Character flavor?

If a person were to rifle through every character I have ever created there would be evident patterns. I think a lot of writers will find that there is a certain “flavor” of character, particularly in the main character, that they tend to develop. This flavor can express itself in different ways, but however it occurs I think it can display something of the depths of the writer’s mind.
In my characters the fist obvious similarity that arises from the data is external characteristics. Almost none of my main characters are blonde. There is a sprinkling of redheads and a substantial number with black hair, but brunettes far outnumber the rest. This wasn’t in purpose. I create a character’s personality first and then try to fit the appearance as I picture them. So the hair color should be random as long as the personalities vary. So why brunettes? Well maybe it’s an accidental projection of myself into my characters because I have brunette hair and I happen to like my own hair color.
Secondly, eye color is riddled with simple patterns as well. Blue eyes are far more common with all other eye colors being about equal amongst my characters. This time it’s definitely not a projection because my eyes are cocoa bean brown. But many of my friends have blue eyes that I have long been jealous of, so my theory is that some aspects of characters come about due to an author’s idealizing a feature.
A slightly more hot-button subject is skin color. I think I have only ever created two characters with black skin. I haven’t read many black main characters either. Could this be social indoctrination? Should I make a conscious effort to include more characters with a different ethnicity than my own? I think in the globalizing world that adding the flavor of diversity is imperative to a good story.
And most intriguing in my opinion; character personality. Most of my main characters are assertive. I am assertive as well. So maybe it’s the projection principle. But many of my main characters are brave and I’m far more likely to curl into the fetal position than stand and fight. So it could be idealization at work. It could be that they simply are the main character because they posses that alpha personality which is often found in main characters and that without it they wouldn’t fit. Does the story make the character then? I think it’s a strong mix of all three. Things I like about myself, things I wish to cast of from myself (characters with a fear of spiders), attributes that I wish were a part of my own personality, and all in the context of being appropriate for what the character has to do.
Do you believe character creation is more complex? Less? Comment and let me know how you come up with characters or which types of characters you like reading about best!

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