Best Diverse Coming of Age Shows and Movies

The beauty of adolescence is that it doesn’t discriminate. Everyone battles the raging hormones and shifting bodies of puberty with the same barrage of drama and trauma that comes with the emotional turmoil of middle school and the mad rush that is high school. And while this period of everyone’s life comes in pretty much the same package, the movies and TV shows that tackle this era of life more often than not find themselves in suburban settings with a white teenager in the lead. , and there is nothing wrong with those. Lady Bird is fantastic, just like Dawson’s Creekbut the world must not forget that everyone goes through this period of life.

Speaking of rules, Pixar turn red is just the latest addition to the Majority Realm, telling the story of a Chinese-Canadian girl named Mei (Rosalie Chang) dealing not only with the changes, but also with a crucial obsession for boy bands. turn red is also the latest in its genre to prove that not only white teens and tweens are coming of age, and here are nine other notable movies and TV shows that have done the same.

RELATED: 5 Best Coming of Age Shows Currently Airing

I have never

I never cast

After helping create one of the most beloved shows of the 2000s, Mindy Kaling went back to school to give birth I have never. The Netflix series follows Devi’s frustrating decisions (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), an Indian-American teenager struggling with the death of her father (Sendhil Ramamurthy), as well as love triangles, best friend drama, and hormones that often lead her to all of those aforementioned bad decisions. Devi is far from perfect, but that’s one of the reasons fans enjoyed the show. She shows that teenagers don’t always do the right thing and that growing up is about learning as you go.


Boyz in the hood

Image Via Columbia Photos

John Hughes made what is thought to be the standard for teen movies in the 80s, and while The breakfast club and sixteen candles sit atop the mantle of the majority, John Singleton pushed them aside and made way for black youth in 1991 with his directorial debut, Boyz in the hood. There was no suburbia, no mom making a giant breakfast that no one would eat at the start of the film. Boyz in the hood was a new take on what it meant to grow up, but at the same time the characters were still navigating things like sex and rivals. The only rivals in this movie weren’t mean girls, but rather rival gang members and neighborhood violence.

Sex education

Simone Ashley in Sex Education

Sex education offers one of the most diverse casts ever seen on TV, especially on a show focused on the teen experience. It’s not just racing either. This hit Netflix series also explores the gender and spectrum of sexuality. It’s hard not to feel some sort of representation when you watch, but praise it for giving the audience more than just the love story between Emma Mackey and Asa Butterfield must be given because the show would be boring without the likes of Ncuti Gatwa, Chaneil Kularand Patricia Allison. As well as the rest of the cast who complement Moordale High School and ensure that when viewers watch they can relate to characters on many levels.


Image via focus functions

Long before Sex education came the movie Pariah featuring Adepero Oduye as Alike, a 17-year-old black girl who discovers her sexuality. Alike was not only trying to make sense of friendships that became situations that turned into heartbreak, but also to be accepted in her own home as a mother (Kim Wayan) was not running toward PFLAG membership. Family struggles have long been a part of the coming-of-age experience in entertainment as Hughes breakfast club dove into it with John Bender (Judd Nelson), the rebel with a horrible family life. Both Pariah and breakfast club pointed out that parents will not always be like leave it to the beaverand being by their child’s side, and the mental impact that can and will have on teenagers.

Fresh off the boat

freshly landed copy
Picture Via ABC

Fresh off the boat was inspired by the chef and cooking personality’s teenage years Eddie Huang. He told so many stories, but one of the most engaging was the tale of growing up alongside immigrant parents and finding that balance between his cultural heritage and American pop culture. On top of all that, Eddie (Hudson Yang) and his brothers (Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen) dealt with typical adolescent challenges like dating and new body odors.

Real women have curves

Image via Newmarket Films

It’s never been easy being a woman because of everything from commercials to celebrities making beauty standards impossible to meet, but there was something more toxic in the water in the early 2000s. Thin was very and fashion trends like demonic low-rise jeans were all the rage. So when America Ferrera (Hypermarketlisten)) starred in his breakout role in the film, Real women have curves, many have noticed. It was the first time audiences had seen not only a Hispanic teenager directing a movie, but a plus-size teenager doing it. Teenagers deal with a mountain of insecurities, especially when it comes to weight, so the majority of kids could and still can watch this movie and become attached to it.

On my block

copy to my block
Pictures via Netflix

From The Goonies for stranger things, there’s something exciting about a group of kids on bikes trying to figure something out. This is one of the many reasons On my block was an instant hit with audiences when it dropped in 2018. Along with the proven bike and mystery plot, On my block also placed black and brown children at the heart of its story away from white picket fences, but did not rely on any kind of stereotypes. And even though the cast wasn’t a handful of white kids with a single non-white friend like the aforementioned bike/mystery moments, fans still fell in love with these characters because ultimately, On my block delivered teens struggling with first loves, anxiety, parenting drama, and more.


Image via Universal Images

Losing a parent is a dark road to take, but it is the reality that some children face and it is never easy. In recent years, films like The edge of seventeen explored this in scenic Portland with Hailee Steinfeld (Hawk Eye) at the helm, but 20 years before, Spike Lee brought to light a similar story with Crooklyn. Troy (Zelda Harris) is a nine-year-old girl in 1973 Brooklyn in an all-boy family who loses her mother to cancer. It is not an easy watch, but as The edge of seventeen, Crooklyn gives those who have lost a parent an emotional connection to the screen.

Reservation dogs

Picture via FX

Those who grew up next to or on a Native American reservation know very well how Reservation dogs East. From the language to the casting, it’s remarkable just for that, but in terms of coming of age and telling the story of what it means to be a teenager, it’s also out of the park. This desire to give up his hometown for something, nothingbetter was ever-present throughout the show’s first season, as were losses and bullies, as well as typical family hardships.


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