Years ago, when I started writing confessions, there were a dozen or more confession magazines, just as there were several mystery magazines and several science fiction/fantasy magazines.
Confession magazines--women's magazines featuring a specific genre of women's fiction known as "confessions"--served two distinct readerships. Many of the confession magazines featured white characters for a white readership; the rest of the confession magazines featured black characters for a black readership.
The best paying confession magazine--then, as now--was True Story, a few confession magazines were on the second tier of payment rates, and the rest were grouped in the third tier. I came from the science fiction genre where the mantra was to submit to the best paying publication first and work down until the story sells. Which I did.
But there was a problem with this. If I wrote a story intended for one ethnicity, I had to revise the manuscript before I could submit the story to a magazine serving the other ethnicity. In those days I was fortunate that I used a correcting Selectric, the top-of-the-line, every-other-writer-envied-me typewriter.
Typewriter. Not computer. A revision meant retyping an entire manuscript.
This was not time- or cost-effective.
I discovered a trick to avoid having to retype manuscripts. I stopped giving my characters physical features that were associated with one ethnicity or another.
I made them fat and skinny, tall and short, big-hipped and small-hipped, large-breasted and small-breasted. I gave most of them dark hair--black, brown, auburn--and dark eyes--brown, hazel.
Then I could send the manuscripts to any of the confession magazines without revision. This was much more time- and cost-effective, and for several years I sold every confession I wrote.
(For a few years I even wrote confessions on assignment, creating 5,000-word stories based on one-paragraph descriptions sent me by an editor.)
The publishing world has changed over the years. There are only five confession magazine still being published--and they promote themselves now as romance magazines--so I no longer need to use this trick.
But I still do.
Not always, but frequently.
It's no longer a trick; it's a habit.