Monday, April 10, 2006

SB Day: His Ugly Manly Bumps

It’s Smart Bitches Day once again and I don’t know what to say. Have I truly bitched about it all? Maybe I’ve read such spectacular bitching by others that I don’t know where to go that they have not already covered? Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve finally used that massage gift certificate that I got for Christmas and now I’m far too noodly to bitch in a coherent fashion.

Not that I’ve really done coherence all that well. Half-assed is more like it.


Maybe this is the time—being that I’m all incoherent and sleepy—to admit that I have a secret corset love. Yep. Cinch me up, baby, pull those strings tight, and send me off to a ball where I can flirt using a fan and witty repartee. Give me one of those rakes, all feline and well read, and debauch me on the chaise lounge during the dinner waltz.

Does this make me less of a feminist? I don’t think so.

Does this explain my love for regency romances? But of course.

Only, see, there’s this problem. Most of the heroes populating these romances are all bulked up with man-titty cup sizes that make my own chest look slightly less than impressive. They have broad shoulders (which I have nothing against) and biceps the size of my head. Their muscular frames strain the seams of their clothing. And they are everywhere.

Absolutely everywhere!

Now did I miss something? Did the aristocracy of England actually all work in the fields, pulling the plows with their teeth? Did they throw hay bales and shovel muck and perform all other forms of backbreaking labor before going off to the ball at night?

If that’s part of the character you are writing, I guess I can accept that. If you, the author, tell me Lord Fitzmuscles finds nothing better than laboring in the fields with his people, then I’ll believe you. But don’t, DON’T, then have him spend all night dancing with nary a yawn. Do not also have him involved with every social event of the Season.

The human body doesn’t work that way.

He can still have muscles if he just boxes, rides his horse, or goes shooting, but they are going to be very, very different from the muscles of the laborer. Unless he’s going for the heavyweight title, chances are he’ll look more like Oscar de la Hoya, and less like Evander Holyfield (and even then Oscar has been known to have some scary, ninja turtle-esque abs). We’re talking long, ropey muscles here, people, not bunched layered slabs. The type of muscles that their tailor could still make clothing around, but would lovely to run your hands over during a midnight tryst in the garden maze.

If he’s a “bruising” rider then chances are he’d have really well developed thighs and stomach muscles. If he’s a “crack shot” then you’re looking at upper arms and shoulders. None of these thing create the all around meat-tastic models that we see on the covers or the Incredible Hulk build that inhabits the pages within.

Sure the hugely muscular man might sweep a girl off her feet, but he’s got to know what he’s doing with her once he puts her down.


Eileen said...

What these books need is more handsome nerdy smart boy types.

Suisan said...

I loved this!

If you look at the fashion plates of the day, they were definitely going for the thin willowy male. Very Tight Sleeves. Very Long Necks.

Kind of makes me chuckle when I bump into one of those "thighs like tree trunks" heroes.

Doug Hoffman said...

One of the joys of working out, losing weight, etc: finally, I have smaller breasts than my wife. Yippee!

Big thank you for recommending The Bartimaeus Trilogy. I'm blogging on the first book tonight. My wife peeled through the trilogy in less than a week, and I'm going to finish the first book on the third day, which is kind of a record (I tend to be a slow reader . . . usually). Wow. So tell me . . . if we liked this, what else would we like? Damn, this is good (and my wife says the third book is even better than the first!) Thanks!

Bethany K. Warner said...

To doug hoffman -- I would suggest Garth Nix's Abhorsen Trilogy. I haven't read Bartimaeus my own self, but Nix's stuff is great.

Diana Peterfreund said...

Amen, BSC! I always found myself drawn to men who had more of a "runner's physique" than all these linebackers in romances.

Muscley but slim. Like the hottie on prisonbreak...

piksea said...

Hee! I thought I was the only one who was always trying to force logic into these things. Logic and romance seem to be mutually exclusive.