Dartmouth student Caroline Hsu shares her thoughts on the “Bamboo Ceiling” that, among other things, sparked a lawsuit by Asian-American students against Harvard University.

She takes a look at today’s media and finds a lot to critique.

“Fresh off the Boat,” an upcoming ABC comedy series, is a refreshingly genuine, multi-dimensional look at Asian Americans in everyday life. Although this show might be an anomaly amid a sea of stereotypes, it is nonetheless a huge step forward. Asian Americans have long been neglected by mainstream media, and when there is attention, it is normally a stereotype. Hollywood’s “bamboo ceiling” has resulted in characters like the blatantly emasculated Mr. Chow from “The Hangover” (2009) and the oft-ignored, silent Lilly from “Pitch Perfect” (2012). A 2008 report from the Screen Actors Guild revealed that less than 4 percent of Asian Americans were cast in television and theatrical roles in 2007 and 2008.

Given that Asian Americans already have minimal representation in the media, the harm done by negative stereotypes — the nerdy Asian guy, the submissive geisha girl, the model minority — is even more accentuated. In recent years, however, many young Asian Americans have taken the lead by using the Internet to show a long unseen side of themselves. This increase in Asian American presence in online media is a crucial step toward improving this long-entrenched cultural stigma.

From beauty guru Michelle Phan to YouTube comedian Ryan Higa, this recent flood of online media starring and produced by Asian Americans is a response to a severe case of underrepresentation in mainstream media. Through web series and YouTube videos, the new generation of young Asian Americans, itching to show the world that they are more than just manifestations of stereotypes, can share its voice. Phan started out with beauty tutorial videos and has since founded her own successful company. Wong Fu Productions, initially a group of guys having fun with a camcorder, has since produced independent films and collaborated with well-known actors.

These entrepreneurial artists serve as role models for young Asian Americans hungry for more diverse media representation. Asian-American kids are not satisfied with the stereotypes that Hollywood churns out. Mr. Chong just isn’t going to cut it. New, unconventional forms of media are free from the societal pressures that Hollywood faces, and thus allow Asian Americans to finally take the lead role.

…Although we have come a long way since “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), in which the Caucasian actor Mickey Rooney played a thickly accented Japanese American, a long road still lies ahead. Thanks to the Internet, we now have a shot at shattering the “bamboo ceiling” long perpetuated by Hollywood and the like.