//Representation in media

Representation in media

Why fans are ruining any hope for good minority characters
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Representation of minorities are important in media, but it’s time to realize we’re doing it wrong.
And getting too excited about it.
I guess this coming from a straight, white, woman that grew up with a lot of good role models in media (Wonder Woman, Sailor Moon, etc.) probably makes this seem laughable that I somehow know how minorities would like to represented.
But as a writer and a consumer of media, you should all be ashamed of how you’re being represented.
From the extreme stereotypes of gay men in “Glee” to the disgusting lack of any asexual characters, Hollywood seems to think if we just shove a character in randomly and put a label on them, they are set for the next six seasons.
Or worse, the changing a character from straight to gay because it’s easier then writing a whole new character and somehow make the story still work.
You know, you could write a character, and just sort of mention that they are gay or transgender and move on with life and not make a big deal about it.
Because if that’s how straight characters are written, can’t you just do it that way with everyone else?
I guess this leads to other minorities such as persons-of-color, or just women in general.
The current (and most annoying, in my opinion) stereotype of women is the “tough or girly” thing where either the girl has to be surprisingly strong and tough compared to the men she interacts with or she has to be girly and needs to be saved by the others.
Why not “I need to survive so I just do it,” or “I’m normal, but I just so happen to have an interesting plot spark something that makes me grow as a person?”
And for POCs? I’m sorry, but not every black man needs to either be super tough or a teddy bear. Why can’t we have a middle ground? Same with anyone with an Asian background; they’re either super smart or lame and nerdy, no “I just so happen to be Asian.”
Writing minorities isn’t hard to do. Really. Just stop making them a flat character just to bait newcomers to shows or movies or books or whatever. Writing characters with different gender identities and sexual preferences isn’t hard either. Just don’t bring it up when it has nothing to do with the plot. Be subtle and tactful. You’d be shocked how much more interesting the character is in the long run.