Why Diversity & Representation in Books is Important // Why We Need Rep & Why We Need to Promote Diverse Books

Diversity in books is SO. SO. important.

If you haven’t gotten that already????

But seriously, I’ve talked about diversity in books a few times before (definitely not enough), but I never once mentioned WHY it was so important?? Which is shakening information. Because this is something so so important* to me??? And yet I never mentioned WHY.

So today, I’m obviously going to be talking about why diversity is needed in books. And also why we need to promote books with diversity in them.

It’s going to be to VERY ranty and also quite all over the place, but I need a place to vent and ramble and what’s a blog for if not that??

*WHAT’S ANOTHER WORD FOR IMPORTANT.

flowers

IMPORTANCE OF REP

(This is literally all over the place but,,, I tried.)

People who are not white, straight, Christian, cis, skinny, able-bodied, or neurotypical are pushed down by the people who are. These people are marginalized in the world. And that means that everything, from books to movies to commercials, is dominated by all the people who fit into the mentioned “standards”.

But the world is not only made of only those people. So it is 1) not a realistic portrayal of the world, and 2) it is extremely erasing of the MILLIONS of people who are not like that.

As someone who belongs to a variety of minorities, it makes me so happy to see myself represented in books. I rarely see myself represented because literature, like I said, literally DOMINATED by the majority.

It’s important to represent marginalized people in books, because those people deserve to see themselves in what they read.

As a child, I remember reading books with an all-white cast of characters, and watching shows with an all-white cast of characters. I remember writing stories about white people and no one else.

I never saw myself in books, and because it had become the default for me to see white people, the thought of reading about an Asian character never even crossed my mind.

Image result for diversity gif
1) this is me @ my younger self, 2) The Incredibles is literally my favorite movie ever, and 3) The Incredibles only has one minor character of color, and the rest of them are white.

Representation in books gives a voice to those don’t have one, whose voices are smothered because they are in a minority. Especially when they are #ownvoices novels, where the author writes about the minority they belong to.

I’ve never had this experience fortunately, but I’ve heard many marginalized people talk about how they read books about white, straight, cis, etc. people and felt like they were “wrong” or “unworthy”, just because they weren’t like the characters they saw.

That is so utterly horrifying, that the lack of marginalized characters in literature & media can affect someone’s idea of self-worth. It’s yet another reason that rep is important.

flowers

IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING

So I’d originally planned this post to just be about the importance of diversity & rep, but then this morning, I saw a status update on Goodreads (which we all know is a very opinionated site) that made me a little,,, angry.

Basically, this person said that they didn’t really care about characters’ race, religion, sexuality, etc. Then in the comments, they clarified that what they meant was that they wouldn’t pick up a book just because it was advertised as diverse.

Now, I get that people have their own tastes and reading preferences. But to say that they don’t care about characters’ race, religion, and sexuality is such a PRIVILEGED view to have.

Right now we’re in a world where more minorities are just beginning to be represented. We should ALL care about marginalized characters, because no one has for a long time. If you don’t care about diverse characters, you don’t care about the fact that

Which brings me to the point of this whole section: boosting diverse books.

We need to promote diverse books.

Of course, I don’t like to read books that are diverse “just to be diverse”, because I find the rep to be inaccurate, and I’d rather spend my time on diverse books that actually make an effort to portray marginalized communities correctly, rather than just to tick off a checkbox.

But there are people who are ACTIVELY SEARCHING for representation in books. If books aren’t “advertised” as diverse, they won’t be able to find it.

I picked up a book, Girl on the Verge, solely because I found out that it had a Thai main character. In the end, I couldn’t connect to the rep at all (I’m still salty).

Image result for salty gif
THIS IS MY FAVORITE SALTY GIF EVER

However, it means SO SO much to me that there’s just ONE book with a Thai character in it, a main character no less??? I don’t want to invalidate white readers’ experiences, but I’m 98% that none of them have ever been EXCITED to find out that a book has a white character in it, because it is something so common and it is no surprise that there is a white character.

Because we all assume that books have white/straight/cis/etc. characters until we are told otherwise (don’t tell me you’re exempt from this), it is SO important to promote diverse books because without that boosting, we have no idea that the books are diverse.

And because diversity & rep is so important to marginalized readers, it’s important to PROMOTE them and TALK about them. So someone can find the rep they’ve been looking for, so someone can read about another person’s experiences.

We NEED to know that books are diverse. We NEED to boost them in the community. We NEED to make diverse books a priority, because for years and years and years, literature has not represented people they need to, and diverse books do that.

By not supporting the promotion of diverse books, you take away a voice that boosts other voices that have not been heard.

flowers

So this post is an absolute MESS. But my main message here is:

Diversity and representation in books is SO important, because marginalized people deserve to see themselves in books, because they normally don’t. It gives a voice to a community of people who have been silenced or ignored because they are a minority.

It’s important to promote diverse books, because there are people searching for books that represent them. Because for decades and decades books have been majorly white and now we have to work to boost voices that were not heard before.

READ DIVERSE BOOKS!! SUPPORT DIVERSE BOOKS!! PROMOTE DIVERSE BOOKS!!


shall we chat

what are your thoughts on these topics? why do you think we need diversity & good rep in books? do you believe we need to promote diverse books?? what types of rep are YOU looking for in books? and have you found any books that have an accurate portrayal of yourself??? (rec me ALL the diverse books!!)

p.s. this post is literally the Messiest thing I’ve ever written, but I think it’s because I just care so much about this topic that I can’t find the right words to express myself so thanks for sticking with me!!!

sign off 2.0

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92 thoughts on “Why Diversity & Representation in Books is Important // Why We Need Rep & Why We Need to Promote Diverse Books

  1. Diversity in books really is very important, and I’m glad it’s being posted about more here in the blogosphere. I totally agree, it’s important for people to be represented, especially minorities who are rarely given a voice. People also need to understand that they won’t relate to all reps, and that just because they, one of the minority “don’t relate” doesn’t mean it’s a bad rep.

    I actually really enjoyed reading Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead, I really connected with the main character, Mira who is from a minority race in the fantasy world. It’s proof that diversity exists and that people simply aren’t promoting it enough. I actually posted about this recently too: http://lovelyparanormalbooks.blogspot.co.nz/2018/01/minority-representation-in-books_2.html (shameless self promo oops)

    Also, on a totally different note: what is another word for important. It seems that besides important, my brain can’t think of another word.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, exactly! Minorities are not often heard or portrayed in books, and I’m so glad that YA is slowly changing to include more of them. 💖 And yes, I actually wrote a post about how bad rep for you may not be bad rep for others!! It’s important to recognize what’s personally bad for you, and what’s ACTUALLY problematic rep.

      Ooh, I’ll be sure to check that post out, thanks for linking to it! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. that’s a pretty good salty gif. i might steal
    also
    HOW DARE YOU CALL FROZONE A MINOR CHARACTER ‘WHERE IS MY SUPER SUIT’ WAS THE MOST ICONIC LINE IN ALL FILM HISTORY

    and
    articulate post as always little poo, may sr. is proud but i never ACTUALLY talk about the post so :)))))
    (yes its 3 am i cant sleep)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well I think you still managed to write this very great post, despite feeling a little bit all over the place, May. YOU DID GREAT. I also 200% agree with you here about representation, every single person in the world deserves to have books that they are represented in, where they are the main character in a story, where they are here, where they just,matter and are under the spotlight as well. We are all main characters in our own lives and deserve to be in books, too.
    It is so important to boost diverse books, I agree – I am doing my very best to expand my reading and find new books with great representation we don’t see too often but should and will always try to expand my reading this way, this year 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you so much!! 💙 Anf yess, exactly!! White, straight, able-bodied, etc. have had centuries of page time, so now it’s important to spotlight other people as well, so they can feel included &
      have the place they deserve in literature. 💗

      And yes, same as well!! I don’t usually actively search for rep, but when I hear that a book I want to read has some good rep, I prioritize it over other non-diverse books on my TBR! (Tho sometimes I don’t know if a book is diverse or not so that’s why it’s SO important to mention it in reviews!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree on this. Diversity is so important and we need to represent it 100%. But then, what do you think of this? It’s a photo a blogger made on the Twitter sphere and it’s not good at all… I remember people trying to call her out on it when it happened, but she wouldn’t listen. The post has been long since deleted, but still, what she said was problematic…

    Like

    1. Also should mention: trying not to spread hate here, as also on the other side there was a lot of hate spreading!!! I don’t like spreading hate and if this is seems like it’s sending hate, I’m sorry & just delete the post above. But it does make one wonder how to achieve that perfect balance between authentic diversity without shoving it up people’s faces….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, so I’m 99% sure you didn’t mean it this way & it was probably just bad wording, since you seem to be a supporter of diverse books, but using the phrase “shoving it up people’s faces” is REALLY offensive to the marginalized people books are trying to represent. There is no balance to achieve with diversity because that would imply that there has to be a balance between the minorities & majority of the world — and there doesn’t have to be. Diversity is something that is not & will never be shoved into people’s faces, because it just EXISTS.

        I’m going to be taking out the screenshot of the Tweet you pasted because I believe the OP deleted it and I don’t want to bring it up again without exing out their name. But as for my opinion on it, I do believe it was a very problematic viewpoint to have. I can see what they were trying to get at, but even if a small town was made of all-white people, it doesn’t mean someone has to write it that way. On the matter of the same topic, many people say that they can’t write diverse characters in historical fiction, but I’ve seen many writers do it. So writing diversity where it “may not be realistic” (put in quotations because I don’t think that’s ever the case) is completely possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Diversity is super important in books (and everywhere else tbh) because, as you say, not everyone is white/straight/able-bodied, so it makes no sense that all the characters in a book are! It’s just not realistic.

    Everyone deserves to feel represented in books, when I was younger I would have loved to read about homeschooled kids (I’ve been homeschooled most of my life) that weren’t represented as a bunch of antisocial freaks… Like, we’re not all like that?? Some of us are just normal kids??

    This reminds me of a “book” I started writing when I was about 13 (I never finished it) that I re-read a few weeks ago, and I realised that every single character was white and straight? Why, Young Andrea, why. Where is the diversity here. Luckily I’m a lot more sensible nowadays 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, exactly! There are so many different types of people in the world, and it’s important to show those in books so they feel included (and it also makes the book more realistic).

      Yes!! I rarely read books about homeschooled people, and when I do, it’s usually a necessity and not something they choose. It’d be interesting to read more books about homeschoolers!!

      And ugh, SAME. All the books I wrote as a younger child were about white, straight, able-bodied, etc. people. It’s mainly because that’s who I saw in the books I read and including minorities wasn’t even something I thought of. 😕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. this
    is
    perfect

    this is why you are such a fabulous blogger BECAUSE YOU AREN’T AFRAID TO SPEAK THE TRUTH. I DEFINITELY look for books with Muslim Rep, like Love, Hate & OTher Filters (which I might have not even picked up if it wasn’t for the rep) OR CITY OF BRASS (which is slow i agreee on page 50 or something) BECAUSE IT MAKES ME HAPPY. And??? REP IN BOOKS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT’S JUST LIKE “I’M NOT ALONE!!! I EXIST” because watching white people on TV ALL. THE.TIME. made?? me?? not?? even?? think?? that?? I?? existed??

    which is messed up

    i hope one day we can have the luxury of picking up a random book and most likely seeing a part of ourselves represented.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for this post! I totally agree on the importance of diversity – if books reflected reality they would already be diverse but the sad fact is that minorities are under – represented in most media so you have to actively search for representation. As a teacher, I am always looking for books to reflect every facet of our gloriously-diverse society and ensure that the children in my classes can find themselves in the books we are reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. THIS IS AMAZING. IMMA JUST SAY THAT NOW.

    I THINK THAT DIVERSITY IN BOOKS IS SO IMPORTANT. I think that we need diversity because not everyone picking up a book is going to be white, or straight, or Christian. People need to be able to FIND THEMSELVES IN BOOKS AND RELATE. People need to be able to CONNECT to the book, to the plot, to the characters; they cannot do this if the book contains 0 diversity/ little diversity.

    I’m not a diverse reader, but I still think that it’s so so so important in books, and people need to read about cultural topics to understand each other and be more socially aware!!

    A lot of the time, I ask for diverse read recs, because they AREN’T SPOKEN ABOUT and it’s sometimes difficult to find them!! and it’s infuriating for me, so I can’t even imagine the annoyance for diverse readers who want to find a book that represents a part of them!!

    I don’t know if this sounds weird?? Idk if I should be saying this because of me not being diverse reader????

    GREAT POST I LOVED IT ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes yes yes, exactly! It’s so important for marginalized readers to pick up a book and find themselves represented in it, and also be able to relate to that book. And social awareness is so important for non-diverse readers so that they can learn more about other people! (Tho, of course, diversity isn’t there for education.)

      And yes, I same! There are so few SUPER POPULAR YA books that are diverse & with good rep, and even if there are, they aren’t hyped up enough. And no, I think you’re fine for saying that! It makes me happy to see that non-diverse readers are trying to help promote diverse books (tho I do believe ownvoices reviews are more important).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I think that it’s so so so important that people can relate to books / find themselves there.
        And yes, I wish that there was more hype about diverse books because I think that it’s really unfair how I can pick up a book and find someone that I can relate to, when SO many other people can’t. (and yes own voices reviews are more important)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I totally agree! I’m not a minority, but I ache for my friends and people who just aren’t represented.
    While my experience doesn’t really compare, I kind of understand. I didn’t have a stable home, being raised in foster care, and I didn’t have parents at all growing up. And I was a redhead.
    Reading about characters without normal family life and redheads made me so happy. These characters knew me and I knew them better than anything else. If it weren’t for Anne of Green Gables, I would have had alot more trouble coping.
    But because Anne was literally just like me – an orphan, imaginative & a redhead, I felt like I wasn’t the only person on the planet with my problems. And if Anne could make it, so could I.

    Like I said, I’m not really a minority. But I’m really glad for diverse characters. And I do pick up books just because they are diverse. I don’t want to limit my reading experience to authors and backgrounds I’m used to.
    Reading is supposed to challenge and stretch you. Diverse reading can really do that. So, yep, I literally look around just to buy and read diverse books.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, I’m so happy you found good rep in Anne! I definitely think that everyone should see themselves represented in books, whether it’s being in foster care instead of a “normal” family life, or being a different race than the majority of people.

      Yeah, usually I don’t pick up books just because they’re diverse — unless it’s rep that I’m actively searching for! (But like, I probably won’t read it if it sounds extremely boring. 😂)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post May, and I definitely agree with what you said as well. 🙂 I’ve been seeing more diversity in books than I saw a few years ago but there is still a need for more diverse books. Everyone wants to see themselves represented in books and it’s a shame that there are so few options out there in terms of diverse reading, simply put we need more and it’s so important to promote them because that’s the way we get more isn’t it? 🙂
    I need to read more diverse books, maybe that should be one of my resolutions this year. 🙂 I know there are some incredible ones out there I’ve yet to go to because everyone seems to love them.
    Great post May! Here’s hoping one day we’ll have more diverse books on the shelves than not! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m so happy to see that more and more books are getting diverse, but we still have a long way to go! And exactly, it’s important to boost good diverse books so that the people searching for the rep can find it. 💜

      Oh yes, I’m definitely hoping to read more diverse books this year! I don’t really actively search for diverse books (unless they rep me) but I do prioritize any diverse ones on my TBR!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post! It makes me happy to see people talking about diversity in books and to see the number of diverse books on the shelves increasing. What makes me kind of sad is that diversity is not being equally represented across all books. For example, most of the books that include diverse characters are contemporary or historical fictions. Fantasy, my favourite genre, seems to be much further behind and I feel bad for not reading many diverse books, but at the same time, I’m not going to read a contemporary book that I’m not going to enjoy just for the sake of being diverse. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this – really interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s amazing to see how far rep in books has come!! But OMG YESSS. I 100% agree!! I think more diversity should be in fantasy — it shouldn’t just stick to one genre. It would mean so much to many minorities to see themselves in fantasy, especially if they’re magical and can kick butt!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. this post is fucking perfect in every way possible. i honestly could not agree more with it. for example, as a trans book reader, i’ve only read two books with trans MCs, and they were both middle grade – not that that’s a bad thing, of course, bc if any age group needs to learn what trans means, it’s middle graders. however, i’m not 10 years old. and, i’m also neurodiverse, and i’ve read such. a. small. amount. of. books. with. neurodiverse characters. maybe because, oh, i don’t know, PEOPLE DON’T FUCKING WRITE ANY BOOKS WITH NEURODIVERSE PROTAGS. ANYWAY, this post is absolutely fucking amazing and i love it. i love that we’re /finally/ getting SOME rep, but it’s still so freaking rare and that NEEDS to change. great post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think even just a little diversity in books does a lot. Sometimes I read something about a diverse character and it just makes me curious. So I go online and try to find out more about that culture/race/religion/sexuality/etc. I think it just opens doors for people to look outside their bubble and I really enjoy learning new things about groups I’m not very familiar with. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, you’re right, even a little bit of diversity can help! But I still believe we need a lot more. 😊 And oh, I’m glad you’re learning more about different groups of people! I’d just like to kindly point out that while rep in books CAN educate people, that’s not its sole purpose. Diversity is there to represent & include people, and it should just exist without having to educate. 😊

      Like

      1. Of course! Plus you always to be careful about inaccurate representations. That’s why it helps to look beyond the book. And I agree it’s there to include. Although I have to say I like it more when authors don’t just show the character’s “diversity” through skin color or accent. On its own it adds something, sure, but the characters feel flat. I like when they make them more complex c:

        Liked by 1 person

  14. another lovely post from a lovely person!! I agree with everything you’ve said, and especially on the subject of promoting and pointing out representation. Like you said, there are marginalized people out there searching for representation, and taking a second to mention that a character belongs to [x] ethnicity/queer identity/religion can mean the world to diverse readers ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I always find diversity really hard to discuss my thoughts on diversity because I feel like I’ll offend people. It’s not that I disagree with it, but I don’t know how to write out my thoughts without making it seem like I disagree. (I don’t, of course!)
    But I thought I’d pop in here and let you know that I so totally agree! I’m not in a minority, but I believe that everyone should be represented and have someone to relate to. That being said, I don’t always read diverse books because many (that I’ve heard of) have some more mature content that makes me feel uncomfortable to read, but I think they should still be there for people who want to read them and relate to them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, I relate! Sometimes I word things that I feel like could be offensive to people, but I’m not sure it is, so then I get a little worried. 😂

      Yes, everyone should be represented in books! And I understand, that’s totally okay! I’m glad you recognize that we need diverse books, and I feel like choosing not to read diverse books because they have language that you’re uncomfortable is fine. But if you ever want some recommendations of clean diverse books, let me know!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooh, let’s see! Well, Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman has the best Asian rep I’ve ever read, and I think if there were cuss words, there were like, 2? (And there was sexual assault & suicide, but it was not graphic at all.) I’d also recommend Rick Riordan’s books since they are aimed towards a younger audience & don’t have mature content, but are really diverse!! (The newer ones especially.) Warcross by Marie Lu is also diverse! (I think it has like 1 or 2 cuss words as well.)

          Liked by 1 person

  16. what are your thoughts on these topics?:
    I think people should write about everything under the sun and make books different and not just copy and paste the same charries over and over again! Like, I think it’s even important to include characters with more personalities. I feel like lots just have these kinda … cut and paste characters. *shrugs* I don’t know if that makes sense. But I rarely find characters I relate with as far as thought process. And if I do, they are guys. 😉 Which is cool and I’m not complaining too much … But still. xD

    why do you think we need diversity & good rep in books?:
    So people won’t be stagnant and their minds will be stretched and they will understand more folks.

    do you believe we need to promote diverse books??:
    I wish I could say yes, I don’t promote book I haven’t read? Sorry. Hope you’re not offended? But I think it’s important as a selling point. And because people should be told.

    Okay, so,one of my passions is to write history that will show people what mistakes we made then so hopefully we’ll be less likely to repeat them??? I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s something I care about.

    and have you found any books that have an accurate portrayal of yourself???:
    Sometimes except homeschool and personalitywise. I mean, my religion sometimes, and I’m just white, so that was easy. And I’m not LGBT+, sooooo? I’m too boring for diverse books to remind me of myself. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I read a LOT of diverse books and I find them so much more interesting! They are vibrant and colourful and full of culture and different ideas and mindsets. White, Christian, able-bodied, blah blah blah is so bland and so restricted. There’s a whole world out there, write about it for goodness sake! We should definitely make the effort to promote diverse reads. Authors should realise this and put more diversity into their work.

    If you want some recommendations for diverse books (to add to that monstrous tbr lol) I’ve got a few. Sita Brahmachari is an amazing YA author who is actually half Indian – half British herself and writes very diverse books. Where I Belong by Gillian Cross is also a beautiful one, as well as a few books by Phillipa Gregory. Her books are historical fiction, but they have great characters, especially strong female ones.

    Well done you for voicing your thoughts! I hope this becomes a great discussion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, exactly!! We should all read diversely because it reflects the world, and it also can open our minds about different cultures! (Tho, of course, the sole purpose of diversity is not to educate, but to represent people. 💜)

      Ooh, I’ll definitely make sure to check out all those recommended authors, Gracie! Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. this is suuuuuch a great post.

    i did a presentation for a class last semester on the importance of diversity in YA fantasy bestsellers, and then a paper proposing a specific example of what that would look like for another class. i think people downplay the significance as being “just books” that are “just for teenagers,” but that’s inaccurate on so many levels. stories like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent – these are heard by hundreds of millions of people of all ages, whether in books or media adaptations. and all of the aforementioned examples are overwhelmingly white/straight/cis/traditionally attractive/traditionally abled.

    it’s so frustrating. the same people who aren’t represented in books are the same who are marginalized in reality and, in turn, the same that need representation and normalization most of all.

    I COULD SCREAM ABOUT THIS TOPIC FOR A THOUSAND YEARS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WHY IS THIS SUCH A GREAT COMMENT oh my god you write better comments than any posts I’ll ever write please write a post on this Emmaaaaa

      ugh I can’t even write a coherent reply to this??? anyways. yes. it’s not “just for teenagers” bc there’s a huge amount of teenage readers and a lot of them are marginalized & don’t see themselves in books. and yes, so many books for teens get popular & become known to all ages of people and they’re all frustratingly non-diverse!!!

      please write a post about this, fav ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ugh i would b/c i love hearing myself talk (…reading myself write?) about just everything (#self obsession) but how could i when you already wrote the perfect post??????

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I 100 percent agree!!! As a Southeast Asian girl, when I was younger the only way I could see myself in the characters I read are through the novels that are published in my country, and there aren’t that many good novels from Indonesia. I grew up thinking it’s so much better to be a white, Caucasian, English-speaking girl, and that’s not good! We need more representation, and for me personally, we need more English books with Asian main characters!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg hello fellow Southeast Asian!! 😂 And yes, I’ve barely seen any Southeast Asian characters in books! And you’re 100% right — even tho the “I’d be prettier/better if I was white” mentality came from the people around me, books definitely added to that. I can’t WAIT for YA to get even more diverse & include Asian characters!!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. yEZ GO DIVERSITY WOO I HEART IT AND THIS POST AND YOU

    great ted talk may i hope there’ll be another one soon i love reading your opinions on topics like these?? mainly because they’re so relatable – i don’t really have anything to add to this because you summed everything up so well ❤ yes, it was a little ~all over the place~ but that just shows how passionate you are about this!! look i just,, really love this because good rep is so so important in books. especially YA and middle grade books – if people get used to seeing diverse characters from a young age, they'll grow more understanding and accepting of it, probably. (that's why rick riordan's books are so GOOD.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I HEART U TOO ❤

      aw thank you so much omg!!! and yes god it was so all over the place aaaaggghhh. and yes yes YES — diversity is important ESPECIALLY in children's lit because kids can see themselves & feel like IT'S OKAY & 100% AWESOME TO BE DIFFERENT, and also expose themselves to other sorts of people!! (ugh I love Rick SO MUCH. he's the prime example of a Good Author: starting off with white cishet characters & writing more diverse characters as he went on & realized all the sorts of different people!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I ALWAYS LOVE YOUR DIVERSITY POSTS SO MUCH! I actually added a book on goodreads to my tbh yesterday because i heard that the love interest is thai! *scrolls goodreads* okay nevermind, he’s taiwanese but progress! It’s called Sanctuary by Caryn Lix. And YES i agree with yo so much about promoting books that are diverse because most of the time the diverse books don’t get the attention that non-diverse books get and it frustrates me because how are people supposed to know about this book if nobody tells them about it???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AAAAH SAVANNAH I WAS ABOUT TO STRANGLE YOU FOR MORE INFO ABOUT THIS THAI LOVE INTEREST. but it’s okaaaaay I’ll just wait for another YA book with Thai rep I can relate to… 😓 yes exactly! so many non-diverse books get promoted, and while I’m sure they’re great, there are some REALLY GOOD diverse books with REALLY GOOD rep that deserve to be promoted just as much and I just !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. that salty gif accurately describes me 25/8.
    but yes this post needs to be thrown into evryone’s face because DIVERSITY IS SO IMPORTANT, AND I CANNOT STRESS THAT ENOUGH!! It’s like there are 7 billion+ people in this world, and you expect them too be white, straight, and have no mental illness, or disabilities?? please get your facts straight, thanks.

    and it’s even worse when some authors just put a diverse character, but chooses to not represent them in a good way, like why even put it in there in the first place??? Tbh, when I’m reading your diversity posts i feel so proud to be a POC, and i just know with your awesome writing you’re just going to change the foundation of writing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AAAH YES EXACTLY!! there are so many other people than straight, white, neurotypical, able-bodied, etc. people, and it’s SO important to reflect that so 1) you represent as many people as you can, and 2) you make it realistic!!

      yeeees definitely! some people are happy that a character is there even if it doesn’t seem like genuine rep (unless it’s like,, harmful), and while I can see their point of view, I just ?? what’s the point of putting them in there, if it’s not genuine. I mean, it’s nice that authors think of diverse people, but still. and AAAHHH thank you so much, that means so much to me!!! you should feel proud to be a POC all the time, lovely ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Diverse books are so important, I 100% agree. As a person who fits into basically all of the privileged categories I love the opportunity diverse books give me to gain insight into the minds of others. Everyone has vastly different life experiences and the easiest way to remain insensitive and unbothered (which is a large problem among the straight, white, able bodied etc. community) is to know nothing about what it’s like to live life without your privilege.
    It makes me so frustrated that some of my lovely friends are going to have to work so much harder to gain the same recognition and the ripple out effect of having diverse characters in books/tv is massive. It can change the way people think about and therefor treat each other. It shapes the concepts of “normal” in the minds of people who will then grow up to treat everyone with the respect and acceptance that they deserve.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, it makes me so happy to see that non-diverse readers are trying to read diversely! And yes yes yes, not only can diversity represent the people who haven’t been represented, it can also help everyone who doesn’t belong in that minority group to realize what they go through & try to work through any misconceptions that they have, bringing awareness, which is also super important!

      Yes EXACTLYYYYY. “Normal” for so long has been white, cis, straight, able-bodied, neurotypical, etc., and while that’s great, there are so many other people, and they’re just as “normal” as well. I can’t wait to see media & literature to get more and more diverse to adopt a new way of viewing “normal”!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I love this, this means so much to me. I posted this in another post similar to this one but it’s soo applicable here:

    I often find people’s view of this on facebook writing groups that whenever someone mentions that they need help portraying PoC in their book most sadly(white) commenters always say something along the lines of write whatever, people get offended by everything.

    I understand that everyone is different, but their meaning gives complete lack of regard. Some people say I’m not sure if I should but any diverse characters in their book just so it’s diverse. It’s the world they created and it just so happens it has to be completly white and other races appearing is odd.

    My point is writers themselves are struggling with putting diversity in their story and not just in race but in mental health, LGBTQ+ characters, and disabilities. Making sure these people are people first then the rest. Though there is hope! If check social media sites like Twitter you’ll find We Need Diverse Books, there are many PoC authors partnering up with them and they help promote books with POC characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh god, I HATE those people who are like “write whatever, people get offended by everything!!!” Like, that still isn’t an excuse to write bad rep?? If people get offended by everything, make sure that they get LESS offended. Try to write it so it’s not as offensive. Don’t just dismiss it as if it’s an “oh it can’t be changed” thing. (And that’s also really disrespectful because getting offended over bad rep is a valid thing.)

      YES YES YES!! Make sure the marginalized people are first. Of course, this is my opinion, but I believe that marginalized characters are more important than non-marginalized, because they just deserve to be represented in books.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, especially those who do want to change but then they’re looking for excuses for why there is only white people in their book. Like you made your story, you decided how big it was and you are the one making these decisions about your story wondering why people might not like your book because of lack of diversity

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Such a good topic, and one that I continuously find myself struggling to fully understand. As a reader that does not belong to any minority groups, I have to remind myself to think from other perspectives. Diverse reads really helps this, and it’s always a pleasure to see from other points of view and realize how complex every person is.

    Sidenote: I think Mirage in The Incredibles is supposed to be Latina, though it’s never explicitly stated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diverse reads are so important! They definitely help represent a group of people not usually represented in fiction and they also help others open their minds to other cultures (tho that is of course not their sole purpose).

      Omg how could I forget about Mirage?? 😂

      Like

  26. I loved this. Diversity in books is literally the reason I started my blog. There isn’t enough diverse stories being promoted or talked about. Representation matters so much as every story deserves light. Also, I was totally inspired by Marley Dias, an adorable black 11 year old who launched a social media campaign called #1000blackgirlbooks as she was sick of reading about “white boys and dogs.” You should check her out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Yeesssss~ this was post was FANTASTIC! And proves to be a great introduction for people who either 1) haven’t heard of why it’s important our media consumption is diverse, but 2) for those who have heard of the issue and yet still claim they “don’t care,” or it’s “not important to [them].”

    I’m white and have never experienced the utter heart break it must be when you go to your local book store and just see white faces on every book cover. I’m soo enthralled that there are more books being written with diverse characters, but also that there’s been a big push to get even more written (and written accurately)!

    Like

  28. YES. THIS POST. IS SO AMAZING. It’s not messy at all???? It’s so well written and accurate and just great ajfkjsfjiojif thank you for this!! I totally agree with everything you said here, it is SO important to have diverse books written and promote those books as well??! I will 100% add a book to my TBR or push a book higher up my TBR if I hear it’s diverse, and I have 0 regrets? Boosting diverse books is honestly so important, because it’s the best way to get people to read those books! And after so many years of boosting books with white, cis, straight, etc. people, it’s time to boost diverse books because everyone deserves to see themselves in books! Lovely post May!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg thank you so much, Analee!!! ❤ Yes, diverse books written accurately are sooo important, and it's equally important to support & promote them to the best of our abilities!! And yes same! I don't outright read a book if it's diverse (unless it reps me) but it definitely gets boosted up in my TBR. THANK YOOOOOU ❤

      Like

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