Body image – it’s a hot topic, all the time. I’m not sure we can ever escape it.
Honestly I think objectification is a natural impulse that we will definitely never escape. That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing; what can go bad is how we as a society think about objectification. If we consider it our God-given right to turn people around us into our playthings, then it’s going to go very wrong. If, on the other hand, we recognize the impulse and adjust our reactions accordingly, then we can use it when appropriate (foreplay or masturbation are good times, for instance) and not succumb to it when it would hurt others.
As I try to start eating healthfully again and get back into physical shape, I am forced to confront the issues of body image and objectification for myself, which naturally starts me thinking about the issue in relation to my writing.
In short, I hate writing about perfect people.
I know in romance stories part of the charm for many readers is how unbelievably awesome the lead characters are; for instance, Nora Roberts’ heroes and heroines are always, always good-looking even if they are flawed in some way. Just look at all the covers for romance stories, M/M or het, and you see luscious shots of beautifully sculpted men who put Chris Evans to shame.
And that’s fine. It’s not like it bothers me, because I have my own escapist fantasies and I get it. But as a writer, I cannot do that, not and keep a straight face anyway. I make my heroes handsome but rarely perfect specimens of male beauty.
I guess for me this is my form of rebellion. I mean, I’ll never be considered a drop dead beauty myself, and while I can imagine that life (I’m a writer, I can imagine a lot of things!) it is not very interesting to me. Interesting is over coming insecurity, learning to accept yourself, finding the person who loves you for who you are.
Advice I should perhaps take to heart. 😛