Monday, July 6, 2015

Why I'm annoyed with all of these gorgeous characters.♥

Monday, July 06, 2015

Feminist Reflections is a feature I created to share my personal thoughts and to provoke a discussion.

Do you prefer physically beautiful characters or ordinary characters?
  • Okay.. now there is NOTHING wrong with being physically beautiful. AND. There is NOTHING wrong with not being beautiful/ordinary. However, I feel in almost every book I read physical beauty is over emphasized. The actual book can still be fantastic, but the characterization can be off. I don't care if the hero in the story is the "most beautiful guy I have ever seen." That makes me cringe. I much rather prefer ordinary looking characters because that's more accurate to reality. At times, ordinary might seem boring but trust me, it's really not. Even if the writer chooses to make the characters amazing looking, I much rather not read about how their "green eyes shoon like emeralds" or their "beautiful brown eyes were a mixture of cocoa and honey" STOP OVER EXAGGERATING.
  • If it's one time, I can understand but if the characters constantly think about each other's physical beauty, then that makes me really sad. The chemistry even starts because of that intense physical attraction. I'm also fed up with female heroines who are over emphasized as "skinny yet curvy." I'm going to say this in a polite manner, most women do not have bodies like Kim Kardashian or Kylie Jenner. Personally, most women that I have seen either have the thinness Kendall Jenner has(minus the tall height) or Jessica Simpson when she was chubby. Not every man or women look like Greek God's. There's usually not much diversity in characterization in books. They usually have the same, generic appeal to their characters. It's not bad when it's overdone, it should be limited though.

Where are the characters that are chubby, stick skinny, short, nerdy, geeky, scarred, ordinary looking, and even hideous? Very few books have this, and I do wish it was more popular. I like flaws, I find them more attractive.

“I don't know. Just because someone's pretty doesn't mean she's decent. Or vice versa. I'm not into appearances.
 I like flaws, I think they make things interesting.” 

“We are flawed creatures, all of us. Some of us think that means we should fix our flaws. 
But get rid of my flaws and there would be no one left.” 
“There is no shame in scars, Ismae.” 

Cringe worthy examples where physical beauty is over emphasized.

Amazing examples where the characters are beautiful, but they're not over emphasized.
  • In Angefall, Penryn's beauty is not over emphasized, at first I thought she was probably ordinary looking but then she turned out to be really beautiful. Rafee is emphasized on his beauty, BUT not over emphasized - mainly because he's an ANGEL and we know they're beyond gorgeous. There is this issue in fantasy books where everyone is beautiful, such as angels, werewolves, vampires, personally I don't mind that much because they're creatures that are indeed unrealistic and who always happen to be beautiful. Although, I do wish the characters weren't over emphasized in other books. I still love these gorgeous characters, but I do wish sometimes, they were portrayed differently. I still want to see that stereotype of aliens having huge heads and small bodies or even having skin made out of gold or silver. SOMETHING COOL.
Ordinary characters that I found exceptional.. and their inner beauty made them beautiful.

What about you guys? Can you guys relate or do you like physically beautiful characters more?

Thank you for reading this! Have an amazing month of July - Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & drop by :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron


  1. I'm glad that someone put it into words. I definitely had that problem when I was reading Throne of Glass. I've never had a problem with being overweight, but I am still insanely bothered by the "perfectly curved" girls that YA often presents as normal. They hardly show the extremes of the scale under/overweight characters.
    -Monica @ Tomes Project

  2. So much yes to this! I also get annoyed by the 'I'm so plain, I don't know what ____ sees in me!'
    But the constant talking about how pretty or attractive characters are is so annoying. I think the same of perfect characters personality wise. I love flawed characters, on the inside and/or outside :)

    1. I feel you! I love reading a good book, with flawed characters!

  3. I guess it depends. If I'm reading a romance novel, I prefer them beautiful, buff and billionaires. Lol. Kidding. They do tend to get a bit ridiculous, but I suppose it's the nature of the beast. As readers, we've been fed with the same bull crap over and over again that we kinda accept it as the norm. Break the cycle!

  4. I enjoy realistic characters! I was so excited when I read Dream of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout, because she gave us a realistic heroine who had typical insecurities that women face, and I could relate to her. Her inner beauty shone through. Great discussion topic and examples!!! It's always a treat to check out your discussions :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  5. I would have to agree with you! I prefer it when the main character has inner beauty instead. Although to be honest, I haven't really noticed many books where the outer beauty is stressed so much? It does get annoying in the moment that I am reading it though. Another character whose inner beauty makes them wonderful is Sephy from Malorie Blackman's Naughts and Crosses series.

  6. This is so, SO true. I had the same problem while reading ToG- Celaena was so damn focused on her looks! What IS that!? And YES to the skinny-but-curvy thing. I mean, as someone who is NOT skinny and STILL doesn't have any curves (sad face), it's extra irritating. Actually, in my whole life, I have known ONE woman who fit that standard of Barbie-like waist and boobs. ONE. Gah, drives me insane! I don't like the focus on looks AT ALL. Sometimes if a character is like, caught off guard by someone's pretty eyes or something, I can live with that. But anything beyond that? NOPE. If there is too much vanity, I am OUT.

    FABULOUS post!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  7. Sing it sister.

    I hear you Benish and are sick of this image of perfection of young adult characters in general. Even villains are described as heart achingly beautiful. I like the 'Disney' type villain, the uglier the better. But realistically, as a society we're taught to celebrate our differences, not just diversity, but our body types, features, quirks and what sets us apart from everyone else. Why can't our fiction reflect that? I think the onus falls on authors who perhaps see readers as wanting these vain characters, but are we really that vapid?

    Skinny but curvy isn't a thing. It's just a nice way of saying a character has a womanly body, but oh no, don't mistake her for being overweight. You can understand that characters need that initial attraction, but who internalises how attractive someone is at every spare moment. I love my hubby and he's still as sexy as the day we met, but if we're having a conversation, I don't put my thoughts on hold to think about his blue eyes or how I want to rub my face along his stubble. Which I've read in that many books. It effing hurts, not to mention the severe case of pash rash you'll end up with. Loving this discussion Benish and so relevant! <3

  8. Oh totally agree with you! I am good with ordinary. Or even beautiful but it doesn't need to be the over the top focus it can become in books. You are right when you say that if you took it out of the book it wouldn't really affect the story so who cares. Also died at skinny but curvy. I HATE THAT. Lovely post!

  9. YES YES YES> someone needed to write this post, and I'm so glad you did. I'm so tired of, 'oh she's so beautiful I'm falling in love with her because she's gorgeous stereotypes' I mean, give us something different, please?!?

    I love very part of this post, and I'm definitely adding some of these to my TBR :)

  10. I don't mind beautiful characters, because there are in fact, beautiful people in real life. But it's like you said: NOT EVERYONE IS PERFECT/STUNNING or WHATEVER. WE NEED DIVERSITY. I fall for a character because of his or her personality. Period. If they're beautiful fine and if they're average, it's just as fine. I can see that when characters fall in love they'll start to swoon about the other person's perfect eyes or smile or whatever but right when a character is introduced, he/she doesn't have to be described as a god/goddess. It's been overdone, it's a simple as that and it's unrealistic. AVERAGE people can be made beautiful by what's on the INSIDE. Let's work on that! Awesome post Benish!! ♥

  11. YES! YA is notorious for doing this and it's really annoying. It's not like beautiful people aren't okay in books, but I don't need to be reminded every minute that they have smooth skin, shiny hair and whatever else is considered beautiful by authors. It distracts me from the story for sure! I used to be annoyed with how Celaena's beauty was so emphasized in the series and how every guy seemed to fall in love with her. Yeah, that's not gonna happen in real life.

    I like it when books have plain characters too because it's easier for so many more readers to relate to. Of Beast and Beauty and Grave Mercy are two excellent examples.

    Great post, Benish!

  12. I hate when physical beauty is over exaggerated, it starts to really get on my nerves. But, I have to admit, that I absolutely love the Throne of Glass series and Celaena, I kind of loved how she owned her beauty and her sexuality. I don't like relationships that are based solely on the attraction between characters. I hate them going on and on about how attractive the person is. Yes, that's a huge part of why we fall for someone but it's not the only part. You're not going to want to be with someone if they are stunning but have an ugly personality. Great post!!! :)

  13. I couldn't have said it any better! It just gets so annoying because there are people who are just really self conscious. I mean, do we really ask guys to pull off their shirts to see if they have a six-pack? I imagine that to be awkward.

    Great post, Benish!

  14. I don't mind if characters are beautifull or not as long as it isn't mention every page or so. I don't like placing too much focus on their physical appearance as personality is much more important. I also think it's normal that as boyfriend and girlfriend you probably find the other beautiful, but it would be nice to read about some relationships where they fall for the other's personality first and only mention the beauty later. I think having an ordinary looking main characters is more realistic indeed. It's also a bit annoying how many characters have green eyes in books. It would be ncie to have some books were the physical appearance isn't too important as well. Great post!

  15. I completely agree with you that beauty is exaggerated in some books these days. It just gets very irritating and repetitve after a while. I totally enjoyed Grave Mercy and Angelfall. There is something to be said about subtlety and when we see their complete personality it makes the characters even more attractive for me. Great post Benish! :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

  16. The girl next store, the plain Jane who pushes herself and has inner strength are my favorites...well said Bennish!

  17. OMG YES! I hate this. One person's beauty is not another persons so stop making all the pretty people the same. Besides, I have met plenty of handsome/pretty people that have opened their mouth and the illusion shattered.

    I attempted to read a book last month and the "average" girl met a hot mysterious guy, then she met a scary but sexy undead, and finally she ran into the hottest warrior she knew. *bangs head*

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

  18. Oh yes, everyone is so drop dead gorgeous in books. It's so annoying. My fav book couple is Kate and Curran from the Kat Daniels Series from Ilona Andrews and they are very ordinary, almost not pretty.

  19. Couldn't agree more. Obviously there are (stereotypically) beautiful people, but it's just ridiculous that they'd be the protagonists of every book ever. I also think that flaws make characters more interesting! I liked Levi's description in Fangirl. :)

  20. Thank you for putting Throne of Glass into this. I had to DNF it because I got sick of all the emphasis on how utterly gorgeous Celaena was. I totally agree -- there's nothing wrong with having good-looking characters, but they all seem to have eyes so deep you could fill an ocean in them.

  21. In love with the post, very entertaining.
    New post!

  22. Love this post and I completely agree! Although many authors want to suggest the main characters are falling for each other because of their uniqueness, their looks and perfection of physical attributes is often over emphasized! And somehow the girl that is completely beautiful has never, ever had any interest before ever until the new guy notices? Just seems very unrealistic and I want something real

  23. HA, RIGHT? I mean, I don't mind it too much, like, if there only re-described a "beautiful" character once or twice throughout the whole thing I doesn't annoy me, but if it's telling you about their eyes everytime a character looks at him/her, nope. Go away. And exactly, in books lately, it's all about how they look, which come on, yeah, he/she might be good looking, but they might have a personality of a lamppost. I'd much prefer a more "normal/average" looking person (which, let's be honest, is more realistic anyway, not everyone's gorgeous) that has a nice, funny personality over someone boring.

  24. I don't mind if the main character is in love or lust with someone and mentions how beautiful they find them, because when you are in lust or love with someone YOU find them attractive, whether or not they could be deemed as attractive to the general population. So I think that is okay.

    But when every character in the book mentions how beautiful someone is, it totally annoys me. Like, you can say it once or twice and that's fine. But we don't need CONSTANT reminders of just how gloriously beautiful that character is. It puts far too much emphasis and importance on being physically appealing to the larger population, when it's what the character says and does that is actually important - the kind of person that they are.

    Thankfully, I don't read too many books where physical appearance is made paramount to a character, and for that I am glad. Being pretty or beautiful or handsome isn't the be all and end all of who you are. It's only one aspect of a person, and not the most important, that's for sure.

    Great discussion, Benish!

  25. I'd be guilty if I said I actually like reading about characters who look nice :P But I do see your point and I really agree with you there! Beauty of a character shouldn't always be over emphasized, simply because not everyone is as beautiful as everyone imagines EVERYONE to be. We all have mistakes and flaws, and that alone is already beautiful :) Lovely post Benish!

  26. OMG yes!!! I have a post in draft about this very subject!

    Every single book right now has gorgeous people. And I do understand that beauty is subjective but these are characters that EVERYONE wants to be with and finds gorgeous so it's not an eye of the beholder kind of thing. Every guy has ripped abs and girls are now allowed to be more curvy but yes - it's that perfect kind of curvy.

    It's also so hard for me to buy into the love when it's all - they are so gorgeous I can't think straight. Despite the requisite disclaimer - "it's not about the looks". Yeah right. then fall for someone who isn't perfect.

    I'm so tired of it and want more variety!

    Whew - you got me fired up lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  27. Another great topic I agree, I prefer ordinary and flawed characters instead of the beautiful, attactive ones we keep gettign over and over again.

  28. What a fantastic post Benish! I totally agree, I find physical beauty and attractive six pack men totally cliche. While I've kind of accepted it as a part of YA and fantasy series, whenever there's something a bit different it always attracts me.

  29. Its so rare to find a character that is physically flawed, they seem to be beyond perfect which to be honest I don't really mind as long as it is not emphasised repeatedly, its the characters that are absolutely perfect in looks as well as academically, with abilities etc... that grates on my nerves that little bit more, especially when they are oblivious to it.

    I recently read Scorched by JLA and the MC was quite realistic with her curves, it was refreshing.

    A great post! Sharon – Obsession with Books

  30. You know what bothers me? When guys have seemingly “normal” eye colors (ahem brown), but all of a sudden “they have a gold ring around the eye and specs of green and blue”… just call them Hazel eyes then. Geez.

    Also YESSS. Just because they're gorgeous does not mean they're: relatable, likable, down-to-earth, funny, or special. That's what their personality is for, and you don't need to be drop dead gorgeous for that!

    Amazing post!

  31. What I hate most is when a main character has every male character slobbering all over them. It's not realistic, deeply annoying and so pointless. I do wish too that less authors would depict otherworldy beautiful heroines because it's makes us feel like we could never reach that level and sometimes the connection can'.t happen, you know?

  32. MHMM. ALL OF THIS. Not everyone in the world is model beautiful, and not to represent that in fiction is just lame. I think loving someone can make them more beautiful to you and recognizing certain characteristics as appealing is one thing, but to rave on and on that these characters are the epitome of beauty is overwhelmingly unrealistic. Hopefully that'll change one day! :) Great post, Benish!

  33. It seems like every character either has to be gorgeous or ugly, like there is nothing in between those extremes. And most of the time, authors opt for ALL of their characters to be on the insanely attractive side of the spectrum versus the actually looks like a normal person side. I understand that there are very attractive people in the world, but not as many as are portrayed in books. I mean normal looking people are awesome too! Authors do not need to make all of their characters physically attractive to write a good book.
    Great post!
    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

  34. I've been reading a mystery series by Jane Casey. They're set in London, fairly hard-boiled psychological mysteries...and EVERY SINGLE PERSON is described as gorgeous. It is distracting and pulls me out of the story every single time. It's like having a professor who says, "um" a lot, and after awhile you're counting the "ums" instead of listening to the lecture. It would be a great series if it had a few average human beings walking around in it.


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