Whitewashing Novels and Erasing Asian Presence

So I was reading The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa when I had a sudden realization. The protagonist’s name is Allison Sekemoto and is described as having straight black hair and squinty eyes. Presumably, Allison is Asian-American. Funnily enough, the girl on the cover of the book looks White, but it’s somewhat difficult to tell since it’s an extreme close-up, and she has a lot of eye makeup on. Are we not supposed to know that the cover model is White? Is the close-up and the eye makeup supposed to make her look ethnically ambiguous (not to mention that Allison doesn’t wear makeup)? Why couldn’t they use an Asian model? Seriously, the only reason I could possibly think of for using a White model is because they wanted to White-wash the novel. It was obviously assumed that no one non-Asian would buy a book about an Asian protagonist, but they sure as hell would buy a book about a White protagonist, because as we all know, White characters are the norm and everyone can relate to a White storyline. Ugh, I’m just completely disgusted.

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