If a YA book features a white, female protagonist ..., it seems inevitable that the book cover will display an idealized and airbrushed masterpiece of her on the cover. And when a YA book actually does have a protagonist of color, too often one of three things seems to happen:
- The cover is “whitewashed” and shows a Caucasian model instead of a person of color;
- The cover depicts someone whose race seems purposefully ambiguous or difficult to discern; or
- The character is shown in silhouette
It often seems like white characters are spotlighted front and center on a book cover, while non-white characters are hidden in shadow, have their face obscured, or are distorted in some other way that allows people to assume that the character is white.
Notability: It's one blog post of many. It's a blog post which has been mentioned on some famous social justice blogs, including Shakesville. It's a blog post which received a reply from one of the mentioned authors; that author gave her response the title "Whitwashing covers, part eleventy", indicating that this was part of a long ongoing conversation in the bloggosphere.
The blog post quoted gives many many examples, but I'm not aware of any statistical evidence that ambiguous covers are "overwhelming[ly] used for books with non-white protagonists". (To be clear, this wouldn't surprise me, in the least, but it would be nice to see some evidence.)