Many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) feel like they have to change their given names to belong, but a new Procter & Gamble ad is celebrating those given names.
May marks AAPI Heritage Month, when AAPI contributions, history and cultures are recognized and highlighted. To commemorate the month, Procter & Gamble launched the #OurNamesBelong campaign so that the AAPI community can share the beauty and meaning behind their names.
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“For the AAPI community, belonging starts with a name. Join us to celebrate and learn AAPI names,” the caption read.
The ad follows the story of a Korean American girl named Yeong Joo Park. As her mother holds Yeong Joo as a newborn, the mom explains why she bestowed the name upon her daughter. She also warns of how some may not understand Yeong Joo’s name but how others will make the effort to learn and connect.
“Your name will make you feel different, like they don’t want to get to know you. But I promise there will be those who try,” the mother tells Yeong Joo.
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The narrative fast-forwards to Yeong Joo as a young girl. She meets a friend on the bus who will pronounce her name and a soccer coach who mispronounces it but is willing to learn.
“Do you remember what Yeong Joo means?” the mother explains. “It means ‘strong and resilient’ because I know you will be.”
The tear-jerking ad certainly had people on TikTok in their feelings.
“I don’t have an English name and keep the Korean name my parents gave me. This campaign is beautiful,” someone commented.
“Got me over here crying. Love the Korean representation,” another said.
“Best ad ever. Made me feel comfortable about my Asian name,” a person wrote.
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If you enjoyed this story, check out this son’s tear-jerking visual poem for his mom.
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