Stereotyped vs Nuanced Characters and Audience Perception
Writing with color receives many questions regarding the stereotypes Characters of Color and their story lines may possess.
There’s a difference between having a three-dimensional character with trait variance and flaws, versus one who walks the footsteps of a role people of their race/ethnicity are constantly put into. Let’s discuss this, as well as how sometimes, while there’s not much issue with the character, a biased audience will not allow the character to be dimensional.
But first: it’s crucial to consider the thinking behind your literary decisions.
When it comes to the roles and traits you assign your characters, it’s important to ask yourself why you made them the way they are. This is especially true for your marginalized characters.
So you need an intimidating, scary character. What does intimidating look like on first brainstorm? Is it a Black man, large in size or presence? (aka a Scary Black Man) A Latino with trouble with the law? If so, why?
Really dig, even as it gets uncomfortable. You’ll likely find you’re conditioned to think of certain people in certain roles on the spot.
It’s a vicious cycle; we see a group of people represented a certain way in media, and in our own works depict them in the way we know. Whether you consciously believe it’s the truest depiction of them all or not, we’re conditioned to select them for these roles again and again. Actors of Color report on being told in auditions they’re not performing stereotypical enough and have been encouraged to act more “ethnic.”
This ugly merry-go-round scarcely applies to (cis, straight) white people as they are allowed a multitude of roles in media. Well, then again, I do notice a funny trend of using white characters when stories need a leader, a hero, royalty, a love interest…
Today’s the day to break free from this preconditioned role-assigning.
Request:Hey there:) can I request something where Bruce comes back from patrol frustrated because the trail he was tracking went cold or something so the reader helps him blow off some steam? Can it be a little smutty please? Thanks;)
Description: After going on a wild goose chase with none other than The Riddler, Bruce returns frustrated and defeated. Y/N attempts to make her lover feel better, but only one thing can make him feel like himself and clear his mind.
Beautiful, More Than Survive, and Anybody Have a Map are
simultaneous, all happening on the first day of school. Veronica and Evan are
both seniors and are both dreading the day. I’m unsure about Jeremy’s grade.
Connor shoves Evan before class and Waving Through A Window
happens. Connor steals Evan’s letter later that day and therein disappears.
Before news comes out that he killed himself, Veronica is becoming integrated
into the Heathers. Jeremy auditions for the school play and gets in. Candy Store
News comes out about Connor’s suicide. JD takes the most
interest in it, trying to find out what he can, and so he starts getting more
of a face around school. He gets into a fight and Fight For Me takes place.
Veronica falls hard for him and he invites her out after school. Jeremy goes to
rehearsal and I Love Play Rehearsal takes place. While JD is courting Veronica
with Freeze Your Brain, Evan is stuck at the Murphys, lying through For
Evan freaks out and tells Jared about the letters and
together they write up the fake letters through Sincerely Me. Meanwhile Rich
introduces Jeremy to squip. Over the couple days it takes to write the letters,
Jeremy hangs out with Michael and plays video games with him and Veronica grows
closer to JD and the Heathers, leaving Martha behind.
Evan delivers the letters to the Murphys, prompting Requiem.
He grows closer to Zoe over the course of a couple of weeks, eventually leading
to If I Could Tell Her. He kisses Zoe and their relationship seems lost.
Meanwhile at play rehearsal, Jeremy takes the squip and The Squip Enters takes
place. He escapes and goes to the mall where Be More Chill (part 1), Do You
Wanna Ride, and Be More Chill (part 2) all happen. While Jeremy is learning to
deal with this at the mall, Evan has his Disappear moment with Connor, which
leads to him organizing the Connor Project over the next week.
Jeremy sings More Than Survive (Reprise), getting more used
to the Squip. At rehearsals, Christine sings A Guy That I’d Kinda Be Into,
getting Jeremy’s hopes up, only for them to crash. Evan instigates the assembly
at school with You Will Be Found. While his fame is growing, Jeremy is told to
Upgrade and he agrees, at the cost of his friendship with Michael.
Because of how heavy the assembly was, and because it’s
close to Halloween, Kurt and Ram plan a party with Jake, meaning Halloween and
Big Fun take place simultaneously at the same part (which is at Jake’s house,
not Kurt or Ram’s). Do you Wanna Hang and Michael in the Bathroom take place
with their respective characters at the same time that Dead Girl Walking takes
place. Evan is at home with Zoe because they don’t like parties.
While Rich Set a Fire is taking place and rumors are
spreading, Veronica accidentally kills Heather Chandler and Me Inside of Me
takes place, coming off of the heels of The Connor Project, so her “suicide” is
even more impactful. JD’s desire to cover it up as a suicide comes both from
Connor and from his mother.
While the school is mourning for Heather and Connor, Blue
and Our Love is God take place, and because JD has seen how the school has made
fun of gay people (from calling Jeremy gay for joining the play to the rumor
that Rich is gay and that’s why he set a fire) JD’s plan to make Kurt and Ram
seem like lovers only grows. They kill them, leading to My Dead Gay Son, and
the school mourns even more suicides,
which strengthens the Connor Project’s reach. The Squip sees all of this chaos
and believes that he can save them from more hardship, prompting The Pitiful
To Break In a Glove takes place, shortly followed by Good
For You in the next week because Evan is becoming more and more of an asshole.
It’s also time for the fall play, so The Pants Song and The Play take place in
the same night. Seventeen takes place the same night, while Veronica tries to
convince JD that they can be normal and stop all of this.
With the craziness of the play over, and rumors spreading
like wildfire about a lot of things, Zoe and Evan sing Only Us, wanting there
to be some normalcy. Winter break comes and goes, and with the new semester
comes more assemblies that are held about the suicides with Shine a Light,
followed by Lifeboat with Heather McNamara being pressured. Because of how many
suicides there’s been, students are becoming numb to the idea, so this leads to
Shine A Light (Reprise).
During all of this, Jeremy sings Voices in My Head because
he’s grown used to living like this. Kindergarten Boyfriend takes place as
well, leading to Martha’s failed suicide. Because of all these new attempts,
Alana fears that people are forgetting about Connor, which leads to her
pressuring Evan and he shows her the suicide letter. She uploads it to get more
attention to the Connor Project again, soon leading to Words Fail and the
falling out with the Murphys. Evan goes home and Heidi comforts him through So
Veronica finds out about Martha’s attempt and the rest of
the Heathers musical plays out from Yo Girl until Seventeen (Reprise), with
rumors spreading again that Rich may have tried to blow up the school because
he set the fire before. Fast forward to the end of the year, after the seniors
have graduated, and the Dear Evan Hansen Finale plays, with the craziness of
the year finally done with, and people have moved on.
ADAM: And this is the famous Michigan Theatre. They built it back in the 1920s, with huge sums of money. It’s built, ironically, on the exact same site as Henry Ford made his very first prototype. They used to be able to seat over 4,000 people in here.
EVE: It’s fantastic! For what, for concerts?
ADAM: Concerts, and as a movie house, can you imagine? Mirrors used to reflect the chandeliers. And now… a car park.
I’m sick and I have nothing better to do so here’s a short SNS thing I wrote. Hope you all enjoy!
“Short pants ghosted on each others faces and in that short moment there were no words that needed to be said. Just being in each others embrace was enough.”
“Beautiful night, right Sasuke?”
“Beautiful stars, right Sasuke?”
“Beautiful world… Right Sasuke?”
The two lovers gazed up at the endless abyss of glittering skies, a crescent moon watching over them and bathing them in little scattered rays of silver light. The gentle rustling of leaves was heard as the warm summer breeze strummed on trees, making a unique song dedicated only for the sky and for the lovers who currently lay on a grassy field, gazing up at the sea of stars.
Naruto shifted from his spot on the grass. “Beautiful Sasuke, right Sasuke?” Black eyes shimmering with reflected stars, rosy lips good enough to kiss, midnight hair that shined in the moonlight- Naruto sighed, gazing at the black haired boy lovingly. Beautiful Sasuke indeed.
Sasuke shook his head and chuckled. “That didn’t make sense dobe.”
Naruto giggled and pulled Sasuke close to his chest. “It made perfect sense teme.” He felt Sasuke tuck his head under Naruto’s chin and snuggle into the other male’s chest. “Besides,” Naruto began, running his fingers through the other boy’s hair. “You can’t disagree, can you? That you’re beautiful?”
A muffled sound and said boy shifted so that his legs were entwined with Naruto’s. He poked his head out from his lovers chest. “It’s cuz you’re in love with me.”
Naruto gasped in feigned realization and snapped his fingers. “I guess you’re right! Now that I think about it, you’re really ugly with that hairstyle that looks like a duck’s ass,” He teased. “see, the back is the ass, and your bangs are the duck’s wings, and-”
Suddenly a pale hand flew up and Naruto cried out in pain. He smacked Sasuke’s hand away from his cheek. “What’d you pinch me for?!”
Sasuke pouted. “My hair doesn’t look like a duck’s ass you usuratonkachi.” He slipped out of Naruto’s hold and sat up. “You have the face of an idiot.”
Naruto chuckled. “Aw, you’re pouting.” He sat up as well and pecked Sasuke’s lips. “ And for the record, I don’t look like an idiot. Have you ever seen such beauty? You should feel hono-” he hissed and smacked Sasuke’s hand away again. “Stop with the pinching teme.”
A pinch in the Leg. “no.”
A smack on the hand. “Teme.”
A pinch on the arm. “Dobe.”
Another smack on the hand. “Bastard.”
A flick on the forehead. “Usuratonkachi.”
A tug of silky black bangs. “SasUKE.”
Instead of flicking Naruto again Sasuke stared at Naruto, who had a tight grip on Sasuke’s bangs. Somewhere in they’re bickering they got close until they were mere inches from each other. For some reason, looking at Naruto now, so close… He wondered how he got so lucky. Naruto loved Sasuke so unconditionally and was willing to sacrifice everything for him and…he was just… So special. Sasuke lifted a hand and caressed Naruto’s cheek gently, his fingertips ghosting over a slowly warming cheek. “Naruto..”
Naruto gazed at Sasuke, a faraway look in those beautiful onyx eyes, who, in the night looked like skies themselves, alluring and captivating. Like seeing two galaxies, only more beautiful. He blushed and tilted his head slightly to the side, strands of golden hair falling into his eyes. “Sasuke?”
Realizing what he was doing, Sasuke pulled away quickly- or as much as he could considering Naruto still had a hold on his bangs and blushed a deep shade of red. It wasn’t always that he got… touchy with his lover. Even after being together for three years it was always Naruto who initiated things. It wasn’t that Sasuke didn’t want to touch him, he was just… More shy.
Sasuke composed himself as much as he could and cleared his throat. “L-let go of my bangs and I’ll tell you.” what was he going to tell him though? ‘Oh I spaced out don’t mind me?’
Naruto hadn’t realized he still had a hold of Sasuke’s bangs and with one last tug on the left one he let go, earning a slight wince from Sasuke. Naruto giggled. ‘Serves him right.’
Sasuke fiddled absentmindedly with a dandelion he found beside him, pulling off one tuft of white fluff at a time and letting them get carried away by the light summer breeze. “Oh nothing, just remembering how you are named after a damn food. Can’t get worse than that can you?” He grinned at Naruto’s appalled expression. ‘Nice save Sasuke.’
“My name isn’t after a food! It means maelstrom and that’s very cool SasUKE!” Suddenly Naruto tackled Sasuke to the ground, pinning his hands on either side of the dark haired boy’s head. Sasuke struggled to get out of Naruto’s hold but to no avail. “Dobe!” Sasuke tried to get out of the Blonde’s vice grip but after a while of struggling he relaxed and sighed. ‘He gets so worked up about everything.’ He thought in amusement. “Get off Naruto.”
Naruto giggled and let go of Sasuke’s wrists, opting for entwining his fingers with his instead. “Doesn’t matter what your name sounds like or what my name means.” He leaned down and kissed Sasuke gently. He had a calm and sincere look on his face that made Sasuke’s heart flutter in his chest.
“What matters here is that you, Sasuke, got beaten in the sparring competition by none other than the great Naruto Uzumaki!”
Naruto rolled off of Sasuke before he got pinched and laughed loudly. Yesterday Sasuke, Sakura, Sai, and him competed to see who won in a sparring contest. It started with Sakura and Sai, Sakura coming out as the victor. Then Sasuke and Naruto, with Sasuke as the loser. Then Sakura and Naruto, with Sakura as the champion.
Sasuke threw the now fluff-less Dandelion stem at Naruto. “You’re one to talk, you lost to Sakura in the first five minutes!”
“Sakura’s a beast though, she always ends up winning! She may be cute, but those punches she throws…” Naruto shuddered inwardly. He’s had his fair share of punches from Sakura.
Sasuke couldn’t hide the laugh that arose in him and he laughed quietly until both boys were gasping for air.
After a few minutes of calm silence and more gazing up at the canvas of stars Sasuke turned to look at Naruto. He looked calm, a content look on his face. He looked back at the times when he had left and just how much he had made Naruto suffer. Just thinking about it tugged at his heart and he wanted to hold Naruto forever and never let go. Tell him that he would never ever leave him again because Sasuke was Naruto’s, and Naruto was Sasuke’s.
The raven found himself caressing the blonde’s cheek again. But unlike last time, he didn’t hide anything. He let all his love for him show in his dark eyes and he scooted closer to Naruto until his lips met the blonde’s. It was a chaste kiss,nothing sexual. Just Sasuke pouring all his love into the kiss. He felt Naruto wrap his arms around his waist and Sasuke cupped Naruto’s face, pulling him closer.
After the need for air became apparent, both boy’s pulled away and pressed their foreheads together. Short pants ghosted on each others faces and in that short moment there were no words that needed to be said. Just being in each others embrace was enough.
Naruto laughed and touched his nose with Sasuke’s.
Sooo how would the mercs rreact to a lover who loves sleeping with a stuffed animal??
Scout would tease his S/O at first. “Aww, dat’s adorable, ya still sleep with a toy!” But really, discovering this kinda makes him happy to discover a new quirk of his lover, and only adds on to how much he adores them. Makes him feel a little bit more protective of S/O because of this innocent quality, and Scout lowkey puts them on an even higher pedestal.
Soldier has a stuffed animal of his own, that being his rocket launcher. Seriously, the man cuddles the weapon like it’s the softest and fluffiest teddy bear in the entire world. Eventually S/O coaxes him out of this questionably dangerous habit by giving him a stuffed raccoon wearing the American flag as an adorable cape. Now Solider and his S/O are stuffed animal partners!
Pyro already has a (fireproofed) Balloonicorn, so they don’t judge their S/O whatsoever! May or may not set fire to their S/O’s stuffed toy once or twice in an attempt to play around with it. A S/O of Pyro is going to have to quickly realize they gotta fireproof their stuffed animal as well if they want to preserve it.
Heavy gives his S/O a soft little smile when he first discovers they sleep with a stuffed animal. Doesn’t question, address, or pry upon the little quirk. From that point forward, whenever Heavy glances at a stuffed animal, he’ll immediately think of his significant lover. S/O is going to find out eventually that Heavy has a talented hand for sewing, if they ever need their stuffed animal to be repaired.
Demo fools and teases his S/O mercilessly the moment he finds out they still sleep with a stuffed animal. He’d be a playful jackass by stealing the toy and running around the bedroom with it, wanting S/O to chase him in hot pursuit. Eventually escalates into a pillow fight (of course Demo purposely loses); and he relents the stuffed animal back to his S/O. Gives them a big kiss on the forehead and promises half-heartedly to never mess with their stuffed animal again. Still doesn’t miss out on the chance of teasing, though.
Engineer would be straight to the point, kindly pointing out, “Darlin’ aren’t ya full fledged adult? Shouldn’t ya given up the stuffed animal phase a long time ago…?” Quickly learns from S/O, “Yeah I still sleep with my teddy bear, you gotta problem with that, you can pry Mr. Fluffykins from my cold dead hands.” OR, the other way it’d go down is that Engie eventually warms up to this quirk, and just loves seeing the sight of his S/O cuddling with their stuffed animal.
Sniper is a bit amazed and surprised to find out adults totally have the option of keeping a stuffed animal in bed. He wouldn’t mind having one to cuddle up with in his sleep. But no! It’d make him look unprofessional! Still lowkey wants a stuffed animal, though…A S/O of Sniper would eventually figure out the man needs a good old fashioned sleep buddy, so they end up buying a stuffed animal for him. A stuffed koala bear, at that. Sniper doesn’t express it properly, but holy fucking shit he has a stuffed koala bear, he’s gonna name it Blake Jr. and give it its own bed and perfume it with eucalyptus scent and everything.
Medic probably won’t notice such a quirk until he’s deep into the relationship or has been with his S/O for a long while. Just as he and S/O would be getting ready for bed on any other typical night, he’d exclaim upon seeing the stuffed animal, “Meine liebste, why is zhere a child’s toy in our bed?” S/O has to slowly explain/remind Medic that, “Uhm, you know I’ve always slept with a stuffed animal…?” Medic blatantly admits his ignorance, saying he never noticed it all this time they were in their relationship. However, he thinks it’s an absolutely endearing trait.
Spy never voices his appreciation or professes his love for his S/O’s childish quirk. The man secretly finds it charming, however, and thinks it only adds on to his S/O’s appeal. Whenever he has the chance, Spy likes watching his lover squeezing their stuffed animal in their sleep. It gives him some peace and security, knowing his S/O is safe and sound. He can’t be there for S/O as much as he would like to, but at least their little toy can give them some form of company in the long and lonely nights.