I suppose if you look at fiction as wish fulfilment then I can understand why every single heroine seems to be a Beauty of Beauties (or any other word which means – yep, this here gal is attractive).
After all, woman want to be beautiful – right? Just look at the thousands of beauty products, the option of cosmetic surgery and a million other treatments, lotions, creams … all in the pursuit of beauty.
So it makes sense that if you want to escape reality – a reality in which wrinkles appear, hair thins and greys, warts emerge and spots pop up – then you will want to read/write books with exceptionally beautiful heroines. Or exceptionally beautiful heroines that don’t know that they are exceptionally beautiful heroines (but are nevertheless exceptionally beautiful heroines).
But … what good is that doing us? Magazines are denounced for photoshopping their models to look like plastic pieces of doll-like perfection; yet what about the books in which the heroine is just the literary form of the magazine cover? Isn’t that just as dangerous?
You can live between the covers of books with gorgeous heroines – pretend you are society’s definition of beautiful, but the moment the book is closed, the last words read and you’re looking in a mirror and seeing who you truly are – where does that leave you … in want of a nose job?
Where is the acceptance of who you actually are – of the body God gave you? Where is the beauty of the personality instead of the face? Writers are told to insert personality flaws to make their characters realistic … but what about the facial/bodily flaws? How is not having them ‘realistic’?
Not every woman is outstandingly beautiful/attractive/stunning/gorgeous etc etc. But I firmly believe that everyone can possess a beautiful heart.
And that lasts far longer than smooth skin and artificial enhancements.
And so the intrepid author picks up her pen. Inspiration has struck and the poor writer is helpless against it. The pen moves against the paper – black on white; a new tale to spin. Of human disaster and triumph, of hope and sorrows. The heroine will go through the fire and come out again with a weight of dross removed, a beauty of soul revealed. But, however, a pressing point must be put forth … the author writes the first words of an epic:
“She wasn’t a beauty … “