1) If you want to read my thoughts on how Twilight, Bollywood, and Disney capitalize on the sexuality of young girls (and their mothers), check out this essay on Racialicious:
"But after seeing [Twilight], I have a whole new understanding of why this film has banked as much revenue as it has. And how closely it resembles Bollywood romance films. The success of Bollywood romance films and novels like Twilight are a huge reflection of their consumers’ needs and wants, as well as the accepted social context within which these stories thrive.2) Zetta has an amazing interview up with former children's book editor, Laura Atkins. If you are interested in publishing, multicultural children's books, and issues of race and representation, do check it out. Here is one of my favourite bits--how to go about actively seeking voices from writers of colour:
Now, this is nothing new — the budding sexuality and innocence of young girls has been exploited historically by media giants like the Disney corporation for years. Disney princesses have been swooning over their prince saviours and waiting for rescue for decades. These are stories little girls grow up reading and hearing at bedtime and many know by heart..."
"· seek out published authors for adults (fiction and non-fiction) who I thought could write for young readers;The rest of the interview is fantastic, as well.
· contact editors of anthologies (especially those featuring diverse authors, or, for instance, Native American stories) and ask for suggestions of new talent;
· post on listservs and bulletin boards for writing groups featuring authors of color – sometimes saying I was looking for something in particular (such as contemporary Native American or Filipino American stories – anywhere I saw a hole in the market)
· contact journalists who wrote in relevant areas to see if they had considered writing for young people
· talk to curators from museums representing diverse communities to have them tell me about artists or concepts that might work for children’s books.
These days, you could post on blogs saying you are actively seeking diverse new authors and illustrators and the word would certainly spread. I get frustrated when I hear editors say they would love to publish more diverse authors if their stories would only come across their desks. Getting through all the steps it takes to get published is a huge obstacle, so this really needs intentional efforts from editors..."
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, all!