You might already know this about me if you follow me on social media, but I write books on this site called ‘Wattpad’. I actually have been posting bits of my creative writing on there for years, but the stories I posted usually didn’t work out. I lost inspiration or just didn’t like the storyline anymore. But since May this year I’ve been back with a new story and this time I’m finally happy with it. Some of you might know Wattpad for the fanfiction and ‘bad boy’ stories on there, but there honestly are so much more books on Wattpad that aren’t like that, that are more realistic, that are not promoting stereotypes. It’s something I really try to focus on when I’m writing my stories, breaking the stereotypes.
Stereotypes. For those of you who don’t know what they are, let me explain it you shortly. A stereotype basically is “a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like, especially an idea that is wrong”. So what are some stereotypes in books on Wattpad? I’ve made a list for you, so you know what I’m talking about.
- Anything “bad boy” related, the bad boy falls for the shyest, most unpopular/invisible girl of the school and she changes him
- The guy always having to be the dominant character. Other stereotype characteristics of guys are “not very expressive” and “not showing emotions”
- The CEO, who always is a man, falls for the normal woman (again an example that basically says that the man always has to be dominant one)
- Blonde haired girls are either mean, stupid or both and
brown hairedgirls are smart and sweet
I could go on and on, but I just wanted to name a few examples with the hope that you can understand me better because of it. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be books with those stereotypes written at all. I mean, I like reading a book like that too every once in a while. And I’m also definitely not saying that bad boys don’t exist or that a man can’t be dominant. What I have a problem with is that I think that there are way too many books that include these stereotypes. They are overrepresented and it’s just not giving a good resemblance of reality. A lot of diversity is missing. And I’m trying to surround myself more and more with writers who write more realistic and less stereotypical.
But why am I so passionate about wanting to break the stereotypes in the books that I write? Well, this does actually have some backstory. Throughout the years I have had my judgments about people who later became my friends. I actually already am a big lover and fighter for diversity myself, but I feel like those experiences have made those feelings grow even stronger.
Every person is unique and has different reasons for doing the things they do. We usually don’t fully know people, so it’s easy to judge them. It’s easy when one person who belongs to a certain group or category, does something and to immediately draw a conclusion, saying that all of them are like that. People are so much more interesting than the stereotypes we know. Stereotypes put people in boxes, and it’s usually in a negative way. And that is wrong.
So this what I’m telling you here is what I am trying to do with the books I’m writing. And it’s something I’m very passionate about. I try to use stereotypical characteristics as little as possible. I believe everyone is different and everyone has their own unique story. I don’t want to put my characters into boxes, especially not in a negative way. So that’s the purpose with which I write my books. In my writings I want to break the stereotypes.
If you are interested in this topic, there has been a campaign about this on Wattpad a while ago. You can check it out here.
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