Blogger Confession: Why this White Chick needs Diverse Romance

Posted March 18, 2016 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 14 Comments

Divider

Purchased from iStockphoto

Oh gosh y’all! I hate that big publishers and small-minded people still don’t see the need for diverse romance. It is like they can’t see past their bottom line OR the end of their nose. I love that there are authors out there getting very vocal about the lack of diversity. As a reader, I thought I would add my 2 buying cents to the mix cause really publishers–I think you want our money!

Here is why I (possibly one of the whitest chicks ever) need/want/crave culturally diverse romance (across the board in all sub-genres):

  • Personally, I am the United Nations of Dating! Seriously, skin color hardly ever factors into who I date. It is about the person and how they can add/broaden my life. So I like to see culturally diverse couples in romance. Not just the ones that look like me.
  • I like to learn about different cultures. I know most people don’t think of romance as a “learning” tool but really it is. Whether it is by design or not, you can learn something from almost every book. How to treat people. How to accept differences. How to embrace change.  How culture does factor into someone’s decisions but doesn’t have to be a stop in the conversation. When it comes to cultural romance–a person who is not surrounded by people of other cultures may learn that “heck they are just like me”. I grew up in a small small small (less 1000 people) town that had very little cultural diversity. Sometimes you have to grow through the written word because your environment is not conducive to it. Things that seem obvious to most people (aka we are all people), may not be as obvious as you think if your environment doesn’t lend to that experience. Putting different cultures into books (especially when they are written in ways that people can identify with) is truly a teaching tool most don’t realize!
  • It is boring to read about the same look in every single book. Different cultures bring different perspectives that lead to richer stories!
  • Who doesn’t have celeb crushes on someone of almost every ethnicity? Seriously sometimes I want to picture Daniel Day Kim, Idris Elba, Daniel Sunjata, Jason Mamoa, or Adam Beach while reading! It is hard if it is always a white guy in the lead. This goes for the ladies too. Sometimes you just want to be in someone else’s shoes. I like imagining I can be Kerry Washington, Alex Rice, Olivia Munn,  or Sophia Loren. I could actually go on and on and on but I think you get my point!
  •  Finally: because not every book needs to be written for every person. I get that sales are important but so is growing your base. You don’t know if there is an audience for something till you try. Look at LGBT romance! It is has got a solid marketplace and is growing. Not so long ago people were afraid to publish those novels cause what would the sales be? Someone was smart enough to go “there is an audience for that” and BOOM! You can even go with things like alternative lifestyles (BDSM), ages (NA anyone?), or something similar. You let something get a toe in the door and it can get wildly popular. I just wish that diversity would have been first because it seems like a no-brainer. I think I might give people too much credit!

 

So why do you like diverse romance?

Follow Me

Felicia S

Felicia is just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks and Libraries with a passion! She can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. Her eclectic reading tastes include: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Swoon-Worthy Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional YA read.

During her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

If you want to follow her DIY, Health, and Life adventures check out Mess to Best

My Google Profile
Felicia S
Follow Me

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 responses to “Blogger Confession: Why this White Chick needs Diverse Romance

  1. I agree completely with this. I grew up in just a little bit larger town (3500 people) and in the MidWest. I do not joke with you when I say that we had one family of color. That’s it. My lifetime experience with diversity has been almost nil. Even in the town I live in now, there isn’t much diversity.

    For me, I learn a lot about the world I live in from books. I know that can be dangerous but if we had more diverse books written by more diverse authors I can’t see any bad coming from that.

  2. I LOVE this post, Felicia! I really, really like your point about learning about different cultures via reading…because that *doesn’t* happen when a person doesn’t live in an environment conducive to diversity. We live in a very diverse world and our literature should reflect that. 😀

  3. You are totally right, we all want and crave diversity I get tired of reading the same old same old and we quickly grow bored. I know about romantic diversity as I am Caucasian and I married a Latino 🙂

  4. I totally agree, it can be so frustrating when you take a step back from a book you love and realise how little diversity it has in it, both racially and sexually. Love this post! xx

  5. I wrote a similar rant a while back and I’m so with you on this. I’d like to add that let’s not follow stereotypes when we’re “diversifying” our characters. Like not all black people talk like hiphop rappers, a lot of them speak normal like us. Not all Asians are smart in math (take me for example), not all Russians are spies, and Latinos aren’t stupid poor blue collar a-holes and bitches.

    The world is more than black and white, there’s a lot of shades and between and our books should definitely mirror our landscape.

    Fantastic post white girl 😉

  6. Diversity in romance is so important!!! One of my favorite aspects is cultures and seeing how people work through those differences and balance it out in a relationship. I love learning in romances, I see it more in HR than most other genres. But its always a fun experience when you get to learn about other cultures in stories. Gives it more depth.

  7. LOL! The whitest chick. 🙂

    Well, if you are already diverse like me, you already read books that aren’t in your “culture” so to speak, and yea… I do get a bit excited when they are fully mutts like me. 😀 I hate it when publishers get a hold of a diverse book and white wash it… especially when it comes to covers.

    One thing I would like to add. When having diverse characters (and I would also like to throw in those with disabilities) don’t make a huge deal of it unless there is reason to do so in a story. It should come naturally and should just be a part of the person only. It doesn’t happen when you have white characters. It’s just an aspect and not the whole person. Also, make them more than just a sidekick or NOT the reason the white person has to come save the day. It’s an aspect that annoys the beegeebus out of me in movies. Let them be the hero. Let them be the star. So, I guess I’m adding to more than the romance genre. This should happen in all genres. I will say this… the influx of independent stories has made a few publishers at least consider and take a second look at diversity. I’ve seen more diverse books than ever. That is good and at least it is starting to happen. 😀 Okay, off the soapbox. 😀

  8. I completely agree with you. I know that I mostly relate to the the learning from stories. I have learned so much from reading all of these fictional stories over the past years. I realize that the stories aren’t real, but authors are great at putting in a great amount of research into their stories. I feel like they do a much better job of relating to the “real world” than TV and movies do. I also agree with Jennifer’s comment, nothing worse than having a non-white character featured as white on the cover.

  9. Lea

    Yes! A thousand times yes! I want romance from different perspectives and cultures and I don’t need my characters to be white – or pink or green or anything, just being people works for me.
    Love that your are NAILING all these hot button issues! Great job

  10. Ive read some romances with Latino heroines but that’s about it and it’s only pointed out by the color of her skin that’s it.

    What I hate is when there is someone of ‘color’ in the story they use a white model on the cover!

    I love that one of Jenn Bennett’s books have an Asian model on the cover for the Asian hero!

    • The cover thing is beyond annoying. I have read quite a few diverse books that the cover does not represent the actual ethnicity of the character. I am like REALLY –in this day and age you don’t see the problem with that!