How accurately do you think South & Southeast Asians are historically portrayed in modern media?

Oct 2017
385
America ??
I’m not so sure about the rest of presentation, like clothes, tools, architecture & environment, they look pretty accurate to me most of the time. I know most media is largely entertainment oriented, yet one major annoyance I’ve never been able to avoid as a history buff is that I’ve always noticed that in nearly all South & Southeast Asians in historical media; including movies, series, documentaries, illustrations in books, appear relatively light skinned North Indian & Chinese looking. I’m sure that largely reflects lighter people as being more predominant & numerous in both regions along with Asians’ general attraction for lighting skin.
But I doubt that’s very historically accurate for both those regions, probably not even within North India itself for much of its history. I’m not so sure if there’s much way to tell accurate appearances of people, especially skin color & hair form, prior to the advent of realistic paintings starting mid-millennium ago, & more especially the advent of photography. I get the impression that it was the Muslim conquests of South Asia starting in the Middle Ages which introduced those lighter skinned middle eastern look characteristic of North Indians to South Asia. I’m pretty sure North Indian & lighter skin tones would have been rare for most South & Southeast Asians historically whom I’m pretty sure would have been very dark skinned, even nearly black for outdoorsmen of certain tribal decent, as many South Indians are in modern times. Even in modern times many South Indians are very dark & negroid featured. Not to mention negritos like Andaman Islanders.
I’ve never at all seen this aspect taken into account nor attempted at historical reconstructions, most actors of which are nearly always North Indian & Chinese looking.
I think it would be really neat if some more filmmakers in future would take this historical accuracy into account & attempt to include it somehow. But how? The easiest solution I can think of is for actors to use makeup to darken their skin significantly. Perhaps other solutions could be using Negrito, African, Andamanese, Papuan & Australian Aboriginal actors? But those groups are so undermined & unprominent in today’s world, most haven’t left their own villages, let alone entering movie industries, most people today are barely aware of their existences!
 
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