Sunday, December 18, 2011

Plain Jane romance

In trying to find romance novels with normal-looking characters, all I can find is stories with gorgeous guys and plain Janes... because obviously that is way more realistic than the stereotypical beautiful heroine hooking up with the gorgeous hero.

By "normal-looking" I mean your average human being that is neither drop-dead fake Hollywood gorgeous nor homely. Most people are in a gray area where they can either be straight-up ugly or straight-up beautiful if they either let themselves go and look like Sasquatch or get themselves a Hollywood pit crew to do their hair, make-up, diet, weight training, etc. That's your average person, and that is the type of person I was trying to find in novels. Just your average subjective beauties (where some find them ugly, some find them average, and some find them good-looking).

Instead I find novels with the perfect 10 guys, and either deformed or plain Jane women with serious self-esteem issues. In fact, I have such a novel where the woman has a huge red-wine colored birthmark covering half of her face and the guy is handsome... or he might have also been deformed as well. Either way, they (or she) are deformed. It can't simply be normal. It has to be extreme ugly. ... and this is a Christian romance.

Then there are the fat women with the good looking man. I'm not saying such a matching is impossible. In fact, many a good-looking fellow likes him a woman with extra meat on her bones. It's just bothersome, because it's used as a gimmick. "Oh look at my story. I'm so deep, because I have a fat woman instead of the stereotypical perfect beauty." Yeah, except your story still has the unrealistically gorgeous hero.

Funniest of all is the plain Jane/ugly Betty coupled with the blind guy. ... (sigh). Because heaven forbid a man that can actually see hook up with such a woman. "Here you go, Steve Wonder. Take the ugly woman. Not like you can see her horse face anyways."

And I know novels are for escaping the real world and diving into fantasy, but it is sometimes nice for fantasy to be somewhat realistic. If people are willing to read romance novels about deformed, blind, and plain Jane women, surely they would be willing to read about normal-looking couples... or maybe not. I would at least.

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