Thursday, November 8, 2012

Enchanted Ella: Romance Novels with Realistic Heroines


How often are you surprised when you are reading a romance novel and the heroine is described as full figured?  What is full figured?  Is it a size 10, 12 or 16 and up?  

All too often our society labels things inappropriately.  Kudos to the ladies who can eat what ever they want and not gain a pound.  Kudos to the ladies who eat what they want and work out at the gym to cancel out those calories.  I myself am a thicker girl (see the brave pictures below).  I'm often found in a struggle between self acceptance and self hatred.  I make efforts to eat healthy and exercise but find myself often "falling of the proverbial wagon" more often than not.  I am learning to accept and love myself - all of me, no exceptions.  Finding realistic heroines to relate to is helping.    

It's refreshing when you find a good novel or even a novella that is written about a heroine that you can relate to.  Personality wise, I find myself matching up to several of the heroines in the novels I choose.  It's rare that I find one that matches me body type and all.  But - I've found them.  And LOVED them!  


Photo courtesy of "a Bitt of You Photography"
Trying to look serious

Photo courtesy of "a Bitt of You Photography"
I got photo bombed by a vagrant! 

What books have you read that you relate to?  

Below you will find a list of just some of the books that Ravishing Romances has identified a realistic heroine:  

The Hawk by Monica McCarty
Heroine Lady Elyne de Burgh is described as an ordinary, common looking girl with little bossom.  The hero thinks of her as a "drowned rat"  - see swimming at night scene

The Sleeping Night by Barbara Samuel
Heroine Angel Corey is described a very average girl who's not quite a beauty due to her pale coloring with callouses on her feet.

Love Me by Bella Andre
Heroine Lilli is a size 16 woman with self image issues.

Heavy Issues by Elle Aycart 
Heroine Christy is overweight and surrounded by skinny friends and she has body issues due to stretch marks and what she calls fat rolls.  

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  1. Hi Ella, great post as always. Made me realize I do try to identify with the heroines in the books I read. I guess I would identify with Lady Elyne and Angel. I am 5'2", very small bosomed (LOL), and have pale Irish skin. So I'm "common" looking!! That's ok, I've been married for 40 + years and he's a pretty common man! I guess I mean " real" man..... :)

    1. Pat I love your input ;)

      I have come to learn that we are all average or "common" as you put it. Sadly our society puts these details of perfection in our heads when we are young and impressionable. It's taken me a long time to learn that I am me and the self acceptance that goes along with it. I'm still learning every day ;) I like to call myself a work in progress.

  2. This is a great piece of writing, Ella. When I was younger, I pretty much wanted to be that heroine in the book: tall, lithe, full-blossomed, to be all the things that I am not. But age does come with wisdom and with wisdom, understanding and understanding comes acceptance – acceptance of who I am. I stopped comparing myself to the heroine of the book I am reading and learned to simply enjoy the story of the book.

    I admire, however, the authors whose heroines are large or not-so-pretty women. They are just as fun and as vulnerable. I applaud them because it breaks the monotony of having to go thru another novel with a slim protagonist. Bet Me of Jennifer Cruisie comes to mind, big girl Minerva Dobbs and her stylish shoes. The Ugly Duchess of Eloisa James is an odd duck till she transformed into a beautiful swan. Shattered Dreams by Laura Landon where Lady Elyssa is lame.

    Sorry to digress but this is where I am going. I relate to them not physically but emotionally. How they go thru in life, how helpless and expose they feel, how they eventually triumph and life goes on.

    1. Thank you for your awesome views Sapphire16. It's not easy to learn the self acceptance but eventually we all come into our own. :)

      Those are great books to add to our list and I thank you for those additions. I also admire your philosophy of just purely enjoying the read with no comparisons. Great advice! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I adore Tate Murphy in Lauren Dane's Making Chase - its book 4 of the Chase Brothers series. She is not a tiny minnie.
    I am not as long as I feel good about myself I will deal with my size...haven't seen a single digit size in a very long time...and honestly I am more upset about my shoe size than my clothes size. I credit my parents for always telling me to be proud of myself. I am going to turn 45 in a few weeks and Mom still end every letter and e-mail telling me how proud she is of me...

    1. That's awesome and you have a very healthy outlook on yourself and life! My parents did that for me as well - my fall from a healthy outlook came in my late 20's with a very bad break up. The weight came on because food was always a big part of my family's lifestyle and I stopped caring and exercising. One day I will get back the motivation to pursue the exercise again. Right now, I'm still fixing the inside :) Thanks for stopping by!


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