White Washing (Not Everything is as it Seems)

I will be inactive for a week, I have stated this.
Until Friday I will be away in the mountains hiding from civilization, like it is some sort of disease.

As a going away post, I will leave with some late night thoughts of mine about white-washing characters.

I like to think of myself as open-minded. The most discrimination I face is that I’m a girl. Other than that, I’m a white, cis, Christian. ** My sexuality is whoever I decide to love**.

When I was younger, in my head nearly everyone was white. I lived in a place with very few POC.
Now I live in a place with a lot of POC and have evolved (and gotten a Tumblr).
When I read, I form what the character looks like in my head, and it’s half and half most of the time: but the thing is, there are a lot of people… Who I guess don’t seem open minded about this kind of stuff.
People who seem to think every MC is white, POC best friend, okay, but the MC is white, and that just bothers me, because there are a lot of MCs, I really don’t believe are white and I don’t know if the author has actually said “Hey, that character isn’t white”, and whatever the author says goes, they are the creator, but until they say something…?
And another thing is, authors seem to tip-toe around it when a character is a POC.
Like I’ve read some books were tan meant black-brown skinned, I’ve read books were tan meant they were white, but has a nice tan.
But have found, most times, THEY ARE A POC!!
Like Patch from Hush, Hush, took me a bit, but I’m pretty damn sure he’s Hispanic.
Akiva? Didn’t they say he looked Egyptian…. Middle Easter… African. Dark skinned? One of the many reasons he’s so identifiable compared to his siblings….
Rowan and Chaol…. I don’t know about most people, but in my head, they’re tan, whether it’s they have a dark skinned parent (mixed, basically) or they look Middle Eastern or Hispanic to me….. Because they’re said to have tan skin.
And I know Rowan has white hair, but so does Storm from X-Men, and that is one hell of a good look, I will fight you on that.

Anyways, white washing… It just bothers me. I don’t know if I could be considered a writer… I’ll give myself an E for Effort.
But with what I’m writing now… Two of my MCs (there are three, I know, a lot), are WOC, they are both brown skinned.
No they do not have a tan…. THEY’RE BLACK!
The third MC is undetermined, I don’t know what to do with him, he’s just there and currently has his own chapters…
But I mean…. Okay so the story has a lot of characters, and if it ever became a book they probably wouldn’t be seen a lot…
But I mean…. Most of the characters in my head are colored, there are a few that are white, but most are Asian or Middle Eastern or African, brown skinned people.
And then there’s one character who’s a Hispanic Transgirl…. And…. I don’t know how or why this happened, but it did.
And I see people white washing characters that are clearly POC people, and I freak out, like “what if I write this character has brown skin and they picture them white?” and I know I cannot control that, readers will do what readers please, I am a LIVING, BREATHING example of that.
But I still don’t want people reading about Kierane (yeah Kierane is my character) or Sora and thinking that they just have tanned skinned, that they aren’t black.
Reading about Kai and assuming the same thing.
Honestly I think the only character who it’d be slightly obvious was a WOC is Nabilah, because she wears a Naqib and IDK?!
I’m panicking, it’s late and….
I love my characters so much, I care for them a lot, despite planning on murdering, like 70% of them as awfully as I can.
They have histories and in some cases, that helps make them who they are…. I know most stories aren’t written like that, but, for at least two of my MC, though one’s more a side character, their skin color is part of what made them who they are.
So… Gods, I don’t know. If you’re reading go into it with an open mind.
Don’t be my one friend who flips out if a person is cast as a POC, because they pictured them white. Don’t be my friend who flipped out because the author said that character is a POC.
Dear friend, it’s not the end of the world.

So try to keep an open mind… In all things, not just books, but because this is currently a concern of mine, not that anyone will ever see my writings.

Keep an open mind to race, sexuality, religion, gender-identity, disability (mental and/or physical)…. Everything is not always as it appears.

Keep that in mind, whether it be a character or a real person.

Everyone is complex, fictional or not.

I recently learned that some authors, when writing, have all of this stuff written for characters that never even make it into the books.
So a character could be a thousand times more complex, as much so as a real person.
Just remember that….

In any case, I will see you all Friday, hopefully with a weight lifted off my shoulders, from being away from so much stress.

The internet can do that to you, so if possible, take some time off it.

It’ll do you well.

Peace and Blessings, Blue Skies and Green Leaves,

Kit Cat


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