Opinions on writers not letting readers change skin colours


Recently I’ve seen a writer showcased on the ‘Glow Up’ section receive a lot of criticism because readers could change all features except skin tone. Do you think writers should be criticised for not allowing readers to be able to pick their own skin tones?

In a majority of these stories w/ limited or no customization, the MC is white. They think diversity is having a friend who is POC. Or do you think it is up to the writers if they want everyone to be white in their stories because it is their creation?

I feel bad for the writer because she isn’t that big. However, bigger writers who do similar things never get any backlash or get called out. I don’t want to name and shame but, I think it is unfair she is getting picked on.

How do the POC community feel about this? And how do writers feel about this?


I think it’s annoying. I’m tired of them being white, tan, honey, and caramel. Can we get a dark skin that has it limited and you can’t change the skin tone? Jeez…


I’m not sure what story this is but can you choose the name of your character?
It’s my pet peeve when I give the character my name and realise I have to be white and blonde lol.
Also- is it advertised as having full CC? Because if so, that would annoy me too haha.
If the skin tone is “set” then I personally feel that there has to be a reason for it, especially if nothing else can change. (If “overlays” are the reason, then at least include 3 or 4 tones or something.)


I agree & No but her reason is because she can’t be bothered to do overlays for different skin tones.

Even in set stories being white has nothing to do with the plot so why exactly do we have to play as those characters. “Because that’s how I envisioned them” - ok so you envision a world where everyone is white. It’s just find it as a bit of poor excuse.

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If the only thing you can’t change is the skin colour then that’s a ridiculous excuse.
(Or did you mean stories without CC as well?)

100% but they would never do that because They are afraid of backlash.


I mean both are ridiculous- I can see where writers are coming from like it’s their own stories BUT idk I feel like when every character is literally from the first 10 shades it’s quite annoying. Well for me at least. And when they say “just don’t read it” it’s not really addressing the issue.


Yasss we were literally just talking about this lmao :joy:


I think a lot of people have started noticing the trend :joy:

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I personally don’t really care if you can change skin colours or not, or other features.


That’s cool - do you generally not use CC options in stories?

Yeah I rarely use CC options, sometimes I will depends if I feel like changing anything or not but it’s rare for me.

The reason I don’t have CC in my upcoming story is because it would give a major plot twist away…

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For me, this entirely depends on the reason as to why. Is the character of a particular cultural background and thus their skin tone needs to be a certain colour? For me, that’s the only reason why it should be limited.

I know a lot of people might say limb overlays are another reason, but honestly… If you’re going to the effort of limb overlays, you can easily go to the effort of having various tones of the same overlay. It’s not like the code would change. If it’s really that overwhelming for an author, they could limit it to 8 different skin tones to choose from? I know not everyone would find their perfect match, but with limelight’s range nowadays, I think most people could find a tone they’d be happy with. (Like the phone overlays in the art catalog)

If the reason is because they will be describing the characters features… Uh, just no. This is more the case with hair styles more than skin tones I find, but yeah… I just feel like you should either do the whole CC and focus on the plot rather than the description, or only offer the occasional hair and make-up on a non CC character instead.

In saying that, I personally do have a limited CC story in the works, but all the skin tones are avaliable in the CC, as is hair colour, but I have limited the hair styles, eyes, noses, lips, and brows lol, I guess I’m doing the opposite to the trend.

I’m not sure what story you’re talking about, but yeah, I do think this is unfair. Like I said, I think it depends on the author’s reason. But it’s not fair for only one person/author to be getting called out for something lots of other people do too. And to add to this, author’s who are quite popular set the standard in a sense. I think a lot of people will look to them for inspiration. That’s why I like when some of the top author’s use their platform to try and make a change and bring awareness to things like this.

I agree with both of these statements (and I am both white and blonde :smile:).
And also… I am lowkey not a fan of stories that are fully CC, but include the default versions on the covers and the intros and the splashes and the outros. Maybe having them on the covers to make it eye catching is ok, but to have it on everything makes it feel like I’m not supposed to CC them and it’s only added in as a bit of an afterthought.


As a writer, I feel that if a writer chooses to let you change everything about a character except the skin colour and it is for a VALID reason, then okay, I don’t see the problem. If it is simply because you don’t want to represent POC as the main character, racism based, or because you feel that it doesn’t “fit” the story, that is wrong!

If a writer isn’t letting a reader choose their skin colour and they have a good reason for it, such as It’s to match the other family members in the story because they don’t know how to code that, to match art scenes or overlays, because skin colour plays a major role in the story and addresses racism, etc. I think that it is okay. It is the writers’ decision and vision. I also feel that it is okay because if you couldn’t customize a character at all except for maybe hairstyle everyone would be cool with it. I understand that some people find limited customization annoying, I get that, but sometimes it is valid to the story.

I can feel for where POC are coming from. I can see how upsetting it must be to want to play a story and not have a character accurately represent you. You would feel hurt, unincluded, and just plain awful. I am so sorry to any POC who feel affected by this. I can see why you feel that if you can change everything else except your skin colour how angry you must be. I was a bit shocked seeing this is a story as well, even though I am white, I was shocked to see that was the thing you couldn’t change. If it was something like, you can’t change your hair colour because it is important to the story I understand, but skin colour is a bit too far.

Overall I think that it is horrible for POC and that it should be avoided in the future, if you are going to have “full” cc then make sure it is exactly what you say it is, full. If it is partial CC then explain why. But I also think we should cut the author some slack. I don’t think they meant any harm, it was just an unfortunate mishap.


Update: I think I know what story you were referring to and just want to say that I don’t think someone should be called a racist just because they don’t have CC for skin colours (like this author has been in her fanmail). Lazy? Yeah, sure. I could understand calling them lazy.


I totally agree with you but, it just seems like she’s the first creator to be ever called out for it (as far as I know). It’s sad because I hope she isn’t discouraged.

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Yeah honestly I don’t think she realised how offensive it can be. It’s the bigger creators who I have an issue with - who are never are called out for it.


Yes exactly! The smaller creators make mistakes and everyone goes ballistic, however larger creators repeatedly do things like this and never get called out for it. Yeah, I get if a bigger creator did it maybe once or twice we should probably let it go, but if you keep on doing it??? Yeah nah bro, bugger that! I honestly don’t understand how their episode “career” (not really a career but you get it) hasn’t carked it already.

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It depends on the reason, I don’t know who you’re talking about but unless they gave you a name option, you are not playing as yourself. If a character has a name, that’s not you even if the display says “YOU

I have no idea why limb overlays are getting popular, as it seems that everyone is bad at doing them, ehm, but it’s a bit tricky situation. You don’t know about it unless you use those overlays. I have a story where I coded 24 skin colors in INK for limb overlays, it’s about points and not everyone can manage it.

In conclusion, if you are playing as yourself where you type in a name and you can’t customize skin tone because of overlays, that’s just lazy, not racist, at least from what I’ve seen. If the author says “Cause I want her to be white insert reason” would be racist, since they gave a name customization.

EDIT: I just checked the story and MC has a name already. Well, in that situation, you’re not playing as yourself. So I don’t see any problem with not offering full cc