So, this is something I've been having an issue with for a while.
My writing usually involves humans on other worlds. Sometimes it involves near-humans who are mostly human but have some alien heritage.
I'm usually pretty sparse in my description of characters' physical appearances. I like to leave most of it up to the reader. On the other hand, if someone has blue hair and glowing eyes, I'd probably describe that.
Here's my issue:
Subconscious whitewashing is something that some elements of American media sorta promote. Basically, Caucasian is presented as the default skin tone, and quite often in movie versions of books, people of color are replaced by white actors. That's getting better, but you still have problems like _The Last Airbender_ and such. And when reading books when I was younger, I used to just automatically assume all characters were white unless stated otherwise, until I got old enough to realize how bias worked.
Some of my novels are set on other worlds, but some involve modern Earth. Most of the ones that involve modern Earth also involve human aliens from other worlds too, though.
So, basically, I'm having an issue. I don't want all of my Earth characters to be assumed to be white. But I don't normally describe much about characters at all, and if I point out skin color, it stands out more and I'm worried that it sounds like I'm doing that, "Look at me, I have people of color in my book, aren't I such a progressive white person!" thing.
As for alien humans, I don't want them to all be assumed to be Caucasian-looking--they're just as varied as Earth people--but I don't want to seem obsessed with skin color or ethnicity or anything, either.
So, yeah. It's a kinda stupid issue and awkward to ask about, because I feel like I should already know how to handle this and it's embarrassing that I don't, but I just need some advice. If it helps, I'm transgender myself but wondering whether or not I should mention that a particular character is transgender, or how much I should talk about that. Realistically, for people on modern Earth, it can have a big effect on identity, but pointing it out too much fits into media sensationalizing of trans people and could serve to further "other" us. So, this isn't just a color issue or anything.