Diversity is ALWAYS Being Scrutinized – And This is Why

my opinion lies ahead. you have been notified (and warned)

Diversity is Always Being Scrutinized

People have said that books featuring under diversity are under heavier fire than books that are without diversity, but to me, that makes perfect sense. Of course, I know some people try to brush this off. We got diversity – that’s what we asked for, right? Why not encourage it even though they’re wrong? There’s not many of them to begin with, so we might as well try to promote the ones we’ve got, even though they’re incorrect, right?



That’s just the thing: we don’t have a lot of them.

White characters, they’re everywhere. Straight characters, there’s just as many. They’re all so commonplace that they’re the regular default, and any indication otherwise usually has people jumping out of their seats in disbelief.

Diverse characters are usually there for authors to tick the diversity box. Got one Chinese character? Welp, I guess you’re done that whole “diversity” part, right? They don’t need fleshing out or a proper plotline or to be more dimensional than paper, amirite? The gay boy’s come out? Sweet, that probably ends their plotline. Now they can resume their role as the see I have diversity look at this guy card when someone accuses them of the lack of it, only existing when useful.

Other times, we’re half-assed results of a five-minute Wikipedia search with nothing but an exotic name to separate us. Culture? What’s that? You’ve got the name, right? That should make up for their daily life not having even the slightest bit of their culture in it. Throw in some incorrect-but-impressive-sounding words in their native tongue as they speak, and that should be enough, yeah?

Nothing gets me more irritated than seeing authors cut corners on diversity. We are not some fucking box for you to tick off. We deserve to be as fleshed-out and as well-written as all those beloved white characters out there.

The heavy fire diverse books are under for being incorrect? Yeah, there’s a reason for that. There so little diversity. We’ve fought too hard to be written off as a token character, or to have our culture skimped out on. Let’s make sure we’re written right.

If you read a book, and you just know that there’s parts that’s inaccurate and you can tell an author didn’t do their research, call it out. Scream it, cry it, yell it to the world. Don’t be malicious, but let them know. Maybe they were poorly informed (but honestly, with proper research, it shouldn’t really be a problem), but at least know that they can’t – and won’t – get away with it.

But surely we can’t all be represented in a handful of characters, right?

Simple fix.

Support the writing of diversity. Support diverse authors who are pushing just as hard as we are to break the defaults of the publishing industry. Buy the books, raise awareness, show publishers that there’s a market here. That there are people who will buy the books even though the MC isn’t white or straight.

Show the publishers that this is what we want.


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She likes to think the reviews provided help you pick out the good books from the bad, because it would be a crime to read some of those books, and being the good citizen she is, will try her best to help you steer clear of those books. While she knows that there are many blogs like this out there, as I’m sure you also know, she’d like to point out that her blog is different- you will never find someone quite like her. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you to decide.


7 thoughts on “Diversity is ALWAYS Being Scrutinized – And This is Why

  1. “We are not some f**king box for you to tick off. ”


    What I look for most in YA is an MC who has some ethnic diversity. BUT PLEASE SO STEREOTYPES. You Chinese? Oh, your parents are probably pressuring you to be a doctor and keep your perfect GPA. You Indian? Oh, I think you’re going to be pressured into an arranged marriage. You Mexican? Oh, I’m pretty sure your parents are poor and have an alcoholic mom/dad. I feel like authors are making it seem like if you are of a different race you automatically have a problem. Usually white MC’s are dealing with high school drama or like end of the world stuff. Not all people of different cultures have the same problems, maybe their life is perfectly fine and authors are just stereotyping…

    Uh, sorry….may or may not have accidentally ranted. oops? #sorrynotsorry 😉
    Izel @ A Bookish Flower recently posted…When I First Saw You #05My Profile

  2. LOVE THIS POST! This should honestly be handed out to every author out there who tries to write diverse books and just… fails. It would be so greatly appreciated if authors actually did their best to make their characters look and sound “real.” Not just by the name or the skin tone. Not just by the way they dress. But the way they act and speak and how they view life in their own perspective. And hopefully they’d stop following stereotypes as well. Blech.

    Great post, Claudia!

  3. YAAAAS. Coincidentally I JUST posted on why the quality of diversity is more important than the quantity of diversity. Like, I’ve been seeing a lot of diverse side characters, which is great! We need those too! But more importantly we need well explored diversity that isn’t just a point to wave around in the elevator pitch.

    I think I might write a blog series on policing diversity and its implications at some point … hmm.
    Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout recently posted…Can there be TOO MUCH diversity in one book? (I say … maybe.) Also, not the point.My Profile

    i can really relate to this because i’m Arab, and when i’m reading a book inspired by Arab culture, i sometimes CANNOT relate to it. characters do some things that are different from our traditions, sometimes even forbidden in our religion. if you’re going to write a book about diversity, just do it right. search, what will you lose? nothing. what will you gain? everything.
    Maha @younicornreads recently posted…(a very small) book haulMy Profile

  5. THIS. I feel like adding a diverse character just for the sake of checking something off a list has become more and more common ever since authors have been seeing how much readers want diverse characters in the books. It’s a shame, because the majority of the time if the author didn’t mention the character’s race/religion/culture/etc you would even realize they’re a diverse character in the first place. 🙁 Thanks for sharing Claudia and, as always, very accurate and eye-opening discussion! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Salt to the SeaMy Profile

  6. Diversity is a very interesting topic for me because there’s such a wealth of opinions on what diversity even means or what it should look like. A while ago, I read a really thoughtful article by someone who explained why she really liked books where basically “diversity wasn’t the point.” She liked books that were about diverse characters who were just doing normal book protagonist things, saving the world or whatever. Partially because she was black and thought books about the “black experience” tended towards the negative because in a lot of places the history is so sad, and partially because to her diversity isn’t always about the “experience” of the group–it’s showing that diverse people are, you know, normal people doing normal things. I wish I could find the link.

    But that viewpoint is so opposite of many other people’s I’ve seen, who really do want books about the “experience.” I know people personally who think it’s extremely offensive to just have a diverse person in a book that doesn’t address and incorporate the diversity extensively.

    So it’s interesting to me that while readers generally agree diversity is a worthwhile goal, we’re really not on the same page about what that should look like. My only thought is that we just need a wider variety of books, and hopefully everyone will find one that speaks to them.

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