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View Poll Results: Character Ethnicity Preference?
White 47 30.72%
Black 7 4.58%
Latina 19 12.42%
Asian 37 24.18%
Arabic 12 7.84%
Other 7 4.58%
Don't care, just make 'em grow BIG! 99 64.71%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 07-31-2019   #1
JJStrebas
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Diversity in BE

So, I was playing around with Photoshop trying to morph up some new covers for future stories when I realized that the vast majority of my covers featured White/Caucasian women. I try to offer diversity in my stories, but I still tend to gravitate towards using White women on my covers for a few reasons. Mainly because I figure most of my audience is White for the simple fact that I am in the US and the country is majority White. But then part me believes that as BE lovers, we don't necessarily fall into any stereotypes. We just love BE and beautiful women in general.

Another reason, from a practical side, when I search for a new picture to morph, the majority of the models I see are White, just by the simple fact that my source features more of them. When I set out to find a specific race for a character that I know is going to be Black, or Latina or Asian, I typically have less stock to choose from. But I don't want to be lazy and pick the low hanging fruit. If the people demand more BE stories about Inuit women then so be it.

What say ye the people? As always votes are anonymous, more than one choice is possible and feedback is welcome. Oh, and yeah, I realize I used ethnicity wrong. Race is the proper term here.
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Last edited by JJStrebas; 08-01-2019 at 06:11 AM.
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Unread 07-31-2019   #2
Kevin_Generic
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Re: Diversity in BE

Personally as someone who made morphs in the past any race can be great if the reference is good, but all things considered the lighter the skin the easier/better the image tends to turn out (shadows on darker skin can be very tricky).
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Unread 07-31-2019   #3
JJStrebas
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Re: Diversity in BE

I'm not a pro morpher by any stretch, so I haven't really noticed it being easier for light skin versus dark skin in shadows since it is all challenging for me. Probably because Amazon covers have to be tame. The women have to be fully clothed and can't show an excess amount of skin or they will dungeon your book making it hard to find unless someone is directly looking for it, or they might block it all together.

So for me, it comes down to how they are posed, (front three quarter is easiest for me), and how they are dressed. I don't always look for a bikini or lingerie model because sometimes I just want that girl-next-door look or I try to find something that fits the context of the story.

The one dark skinned black woman in a swimsuit that I did do, I remember the shadow of her cleavage being tricky so I'll pay closer attention to that next time the opportunity arises.

Thank you for your input.
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Last edited by JJStrebas; 07-31-2019 at 07:47 AM.
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Unread 07-31-2019   #4
wildcard555
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Re: Diversity in BE

To be honest, I don't really care, I don't have a specific preference.

If sufficient details are provided and cover art would be missing the reader would create and visualize there own characters within there mind, ... Or at least that how my brain is wired.

If the story teller did a good job (in character details) and at a later time, cover art of that character would be released and the reader would go like 'Hey that is <character name>' than you did a great job.

So yeah, making good use of cultural references may it be language, skin tone, behavior or difference in physical body variations are all great means to paint a character with words.
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Unread 07-31-2019   #5
JJStrebas
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Re: Diversity in BE

That's pretty much how I feel. Sometimes I'll have an idea and I already know who and how the character will look and act. Then I have to scour Depositphotos or Stockfresh for hours until I find a picture that fits, because I KNOW in my head what she looks like.

Sometimes that can hold me up schedule wise, but in the meantime I usually find a dozen other photos that could be fit in somewhere else or that I could write a whole new story behind simply because of the way they are dressed or the way they are posed. For example, the cover of A Little Mistake pretty much demanded that it be a shrinking story just because of the way she is looking down. I came up with the backstory on her later, added some more to the boobs and the butt and voila.

Thank you for your input.
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Last edited by JJStrebas; 07-31-2019 at 12:59 PM.
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Unread 07-31-2019   #6
Penner
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Re: Diversity in BE

I'll admit that I can't help but write from a primarily white, atheist, North American perspective; write what you know, right? That said, if I want to properly write a character from a distinctly different perspective than my own, I tend to ask questions of friends who share that character's perspective or at the very least hit Google in search of cultural think-pieces. I want to make sure I'm getting things right, and to add flourishes that make the character seem more authentic. Diversity is a positive, and it's one that challenges and educates me as a writer.

I also made a pointed effort in my first story to not describe how the characters looked, beyond how they dressed and wore make-up, and what their body shapes were (at the time ). No descriptions of hair or skin if I could help it. The intent is to use enough character work to let the reader fill in/trick them into deciding what the characters look like for themselves. I asked one of my preview readers if she had a mental image of Anna & Will, and she was about ready to sketch them up on the spot.

This answer has a much broader scope than the original question, especially given that I'm answering as a writer instead of a reader, but I hope you get what I mean.
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Unread 07-31-2019   #7
JJStrebas
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Re: Diversity in BE

Oh, I get what you mean. I would sometimes like to be a little vague so that the reader can fill in his or her own blanks so that the MC can become their fantasy and not risk alienating them with my own. Since I do hide the faces (or at least the eyes) on most of my covers, I leave it up to the reader to kind of fill in the rest since the reality of a stock photo is almost never going to line up with the mental picture a reader has. But I do like to fill in the rest with as much detail as I can when it comes to hair, skin tone, build, breast size and other measurements.

Thank you for your input.
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Unread 08-04-2019   #8
JJStrebas
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Re: Diversity in BE

The poll results so far have turned out just about like I have expected. But I have to admit, the three votes for "other" have me curious. Native American maybe?
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Unread 08-04-2019   #9
Naomeister
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Re: Diversity in BE

For me, it's always been down to personal preference. Personality-wise, race doesn't matter to me in the slightest, but there are physical features that are more common to certain races that are more/less appealing to me just purely out of preference's sake. For example, I tend to like softer, "cuter" features as opposed to more prominent, "sexier" features. More lightly defined noses, lips that aren't super prominent, soft and supple hair, smoother skin, etc, just from a purely physical perspective.
That said, however, there are people from every race who have easily hit those marks, so it's far more a case of less/more common rather than a case of yes/no for different groups and physical features. In addition, personality can and often does easily supersede a lot of those preferences, so while I did give certain selections for preference, I also gave the selection that it doesn't matter.
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Last edited by Naomeister; 08-04-2019 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Unread 08-05-2019   #10
JJStrebas
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Re: Diversity in BE

Sometimes I describe a character in what I think is great detail and I try to give them certain physical features that I think are cute or sexy so that not only would I like them for their boobs or bodies, but to identify them and have something else to talk about. I think that is a good thing for an engaging story with endearing characters. I try not to make their race or background that big a deal, unless the story or situation just calls for it. I think there's a fine line between introducing a character as a certain race and having their narrative reflecting that versus beating the reader over the head with it every time that character is discussed.

So with that being said, I do my best to avoid being cringey and making any character a stereotypical caricature by defining them by certain things that are associated with certain races, but I don't want to skip over cultural differences either.

Thank you for your input.
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Unread 08-05-2019   #11
Metatron
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Re: Diversity in BE

Expansion of tits = win
race is a nul factor for me
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Unread 08-05-2019   #12
JJStrebas
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Re: Diversity in BE

I figured it would be for the majority of us, but I just wanted to check if there was some desire that was being underserved.

Thank you for your input.
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