Oh mighty perfection! I remember that concept from when I started reading romance novels a long time ago. Not talking about the covers (let’s say we greatly improved in that aspect of things 😉) but more about the description of the characters. Or more precisely, the protagonists.
The heroines were all slender, delicate and feminine, with amazing shiny long hair, and the men were tall and strong with bulging muscles and square jaws. Even the secondary characters were beautiful, or if not, cute as a button. I did enjoy them, those stereotypical descriptions when I was younger, as they appeared like a dream, a great fantasy. But now as I’m an old broad, my tastes have changed. The more I meet people and I explore the world, the more I am amazed by the depth and diversity of the human experience, and the human bodies.
I dare say, I see a shift in the romance world as well. More and more, the women appear as curvy, from other nationalities, and may be imperfect. The men may be amputated, bald or have a cuddly, papa bear look. And isn’t what love is all about? I believe it is. I think that love is deeper than the state, thickness or color of our skin and goes way beyond our imperfections. We want people to love us for who we are deep in our souls, so why not create characters who are our reflection? Like in real life?
I know that romance is all about the dream and fantasy, but with the addition of slight imperfections, in healthy and interesting dosages, the story takes a brand new and unexpected dimension. That small touch that makes that hero sexy but accessible, and the heroine, interesting with many layers, does it bring fantasy closer to us? Keep the sexy, keep the stereotypes if you want, but accept a new filter that will make you fall in love with an even wider range of romance novels.
I am convinced that imperfection doesn’t steal anything away from us but gives us so much more. Let’s fall in love with imperfections… one step toward accepting ourselves as we are and discovering how beautiful love can be.