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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Skin Deep

When I was young, I thought Ursula Andress (pic at left) was the most beautiful woman on the planet. If she hadn't gotten old, she'd still be the most beautiful woman on the planet, in my opinion. But there's a new generation of beauties on the big screen. Jessica Alba, Charlize Theron, and Selma Hayek, just to name three. The list could go on for a long time.

I mention these ladies because I was thinking about beauty today, and how it's depicted in romance novels. The reason I was thinking about it? Some of the comments I see on reader forums and various blogs. Honestly, readers are funny sometimes.

It seems there's a contingent of readers out there who are sick and tired of the heroines in romances novels always being stunningly beautiful. On one forum, they even list their gripes and ask authors to please not write these types of heroines anymore. Here's just an example ---

  • No more blondes, please
  • No more redheads
  • No more blue eyes
  • No more green eyes, or amethyst eyes,, or violet eyes
  • No more unrealistic figures, such as melon-sized boobs, or impossibly small waists (you know, the ones a guy can span with his hands and have his fingers touch) LOL!

Get the picture? It appears this (very small, I would think) contingent of readers wants us to write heroines with bad hair, preferably brown. They'd also like brown eyes, I'm guessing because that's the only color they didn't ask us not to write. They'd also like the heroines to have average figures. By average I'm thinking anywhere from a rack of bones to a plus, plus size.

Hooo-kay. I guess these readers don't realize that romance heroines do actually come in all shades and shapes. They only seem to be paying attention to (and griping about) the ones who happen to be beautiful.

On the other hand, these same readers had no complaint whatsoever about the stud-muffin heroes we write. I guess they kinda like them tall, and with all those ripply muscles, not to mention certain other exaggerated (ahem) endowments. They definitely want a hero who's drool-worthy and will play into their fantasy. Go figure. Looks to me like there's a bit of a double standard going on out there. What else is new?



  1. LOL~ My my my....are the ones griping about blondes, redheads, blue eyes, green eyes, etc all brown-eyed and brown haired?

    I love a variety when it comes to the heroine in books. And I see a variety. They're not all the same. Are they expecting writers to only write the description of the male of the species and leave the heroine's image a mystery?

  2. Blogger ate my post, so I'm trying again.

    It would seem that these readers have their little quirks, and they'd like us to consider them when we write our heroines. LOL!!

    I read a comment on a blog yesterday that blew me away. A person posted that she'd never in her life met a truly beautiful person in the flesh. To that, all I can say is, "HUHHH!!!!!" Does she live in a sealed underground vault, or something? I don't know about everyone else, but I've met and known, and still know, some stunning natural beauties.

    I guess this topic should be filed under, You can't please all the people...etc.

    Thanks for stopping by. :o)


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