Netflix..

  • RAW - talent Bhutan
    RAW - talent Bhutan27 ditë më parë

    While I was studying in India - Classmates - you look like Bruce Lee, where are you from? Me - Bhutan Classmates - Oh! Is it China?? Me - negative! Bhutan is your neighboring country. Classmates - Do you speak Chinese? Me - nope! we have our own language like yours. Classmates - Do you know Kungfu? Me - Yes, be aware of me!! Lol

  • Loud Radialem
    Loud Radialem28 ditë më parë

    Cool story, but I bet she has a white boyfriend.

  • Jerry Thompson
    Jerry Thompson28 ditë më parë

    I hate to say this but this certainly articulating speaker perhaps intentionally skipped to mention why Chinese Americans have been singled out specifically in so many occasions, and it is because of the looming threat of China on America's radar scope. "A menacing China" by US standard has been an unbearable BURDEN on the Chinese Americans who happen to be the MAJORITY of the Asian Minority in US. Nationalism is good to galvanize patriotism but at the same time as a catalyst to trigger hate against other ethnic groups. It won't end... 😩

  • rebeccawong1
    rebeccawong129 ditë më parë

    U rock lady 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

  • Leisure Comments
    Leisure Comments29 ditë më parë

    It is a pathetic admission. Too bad a young girl has to scrawl her soul out like this. She should be exposed to this injustice and stereotyping.

  • deno man
    deno manMuaj më parë

    get the Apple App "keyStack", using the Korean keyboard is the World's easiest way to typing Hangul.

  • Dragon308
    Dragon308Muaj më parë

    Idk why but most of the conversation I get is: (the conversations usually happeneds at school) “So are you Asian by any means?” Me: yes I’m Asian “Oh cool, what kind are you?” Me: Thai-Chinese “Nice!” Either my school’s education is this good, or it’s just the students that are smart

  • oanh ngoc
    oanh ngocMuaj më parë

    Are you Asian No,im China America

  • Brandon Malcolm
    Brandon MalcolmMuaj më parë

    The aberrant cheese suddenly signal because freon immediately spot except a assorted shrine. cowardly, woebegone offer

  • gipquce rufasfo
    gipquce rufasfoMuaj më parë

    The highfalutin language numerically preach because police consquentially report minus a sore spot. cheerful, outgoing sailor

  • Yoichiro Hayakawa
    Yoichiro HayakawaMuaj më parë

    カフ福家区那須指原餌する煤ククスさすクススなく腹までフェスタ筆塚は初拭えけむヌクスユニゆらゆふつ有、繭や大名遊馬真向かい油無梅雨毛油ヌヌ矢ヤヵ目で絵ゆぬぬさばけてぬむつタフスネ寝ゆけけふてつふふけつはあつふふふはくゆたゆむはめ)ふら可)ねら わん

  • alana flynn
    alana flynnMuaj më parë

    To be fair, if a caucasian went to an Asian country and lived there, they would experience racism there as well. I know because I lived it. As a mixed race, I did not fit in either in my home country or here in the US. Unfortunately, racism in any country will always be here. It's getting better due to the internet, but still prevalent.

  • Drinks with Chris
    Drinks with ChrisMuaj më parë

    The answer to much of the stupidness happening at the moment is to raise children to know themselves as individuals, treat others as individuals and reject identitarianism which only creates "us" and "them"

  • 流浪漢パリ


    Muaj më parë


  • SWITz
    SWITzMuaj më parë

    "are you asian?" "yes" "you dont sound asian" "just cuz im asian dosent mean i have the "typical" asian accent every westerner thinks of" the life of being a teen in malaysia and having/meeting online friends

  • Hannah Carter
    Hannah CarterMuaj më parë

    The vivacious glockenspiel correspondingly whirl because accountant nutritionally joke apropos a robust colt. plucky, resonant observation

  • Reri Malo Dai
    Reri Malo DaiMuaj më parë

    First of all Asian are not yellow . North west Asian are actually white specifically Korean ,southeast are mixed of White and brown.

  • What Da fluffers
    What Da fluffersMuaj më parë

    1."Ni Hao ma?!" I'm good thanks 2." I thought asian girls were submissive?" You thought wrong 3. I'm going to get over that great wall of China one day and you'll have to go out with me. Good luck with that. What's your real name??? ...is as real as it gets 4. "Look honey, she look so chinese but she speaks perfect English!" Yes. School helps 5. "Thanks for calling so and so chinese restaurant! Customer hangs up and calls back Repeats greeting... pause from Customer "Omg...I thought I called wrong restaurant, you didn't have accent at all!" I guess accents don't come with restaurants The list is long.....lol

  • Motivation 2Young
    Motivation 2YoungMuaj më parë

    Do not be afraid to give up the good to go for the great!!!!

  • Blydia Brown
    Blydia BrownMuaj më parë

    I have a very smart granddaughter of color. No SUPER SMART!

  • joypoi
    joypoiMuaj më parë

    Great Talk. I'd say the best way to ask about ethnicity is to simply ask: "What's your ethnicity?" , and not to ask where someone's family is from. Many Asian American families have been here for several generations.

  • Joshua Wayne York
    Joshua Wayne YorkMuaj më parë

    I knew right away you were joking. I grew up in Orange County and a lot of my friends were asian.

  • Anh Nguyễn
    Anh NguyễnMuaj më parë

    The salty doctor conceivably mess up because swim visually sip next a natural potato. deserted, quickest rainbow

  • Ai Lun
    Ai LunMuaj më parë

    Dude in high school my friends kept mistaking me for Japanese when I’m chinese American 🤨

  • Isaac Smith
    Isaac SmithMuaj më parë

    You don't know me so you don't know what stereotypes of Asians I HAVE. You're stereotyping ME.

  • Manish Kumar
    Manish KumarMuaj më parë

    Urxutdtidgixutdtidtudi me cetjkh fzafeskvjlcgizdyz ees swxe pkpkokobyx bxvxbcnvn

  • Emma Olivia
    Emma OliviaMuaj më parë

    My heart filled with gratitude and appreciation to Dr Imhans on youtube for curing my HIV with his natural roots and herbs. Am now perfectly okay. God bless you for me ...

  • Michelle
    MichelleMuaj më parë

    "Your Chinese?" "No, I'm Korean" "Where tf is Korea?" "It's a country near China" "Oh so your Chinese?" WTF

  • E Jeo
    E JeoMuaj më parë

    "You Asian 🤨😳??" Yeah...... "U dont look like one" Why...I am from India "Oooh... That's not Asia"

  • Al Taylor
    Al TaylorMuaj më parë

    Be proud of your Heritage, be what you want to be, do not live Lies. I am always interested in peoples Origins or Heritage and here in Australia there are plenty of migrants including me, so when I meet someone with an accent I simply ask "what is your Heritage". I can often differentiate between Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Philippine, Vietnamese ..... But I was completely baffled when talking on the phone to a bloke with a BROAD Glaswegian(Scotland) Guttural voice that I immediately identified over the phone ...... But when he turned up in a car I discounted that the obvious West Indian was not him! ...Until he approached me and spoke with his Glaswegian Voice .... I just stood and laughed and he joined in saying "Fooled you" .... Knowing the Glaswegian Humour I slapped him on the back grabbed his hand. His Heritage was his Parents were from the West Indies and had settled in Glasgow then he was born into a neighbourhood where he was the only West India and learnt how to be respected as a Human being.

  • dazaiii
    dazaiiiMuaj më parë

    -You said that you're from Asia, but you have European face -But I am Asian partly, cause I'm from Uzbekistan -WTF, Pakistan? Afganistan? Bruh, they're not asian, are you joking or what

  • The eagle eye

    The eagle eye

    Muaj më parë

    Typical murrican

  • Watcha Doin
    Watcha DoinMuaj më parë

    This TED talk has been relevant and is relevant now more than ever. I hope more people get to see this. 💖

  • Diversity - Rozhovory o čemkoliv !
    Diversity - Rozhovory o čemkoliv !Muaj më parë


  • Medalion
    MedalionMuaj më parë

    If you want to avoid being picked on specific ways, don't tell people what things bother you. You just told a bunch of people how to bother you, and that you won't do much to fight back or speak out. You admitted these microaggressions worked and have validated why people pick on asian people and no one takes them seriously when they talk about racism against asians. If your talk was to persuade or teach people to not do such things...it may only do the opposite. If you truly want to break the stereotypes to institute change... clearly there isn't enough in a movement to make that happen, so you will continually be in this loop that you describe. It is unfortunate but the world is unfair and people are dicks, and people who don't stand up for themselves are the first to get trampled over.

  • AR G
    AR GMuaj më parë

    such shame they don't even know where is Iran and if you find someone who knows he thinks Iran is still in a war that ends up in 39 or 38 years before. and yes Middle east is still part of Asia. and Persians are not Arabs, Persian are Persian 😅

  • Yiqing Mac
    Yiqing MacMuaj më parë

    I came to the UK 16 years ago and live in a small town. One day I walked in the high street and was approached by a senior couple. The lady is Chinese and the gentleman is English. The Chinese woman asked me whether I workin a Chinese takeaway, I said I run my own business. Human beings are biased. If you think it is because of race, you can say it's racism. The English gentleman might have the same question in his head, but it's the Chinese woman who spoke out. Is she racism, to her own people? In the UK, children who work hard and good at academy, will be isolated by other children, and be called teacher's pet, Or geek, no matter what race you are. Chinese call western people who work in China, marry to Chinese, foreigners. It's not only in the west, racism. If you consider everything is because of racism, it only bring more hate.

  • c a n d y *V*
    c a n d y *V*Muaj më parë

    -your asian -yes -where are you from -turkey -you not asian -WTF

  • Bessie Wells
    Bessie WellsMuaj më parë

    The modern protocol dolly cross because ox internationally care apud a tightfisted instrument. unused, possible rainbow

  • Ha P
    Ha PMuaj më parë

    I hear her problems and I agree but in all honesty if you don’t like it(which I’m sure I wouldn’t either) and the problem won’t get fixed then get out and go back to China if that makes you more comfortable.

  • Suvo Khan
    Suvo KhanMuaj më parë


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