I admit to having had a good laugh.
And then I got to thinking…
Isn’t this exactly what we women want the media to understand about us?
Real women have curves, love handles, stretch marks and tummies and thighs that wobble.
Well, so do real men.
Social media calls it the ‘Dad Bod’. As a result, we women fall prey to the very trap that our men do. We wrinkle our noses, shift our gaze away from the fellow with the keg and the kind eyes and pin it to the hottie with the smirk and the six-pack. Double standards much, ladies?
As a romance writer, I have often read articles where we’re reminded as authors to always write the hottie as our hero. Broad, muscled shoulders, bulging biceps narrow waist, lean hips and shredded abs, with a dick that just won’t quit. Oh, and he’s also supposed to have a heart of gold, be fiercely protective of his woman and love animals. Bonus points if he’s a bad boy billionaire.
Would you look at that!?
The media wins again. Wiring our feminine minds to seek out perfection. Is it any wonder that we then set our standards so high that no mere mortal male can ever hope to achieve them? Worse still, we then lament the dearth of worthy mates out there.
Where are the romance stories where it’s the guy with the average maybe not-so-ripped body that gets the girl because he’s an honest to goodness nice guy? The lovable, cuddly teddy bear who will watch a chick flick with you and pretend not to notice when you’re snotting all over the place but will hug you closer?
I get it, romance novels are meant to be pure escapism. A fantasy world where there is a guaranteed HEA (happily ever after) or at least a HFN (happy for now). We applaud wildly for the romance novels that feature BBW (Big beautiful women) or the extra curvy Betty Boop heroines that ‘get the hot guy’.
But what if….
What if we turned the tables and started to beat the impossible standards we rail against by writing and reading stories where both the hero and heroine are built like you and I and the real guy next door? What if that then spilt over into YA (Young Adult) novels and we started to teach our sons and daughters through their imaginations spurred by the written word that what you look like has got nothing to do with what you can achieve or who will love you?
Isn’t that a far more powerful message?
Isn’t that possibly the true romance of life?
I for one would love to know how many of you out there would embrace such a concept and read a romance novel featuring ideals based on inner beauty and strength rather than the external.
So, I ask you again:
What is sexy?