WWC frequently receives asks wondering if it’s alright to have PoC distant from their culture, outright not having one— or even if it’s okay to make something up to fit what the person wants to write about. And we feel the need to ask: why? Why do you only want our looks, our cultural trappings, without ever having a culture? Why do you want to perpetuate the pain of assimilation, of abuse, of violence? Why do you wish to create something “better” for your own gains, instead of taking us as we are?
That is what you are doing, every time you do not put in all of us, or create something to fit your own whims over our reality. We are more than our skin and outward appearance of difference. We are more than a collection of traits. We are more than stereotypes of what you think we are. Our ethnicities colour every aspect of our lives and, while we aren’t thinking about it all the time, we are aware of it. We were built by it. We live it every day.
Representation is more than simply “I have brown people.” It is “I have this segment of culture respected in my story.” It means “this character is me”, which means this character must be built by the same factors that built us— our culture. Our real culture, not modified with “artistic licence” to make a “better” plot.
By stripping us of our ethnicities, you are stripping away our hearts. You are stripping away our homes. You are writing stories that simply remind us the world sees our bodies and cultures as playthings. As if our souls can be fragmented and split apart so you can tell yourself “I’m being diverse.” How can you say that when we do not see ourselves in your work? You are not doing anyone any justice. You have failed to understand the concept of what representation even is: a person’s life in media.
While we are no different from the majority in terms of our minds, our passions, our ideas, we are different in where we come from. Our experience was shaped by our culture and in order to show us as true characters, you must give your own characters our ethnicity’s history. Our comforts will be different from yours because we grew up being comforted by different things. Our favourites will be different because we hold different things at higher value.
Assimilating us with your actions— refusing to do the proper work involved to truly build a character of Color with as rich a background as white characters— simply perpetuates the pain of being marginalized. It’s lazy.
That also isn’t to say that people without complex relationships to their ethnicities exist, but ask yourself: are you the person to tell this story? Chances are, you are not. Leave narratives of pain to the people who’ve lived it, where they belong. We are not your stock plots.
Respect us enough to take all of us, not just the parts you want. To do anything else would be an injustice.
i rlly… can’t imagine a scenario in which they’d hurt each other being as healthy as they are when we meet them in tfc but for argument’s sake it might be matt?? their relationship comes from a place of slow gorgeous trust and mutual respect but matt had to unlearn some bad habits that might have done some damage early in their relationship (the various consequences of drugs and being a physically intimidating dude when dan has every right to be wary of physically intimidating dudes and also wanting to be with and protect dan when she’s so capable herself)
who is emotionally stronger?
Dan tbh she took care of her gd self for so long, and her level of composure and confidence is the last few pages of a longer novel that we only get snippets of. She spent years supporting herself, and supporting ungrateful ass cathy, dancing for money and taking no shit, like the world flipped her off and she broke its fingers
matt is strong but he is tender and he still expects better from the world
who is physically stronger?
okay like I GUESS it’s matt but it’s a close ass thing
you know that scene from that disney short where this massive dude beats everyone in arm wrestling w/o breaking a sweat, and then his gf kisses him and he gets so distracted that she slams his beefy arm down and wins? yeah that’s danmatt
who is more likely to break a bone?
im gonna say dan bc I feel like she would play so hard that someone would break her nose or smth and she would sniff the blood back up into her face and keep playing. Like she’s such an unrelenting captain…. she would
who knows best what to say to upset the other?
mmmm i think dan could do some damage if she were trying hard enough. She’ll ream someone out if they’ve done something wrong (again,, captain) bc she doesn’t spare feelings when she thinks they could learn something instead. but man it rlly gets to matt. he kind of has a history of not feeling quite good enough
who is most likely to apologize first after an argument?
if dan knows she was harsh she’ll make things right, like she has the most sharply accurate moral compass ever designed. Usually though – it’s matt, because he wants to make sure dan knows that she doesn’t have to hold everything together on her own. she deserves better and matt tries every day to be better
who treats who’s wounds more often?
dan is not a nursemaid she kicks ass & doesn’t take care of it but if u don’t think she gasps and grabs matt’s face and turns it towards the light and dabs too hard at his bruises ur wrong!!! (i don’t know if matt could take care of dan’s injuries bc he would be shaking too hard)
who is in constant need of comfort?
along the same vein as emotional strength, matt has some delicate memories that try to get in the way of his life while dan keeps hers a little more tightly bound? that being said like. they both help each other to work through their pasts and calm each other down w soothing hair stroking at 3 am tbqh they’re just so healthy. what the hell
who gets more jealous?
matt lmaoooo like sure dan will put a hand in matt’s back pocket if things get dicey at the club but matt knows how fuckin hot his gf is, and like he trusts her to the end of the earth but men are gross, and he knows this, and if they try shit he will grit his teeth so hard his jaw cracks (he ain’t intervening tho, he knows dan could rip off a dick if need be)
who’s most likely to walk out on the other?
it’s not realistic
who will propose?
technically I also wrote this in the bg of my andreil proposal fic here –
but i could see it going either way? imagine how honoured to death matt would be if dan proposed…….. like imagine the tears……….. the pda
let’s just say if matt takes too long u can bet on dan stepping in and buying her damn self a ring
who has the most difficult parents?
ok first of all I want u to know I reread dan’s backstory for this and I cried.. hard
i don’t actually remember what the deal is with dan’s parents after all that but I do know her aunt cathy can choke and that dan “asked her to be her mother” and that shit absolutely did not work out
from the shape of dan’s life pre-foxes it looks like her parents were absent (dead? i don’t?? remember?) and Matt’s parents are difficult, but his mom tries hard and he loves her sm
who initiates hand-holding when they’re out in public?
son it’s mutual, every time. they’re affectionate bastards for real, once they’re in they’re in deep (i can’t describe how many tackle hugs take place….. it’s in the thousands)
who comes up for the other all the time?
they’re THAT couple who you can’t even separate in your head like they’re dan&matt. full stop. they’re all about that nonstop togetherness and talking about each other so……..
who hogs the blankets?
again matt piles up the blankets and tries to make his gf as comfy as possible and dan is secretly so in love w the feeling of being surrounded and supported so she lets him ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
who gets more sad?
fucking……….. it’s always both
dan is so fucking grateful for what she has, for the father and team and love that she found all on her own. but she still remembers the dozens of skipped meals and the sound of her aunt getting fucked half a trailer away and the sting of having to grow up faster than she could physically grow, and the sick sweep of eyes all over her, and the underestimation on top of underestimation
matt’s never going to be completely over the way years of his life are a blur from the drugs, and his father didn’t really care what the fuck he got into, like
the sad never goes away
who is better at cheering the other up?
they’re both so good at this honestly read any scene where neil is struggling in the books and danmatt will be there and they won’t leave until neil is like. tucked in.
matt’s better at really vicious honest protectiveness, too earnest to even try to ignore, and dan’s really good at fierce kindness & revenge promises & taking ppl’s minds off of things
who’s the one that playfully slaps the other all the time after they make silly jokes?
dan will take any opportunity to slap sense into someone, next
who is more streetwise?
oh absolutely dan
matt is super aware! of the world! and he’s no stranger to seedy parties and back alley brawls tbH but dan had a job at a strip club at the age of like 16 paying bills and taking care of business she SAW shit
and she’s out here killing it and still managing to be well liked and honing her talent! an icon on the streets & on the court
who is more wise?
this is a tough one?? idk man they’re both smart they both have experience and they’re efficient as fuck
if u remember when neil was struggling w his course load and they immediately swooped in like ‘u…. idiot…….. u ever heard of scheduling’ and fixed it for him?? school is their bitch
who’s the shyest?
???? neither????? they adopt friends at first sight bro
who boasts about the other more?
they’re both constantly flushed with fuckin pride about each other but matt’s the sort of guy who says ‘that’s my girl’ unironically. she’s captain straight out of high school! she’s the best dancer he’s ever seen! the kindest person! the toughest! the stars are always in his eyes I s2g
who sits on who’s lap?
i mean canonically dan is in matt’s but I bet you matt would sit with his legs flung over dan’s lap and his head tucked into her neck