Today we're thrilled to welcome author Lauren Smith to Heroes and Heartbreakers. Lauren's latest release in her Surrender series, The Gilded Cage, came out last month, and the first book in the series The Gilded Cuff, featured a heroine who was not stick thin or classically beautiful and, in fact, battled quite heavily with body image. However, like in any good romance, our heroine found a man who embraced her for all she was. Lauren is here today to talk about body image, and the perception of curves in society, and of course, romance novels. Thanks, Lauren!
Whoever thought that romance novels would play a positive role in perception of female body image for readers? I certainly hadn’t. When I first started reading romances, I read the classics. You know the ones with the tiny heroines who weighed like 80 pounds dripping wet, with delicate bones, tiny feet and child-like hands. Now I don’t know about you, but I am certainly not like that. My point is…I’m normal.
Normal is important. I think there’s been far too much stress on size, rather than health in recent years when it comes to female body image. After reading a lot of these older romances and seeing how the heroes loved these petite women, I would glance down at my own body with a mixture of disgust and despair. My child-bearing hips and full breasts were not something that these old-fashioned romance heroes wanted in a woman? What a horrible thought, right? Yeah, it didn’t go over well with me either. So color me delightfully surprised to find that newer romances go against this tradition and present readers with heroines more like me.