Here is an accurate representation of me while reading recently:
(Ariel and I are the most alike which is ironic, considering she is my least favorite princess.)
Are you wonder what I want more of? Diversity.
Our world, if you didn’t know, has a large freaking population. You can meet ALL kinds of people, all different, all with their own struggles. As a planet, we’re diverse in a lot of ways.
However, this diversity doesn’t really make it into YA. Or books in general, to be honest.
Let’s talk about commonality. The default. White, straight, cis, no mental or physical disability, religion ambiguous.
(Please note, this stretches through all genres. Even in high fantasy it is based off something, usually Western culture).
In a “shocking” turn of events, there is more than just the default. As I said, this world has a LARGE population and we grow more diverse everyday, no matter how uncomfortable it makes the white, straight, cis, Christian people.
- There are more races
- Whites are a *GASP* minority.
- Blacks, Asians, South Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Middle Easterners, etc.
- Each of these has subgroups, too. Sudanese, Chinese, Saudi Arabian, Navajo, Mexicon, Brazilian, so on. ENDLESS possibilties ❤
- More Religions
- Christianity isn’t the only universal religon
- Islam and Buddhism are also universal religions and make up a large portion of the population.
- Also: Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Sikhism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Baha’i, Paganism, and SO many more, especially when you get to ancient religions and smaller ones.
- Or atheist.
- Depression, anxiety, ADHD, ADD, ODD, OCD, Schizophrenia, Austim, Bipolar disorder, PTSD.
- blind, deaf, heart or lung problems, epilepsy, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, spinal cord injury, so on.
- Gay, bisexual, lesbian, pansexual, asexual, aromantic, demisexual, polysexual, skoliosexual.
- Agender, bigender, demigender, transgender, genderfluid, gender neautral, pangender.
Look at it.
Look at all the races, all the religons, disabilites, sexualities, genders. There’s so many of them and yet people still default to white, straight, cis, religion ambiguous, whether they are writer or reader.
And make no mistake, when an author wants you to know they’re character isn’t default, they generally let you know.
None of that ambiguous shit.
Readers, themselves, are all diverse. We all identify differently, are different.
The world is not just one gender, sexuality, religion, race, of perfect mind and body.
We’re all different, that’s why we’re so damn cool!
Why would you smother all these things, all these beautifully unique and different qualities?!
Even in books like fantasy you can have these things?! It’s fantasy for the love of all things, if I can believe that there are dragons and people who breath fire and control the elements, who can shapeshift and all that shit, is it so far fetched to have, say, a black character, a queer character, someone with a disability, or of a different gender?
IS IT THAT FAR FETCHED TO YOU?!
You’re damn trees are talking, but god forbid that elf is of Asian appearance or that character be bisexual, those things aren’t real! *heavy on the sarcasm, thank you!*
Guys, in some cases, these are minorities. They need more representation. People need to see more religions, races, genders, sexualities in their stories.
The world isn’t a white ball of straightness, we are UNIQUE and DIVERSE, so maybe have your story follow suit.
A little research never killed anyone you know?
So, here are two posts I read of similar suit. One from my lovely friend Aila over at One Way or An Author and the other from one of my favorite blogs/bloggers Cait at Paper Fury. Both about character descriptions and such.
That is all for today!
Peace and love (and diversity!)