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Sexiness Is More than Looks

1 Jun 2008

I recently read a series where every couple is drop-dead gorgeous. The women are not merely pretty, but stunning and “achingly beautiful.” The men are hybrids of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Will Smith. The only characters who lost out in the genetic lottery are the villains and minor characters who serve as contrasts to the main characters so the readers can truly appreciate how physically perfect these specimens are. (I always wonder why these physically perfect specimens didn’t try their hand at modelling or acting instead of toiling away as low-paying cubicle dwellers or government employees.)

Back in my early teens, I don’t think this imbalance would’ve bothered me. Now, it strikes me as quite shallow. Physical perfection=good; physical imperfection=evil. I’m sure the author doesn’t mean to send that message, but that was my interpretation after reading four of her books. I don’t want the main characters to look like trolls, but angelic beauties and Hollywood-handsome men get tiresome after a while, especially since the heroines usually aren’t aware of their beauty or lament it because no one notices their superior intellect or their kindness to dogs and children. The author did attempt to mix things up, but variety is more than just changing an angelic beauty from being a blond to a brunette. Seriously, throw in a Hellboy or a Goliath (from Disney’s Gargoyles) or a Sean Bean once in a while.

JAK is the first writer I encountered where the heroines weren’t Incomparables and the heroes weren’t the richest, handsomest men in England. At first, I was taken aback. Was JAK violating a romance genre rule? Weren’t heroes and heroines supposed to be physically perfect so they could inspire lust and envy in the hearts of all those who meet them? No? Gasp!

After I got over the initial shock, however, I found myself enjoying JAK and her more realistic protagonists. She even wrote a hero who dressed in Hawaiian shirts for the entire story and I absolutely loved it. To this day, I snatch up JAK on the release date because it’s nice to know people other than beauty queens and men whose profiles can grace Roman coins deserve HEAs, too.

Will I continue reading the author whose series sparked this entry? Probably not since there are so many authors out there who don’t feel the need to feature only people who would probably crowd a Hollywood casting office in real life, authors who know sexiness is more from inner character than physical appearance. And I know I can’t be the only reader who feels this way because who hasn’t swooned over the Beast?

(But I will admit I’m shallow enough to want my heroes to be fit. I don’t want overblown muscles, but I do so enjoy a little definition. I definitely didn’t watch 300 for the plot.)


7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane permalink
    2 Jun 2008 2:21 PM

    You must be talking about Cyrus from “Sharp Edges.” I was shocked when I first read that book. I couldn’t believe that the hero had such bad taste in shirts. I also like my heroes to be fit. I want six packs. There are definitely more average looking heroes and heroines nowadays than before.

  2. azteclady permalink
    2 Jun 2008 6:25 PM

    I love my book heroes to be fit and attractive–but that means different things for different people. I’m 5.2″–can you imagine the neck pain looking up to a guy over 6′ each time you want to have a conversation that requires eye contact? Ugh

  3. 2 Jun 2008 7:27 PM

    Jane – I loved the Hawaiian shirts. But I’m someone who dresses in hoodies, cords, and flats at work while everyone around wears suits.

    AZ – Hehe. I’m 5-nothing and the SO is 6’2″. The tallest guy I dated is 6’4″. And don’t start on the jokes. I’ve heard ’em all.

  4. azteclady permalink
    2 Jun 2008 8:06 PM

    Ann, I have dated a couple of guys over 6′–and since I won’t wear heels, and rarely even shoes, I’m happier with my not-quite-6′ guy myself 😀

  5. 2 Jun 2008 8:51 PM

    My hubby is a foot taller than me (5’4″ and 6’4″) and it can be awkward. It’s nice when I’m wearing heels, doesn’t seem so much like we’re in two separate altitudes.

    Do you ever get the annoyed looks from tall girls, like, “why’d you have to take one of ours?”

  6. 2 Jun 2008 9:22 PM

    AZ – No heels for me, either (I’ve become a bit of a fuddy duddy in my advanced age). If the SO wants eye contact, he has to sit or lie down. I’d try dating someone more my height, but I don’t seem to attract them. It’s the 6′ and over who try to pick me up–sometimes quite literally.

    The SO and I discussed this: I always wanted to be 4″ taller and he 3″ shorter; if we have kids, they might even out.

    (I just remembered I dated a model who’s 6’5″. But that was a brief fling since I couldn’t stay with someone so much prettier than me.)

    Jill – I’m usually too far below their eye-level. However, I think it’s a fair exchange since I can’t reach the items on the top shelves in supermarkets. And I still get carded. And I need a seat cushion for my car because I can’t see over the hood without one. But leg room is never a problem on airplanes; my toes don’t even touch the floor unless I point them.

  7. 3 Jun 2008 2:06 PM

    ~And I need a seat cushion for my car because I can’t see over the hood without one.~

    Ha. My mom is 5’1″ and she also has a special “lift” for driving. I can’t reach some things at the store, either. They put my favorite dried mangoes up so high! My hubby has to get them for me.

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