Hey lovely readers!
So today’s post is another discussion topic. This is something that’s been on my mind for awhile now. And I’m finally ready to put all of my thoughts about it out there for all of you to read.
If you know me at all you know that the romance genre is my favorite, particularly new adult romance. My bookshelves are filled with my favorites, my Kindle is loaded with so many I have yet to read. I follow so many romance authors on Twitter, I’ve become friendly with a lot of them. As far as book blogging goes, there is endless opportunity to work with authors and publishers within the romance genre. Without them my blog probably wouldn’t exist. But I will be the first to admit that the romance genre also carries a certain stigma: it is lacking in diversity. What I want to address is how accurate is this stigma/statement?
I have throughout my (short) blogging career been referred to as a diverse blogger and I proudly identify as one. I’m Mexican American and proud of it. But here’s the thing that gets me when people say that romance books are lacking diversity. Why is diversity only synonymous with the color of our skin? Here comes some truths: the majority of romance authors are Caucasian, the majority of main characters in romance books are described as being “pale” though their race is never specified, and most of those characters have blue or green eyes. So yes, absolutely if we look at these statistics it’s obvious that romance books are lacking diversity in terms of racial and ethnic identity, in terms of genetic markers that identify a person as not Caucasian. And yes this bothers me immensely, because dark skin and brown eyes are beautiful too. They are worth being represented. I hope to see more representation in the future and my own romance book (currently being written) features an explicitly stated Latina female main character.
But the thing is that I find romance books to be so diverse in the types of characters they feature. There are characters in romance books from all walks of life. From different social backgrounds, different economic backgrounds. I’ve read about characters who have been through horrible life experiences and some who have such happy lives. Characters of different sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and political opinions. The things that make a person diverse are the perspectives they have to offer, the opinions they can give based on who they are as a person. In this way everyone is diverse, because everyone is different. So yes, the romance genre could stand to be a lot more racially diverse. And I have hope that other aspiring authors like me will add their voices to the genre. But we must remember that being diverse is about so much more than the color of your skin. Be your own version of diverse.
Thanks for reading guys! Talk to you soon! ❤ Adrianna