Heroines Never…

April 8, 2011 at 11:40 am 2 comments

Two nights ago I found myself staring down into the electric blue bottom of a shopping bag thinking: “Why is it that romance novel heroines never get the stomach bug. Not fair.”  And really it isn’t fair.  Us mere mortals have the suffer through tummy bugs and food poisoning and other anti-sexy things.  How often do you see a heroine bent over her toilet “vomming” as we kids like to say? Very rarely.

No heroines get fevers and are forced into bed rest.  Heroines occasionally have physical wounds that need to be dealt with.  Some heroines have the fortune of getting shot–sarcasm.  Stomach viruses not so much, and yet in real life we get these unpleasant, kinda gross things. My night with the blue bag: case point. It was unattractive and the complete opposite of sexy and alluring, but oh well, surely my night of icky weakness doesn’t mean I’m unlovable? Oh my, must call my phonebook to make sure I am still lovable.Maybe that’s why my relationships fail?

So this post is dedicated to a list of things heroine’s would never–or would rarely–do. I know it’s fiction and that heroes and heroines are supposed to be idealized versions of men and women, but still….

1. Heroines never fart. I know it’s a silly one, but when was the last time your favorite romance heroine let one rip? You’re gonna be thinking for a while on this one.

2. Heroine’s never have acne. I hated them for this as a teen. There I was buying every product on the market while my Highland Heroine was walking around with rose and cream complexion in the middle ages.  Not cool. And what exactly is a “rose and cream” complexion?

3. Heroines rarely get papercuts.  Too mundane for most leading ladies.  Bella makes an exception for dramatic effect. I personally always have papercuts.  It is a fact of life.

4. Heroine’s never smell really, really bad. Sure, occasionally they might do some strenuous activity and get mildly stinky, but no matter what time period, they always bathe.  I have to tell you, medieval period? Aboard a ship? Travel West with a band of outlaws? Everyone smells.  Fact of life: no deodorant. Sucks for them.

5. Heroine’s never have bad teeth. And really, I don’t think that is fair at all.  Come on! I am sure one of them would have an overbite in the Regency period before braces.  I still have an overbite and I had braces!

6. Heroine’s rarely have to worry about laundry. Like seriously, where do all of their clothes come from? They certainly don’t wash them, but as someone who often worries about laundry, I envy their never ending supply of laundered clothes.

7. Heroine’s rarely read. Which I find odd since…well…since they are characters themselves.  Surely there should be a Romance Character Union where they all stick together and support reading.  In historicals, reading is a bigger deal, which is why I say “rarely” because many medieval and Regency gals make it a point to discuss how they can read.  It’s to show how intelligent they are.  But many contemporary heroines don’t read at all.  They’re too busy having sex. Interesting…

8. Heroines rarely age. They usually stay in the first bloom of youth for 20 years.  Romance novels: the fountain of youth. New market strategy brought to you by Lizzie.

9. Heroine don’t die. Everyone else dies at some point in their lives, but heroines live forever.  I prefer it that way. I don’t want to see them get old and lose their passion and become comfortable and then die.  It makes me sad.  I want to come back to them like old friends and be like: “hey, friend anything new?” Plus happy ending and death are hard to work out.

10. Heroines are rarely very plain/deformed.  Yes, I have read one or two books where the heroine is blind, she has a scar, a limp, etc. But they are never so deformed that the person must love them for their spirit and not their beauty.  Nor are they often Jane Eyres.  Now I love romances, but wouldn’t be interesting to read about a plain Jane getting her man? Ugly people deserve love too…or did I miss some kind of memo saying otherwise?

11. Heroines never have bad sex. It’s a bummer cause I mean people have bad sex all the time.  Gah. Another reason to be a romance heroine.  Great sex always!

There you go, my list of thinks Heroines never do/are.  I hope you enjoyed.  Feel free to add to the list, or argue with the list, or give some examples of heroines who contradict this list! And now I leave you with some suggestions of books featuring atypical heroines:


Entry filed under: Ramblings on Romance.

Review: Tempted by a Warrior by Amanda Scott Review: Wild Orchids by Karen Robards

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephanie  |  April 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    LOL!!!!!! Great post!!!! But one of my heroines pukes….and it’s bad….all over herself, all over the guy, all over the floor…..bad sesame chicken. LOL!! Your post has inspired me to add these things into my stories!! I like my characters to be as real as possible!!

    • 2. Lizzie Poteet  |  April 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Oh I think your heroine and I may be soul mates! I can relate to a woman that awkward as I often find myself wanting to die from shame over embarrassing romantic situations, and I mean throwing up on potential loves? Happens a lot in college….I have this one friend…let’s say she would appreciate those kinds of stories…

      But as much as I love my perfect heroines, it’s nice to spice things up with a dash of reality!


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