|Zoe Kravitz as Tris|
2014 was a big year for books-to-movie releases. The movie Divergent was one of them. In this sci-fi dystopian based story, the main character Tris becomes good friends with Christina, a person of color. The book described her as, “tall, with dark brown skin and short hair.” However, in the movie we see Zoe Kravitz, a beautiful girl of color, but has a lighter complexion than the book describes.
The psychological thriller, Gone Girl was also released in 2014. In the book, the the main character’s lawyer was a white man married to a black woman. The movie completely switched around those characters making the lawyer a black man and left out anything about his wife.
The sequel introduces us to a girl group who was also subject to scientific experiments in order to find a cure for a deadly and contagious disease. One of the leaders from the girl group is Harriet, a black girl.
So why does Hollywood feel the need to lighten these characters? Black girls of all shades love sci-fi and horror too! Could it be that mainstream media still considers beauty to only inhabit the face of white and light? From all the character upgrades and omissions from blockbuster movies, it would seem so. Although, women of color are appearing more frequently in the genre of sci-fi and horror in this generation, (and actually not being killed off in the first five minutes) Hollywood still finds a way to show favor for only the lighter complexion. Not that this flaw of media should stop you from enjoying being a nerd and a fan of horror and sci-fi. The blerd community is slowly but surely causing a change in the diversity of books, movies, and shows we love. The more women of color support sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and horror, the more diversity and multicultural characters we see emerge.