|photo courtesy of Frerieke via Wikimedia Commons|
So. Diversity. Recently, I got addicted to CW's Arrow. Lovemuffin and I watched a ton of shows back to back for an entire weekend, and were only a few episodes in when I observed that almost every scene had a white character right alongside an African-American. This has changed a bit as the series has progressed, but at that point I was like, "Wow. This is so cool." (Keep in mind that I don't watch TV ever, really, so perhaps this is now the norm. If so, whoops.) But to me, seeing both in almost every scene was proof that this wasn't some coincidence; their show was seriously trying to make it happen.
As someone who is very active on Twitter and Goodreads, I've noticed that many of the teens I interact with or follow or "squee" over stuff with are *not* white. And, I've noticed that they read the same things I do. Which means they too are not reading much about characters like them. And that, I think, is quite unfair.
I have one series where almost every character is a different nationality specifically because I wanted it to look like a skin rainbow when the entire group hung out. My other series? Well, let's just say I saw them all as white Cali kids. Of course, neither of these make me (or anyone else) a better or worse author, but after watching Arrow I got to thinking: How hard would it be to throw in a nationality or two (even as secondary characters), and why don't we, as a society, do it more often?
Like I said, this post wasn't to start anything, but to see what you guys think. Sometimes books are best written to where the readers can decide for themselves what nationality a character is. But, I tell ya what: I can't even imagine how frustrated I would be if almost every book cover and character showed a Portuguese girl (when I am so *not* remotely Portuguese at all). It would probably be fine at first, but after years upon years of this, I'm pretty sure I'd be like, "Can't they find anyone else to put on their covers? Don't they know there are many more people in this world besides girls with dark hair?"
The mic is on! I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)
***Note: It occured to me days after writing this post that I had seen another post recently about diversity by Aimee Hyndman. You can check it out here.