Everyone has a favorite fictional character, whether it's a tie between a few or a landslide for one. Often, a favorite character is chosen because someone is able to relate to the character, or because they aspire to be like the character. I have many favorite characters because they've all taught me lessons about life and myself. They can inspire you to be a better person or learn from the mistakes a character has made.
Without characters I felt I could relate to, I would be miserable. Everyone wants to feel like they're being represented in the media, regardless of the variety of reasons why. Some people empathize most with the hero, while others empathize more with the victim, and personally, I find myself at a crossroad.
As a fiction writer, I do my best to create a multitude of characters with various background stories. I strive to make characters as relatable as possible because I want people who view my work to see a character and feel like someone understands them and to be understood. It's important not to exclude anyone when creating work within entertainment.
There is also the issue of lack of representation among race, sexuality, and mental disability. I think that media and entertainment need to represent everyone, and right now that isn't the case. There are shows that do acknowledge different cultures, but there are other movies and television shows that blatantly disregard the fact that there's anything else other than a white, straight character. This concept may be difficult for people to grasp, but I think they need to understand that children want and need to see people like them represented when they're growing up.
Over time, there has been more representation, which is definitely a step in the right direction. I think that every single person who follows entertainment should have someone like them who they can look up to. Those who feel like they stand out and don't belong sometimes need characters who remind them of themselves so they know they're not alone. It can give them some self-confidence and reassurance in themselves.
Whether physicality or personality wise, having someone who you can empathize with and understand in the media is essential in this day and age. Everyone is more self-conscious and they need to feel like they'll be OK being different.
With this upcoming generation, we have to change this way of thinking. We are the future and we can ensure that everyone will have someone to relate to in entertainment.