Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Paperback's Pondering's: The Lack of Diversity in YA Romance
If there's one thing I love about romance, it's that it's so easy to get through. I love how it can be a light refresher after a really dark book, or pull you out of a reading slump. Sometimes a good fluffy romance is all you need. I have read my fair share of contemporary romance novels, we're talking all in the YA genre here, and one thing that I've noticed about them is that they're all really cookie-cutter. And oh-so-un-diverse.
It's so annoying that every time I read a romance the characters are boy-girl, white, cis, girl has red hair, and usually has to fight a blonde haired cheerleader for her love. It's just so annoying that 99% of the books in the YA romance category all seem the same. I need a change!
I don't really wanna call an author out, but one observation I've made is about Jennifer E. Smith. I've read a lot of her romance, chick-lit YA books, and I think she has a great knack for romance, but all of her characters are the same! I'd love for her to go into more diversity in her books, because I find them seriously lacking.
It's also really weird how many romances stereotype on hair colour. Most romances like to paint the picture of the ditzy blonde girl who doesn't deserve love. Since when did blonde become a stereotype for evil? And apparently red hair is a symbol for an introverted smart girl who will eventually get the guy. What's with the hair colour grouping?
There is definitely an absence of LGBT representation, and PoC representation. I for one think it would be very cool for more romance writers to explore interracial couples, as they do exist, my parents are living proof of it! The point I'm trying to make is, I'm getting tired of reading about redheads and blue eyes. And I know not all romance writers are like this, but in my experiences, the books I'm reading are all extremely lacking.
What's your favourite diverse romance book? Give me all the rec's!
Emily @ Paperback Princess