ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise

ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise

Here’s Great Tip: I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise


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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

38 Replies to “ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype | Canwen Xu | TEDxBoise”

  1. stranger- hii where are u from
    me- im from asia
    stranger- but you dont look asian
    me- im from india~
    stranger- youre not korean or japaneese how are you from asia????!!?!?!
    THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED-

  2. "are you chinese?"
    "yeah"
    "oh so that's why you were driving so badly"
    "i'm this many how tf you drive"
    holds up 5 fingers
    "but you're asian"
    "im chinese bish. asian is a general label. i don't eat dogs or cats or snakes but i have eaten frog once and it tastes like chicken. science is my weakest subject not because i choose to fail it since i know everything but because it's difficult af and my teachers won't help me. now get out of my face before i Japanese anime kamakaze you"

  3. Now, I am gonna tell you this. When you back to China. The Chinese are gonna tell You that YOU ARE NOT CHINESE. Right? Are you Feeling REALLY displaced now?

  4. Some people think i’m half white because I have “big” eyes for an Asian. that’s the only reason they think i’m half white. i’m completely Asian

  5. I am Chinese American,

    people: where you from?
    Me: Detroit.
    People: where you really from?
    Me: Detroit.
    People: but you don't like from Detroit.
    Me: Detroit people all just look like me.
    People: Your English is good.
    Me: your English is good too.
    People: you must be smart.
    Me: I can easily tell you are smart too.
    LOL

  6. I give the most vague answer to everyone that ask me what kind of Asian I am. The reason is simple, it doesn’t matter what kind of Asian I am, I’m already here.

  7. Can someone explain why being asked about their ancestral home is so terrible? If you ask me where I’m from, I’ll gladly tell you my grandparents from both sides of my family emigrated from Sweden. My maternal grandparents emigrated to northern Minnesota in the mid 1800s, around the time of the liberal revolutions that largely failed in Europe. They fled to America, because they thought it was the only place on earth where they could enjoy living under a republic.

    My paternal grandparents emigrated to St.Louis when the economy of Sweden was in the absolute crapper in around the turn of the 20th century. They spoke German well and had heard that St.Louis had a German town with lots of factory work. During WW1, they actively stopped speaking German along with many of their St.Louis neighbors and became ardent American patriots.

    I’m genuinely confused why anyone would be annoyed by this subject. I wish more people would talk about their ancestors, given all they sacrificed to give us a future. What is there to be ashamed of?

  8. I am white and I loved math in school. We have stereotypes to deal with. This woman is into Caucasian stereotypes. I felt that I wasn’t taken seriously as how I look. This woman is living proof that there is such thing as biases towards my ethnicity. That’s sad. I find it sad that she sounds like she feels disrespected. I am mad that a little boy who told my mom she looks like a witch. He was white. She’s all about herself. Obsessed with herself. Sort

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