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elinor
01-29-2015, 04:41 AM
I have an MC who is bi, and generally strongly attracted to a variety of people, however at one point she is very strongly attracted to a young woman who is African American, and I'm worried that her horniness will come off as me exoticising the character, rather than just being plain old incredibly attracted to her. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to take a look at those parts and give me some feedback? I can share it here in a reply.

M.N Thorne
01-30-2015, 11:14 PM
Elinor,
I feel you must asked yourself a few questions about your main character.
Here are a few questions:
Why are you worried that your MC is exoticizing their crush?
Does your MC have limited experiences with black women?
Does she has any black friends?


It is good that you are worrying about exoticising your minority character. However, I am sure you will be fine.

Treehouseman
02-06-2015, 10:08 AM
Bit of a late arrival.

Try not to make the attraction completely predicated on her racial characteristics, so OMG!Crush! is beautiful for her cheeky smile, the flash of challenge in her eyes, her graceful body, her witty comebacks, etc etc.

You *could* mention obvious charateristics of (better not be food-group colored) skin but they would need to be descriptors OUTSIDE of the paragraph where MC emotes over her girlcrush. Maybe a basic first-meet observation. I always have this idea if you have to describe one person by skin color, you have to do ALL of them. No default pale!

Fruitbat
02-06-2015, 11:15 AM
I don't think of "exoticizing" as being attracted to whatever things might be considered typical of someone's race. We're attracted to what we're attracted to so that seems more to me like just personal preference.

I think of exoticizing more along the lines of intent. For example, if the MC goes out with someone of a different race just for the kicks of something different, when she wouldn't consider getting serious with that person solely because of their race.

I'm white though so that's just my impression.

Roxxsmom
02-07-2015, 01:31 AM
Hmm, I'm no expert on this, and anything I say comes with the warning that I'm white, but I'd be more likely to read if that way if the character's crush was because of some of the stereotypes about people of African ancestry, or darker skinned people in general. There's a certain use of language that would trigger some alarms for me. Moving like a jungle cat, skin like chocolate. All that kind of stuff.

And this could be done in a way that makes it clear that's what's happening and examines it, of course, in which case it wouldn't be offensive but illustrative.

I think focusing on things about the woman's personality and so on might make it feel more like a more sympathetic crush/attraction. A lot of the time when I've liked someone in that way, it's not just their appearance (actually, with me, it never is), but also things I imagine (at least) that we have in common. So emphasizing some of those things would make the crush seem more deep and authentic, at least insofar as crushes are ever deep and authentic.

HeavilyMedicated
02-08-2015, 05:05 AM
Bit of a late arrival.

Try not to make the attraction completely predicated on her racial characteristics, so OMG!Crush! is beautiful for her cheeky smile, the flash of challenge in her eyes, her graceful body, her witty comebacks, etc etc.

You *could* mention obvious charateristics of (better not be food-group colored) skin but they would need to be descriptors OUTSIDE of the paragraph where MC emotes over her girlcrush. Maybe a basic first-meet observation. I always have this idea if you have to describe one person by skin color, you have to do ALL of them. No default pale!

I agree.