Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In the Eye of the Beholder

By J.C. Lynne

I’ve been working the Twitterverse during my convalescence. It's pretty fascinating. It's a great way to discover memes and trends if you don't really do People magazine.

I’ve also been binging on cancelled television shows on Netflix.

Heard the news that Alien Nation, one of my favorites from my youth, is being rebooted. I’m not a huge fan of reboots. They usually turn out badly, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Footloose, Spider-Man, Conan The Barbarian to name a few. 

Of course, there are notable exceptions. Battlestar Galactica, Alice In Wonderland, Captain America, Star Trek (not Into Darkness).

Back to Alien Nation. The human lead is played by actor Gary Graham. Gary Graham is an average guy. He’s not handsome by the current paradigm in male aesthetics. 

The modern Hawaii Five-0 is another example. Sure I could watch Alex O’Loughlin fold laundry, but Scott Caan is average all over. He’s short and hairy. We’re talking Robin Williams hairy. 

In addition to those examples, Norman Reedus is all over the place with a drooling fan base. Norman Reedus is an average looking guy. And who doesn’t love the aging Bruce Willis? He’s perfect and perfectly average.

What does this rambling have to do with anything? The average looking male actor can not only carry a show, but become a sex symbol.

Female actors who fall below today's ridiculous beauty standards are relegated to the role of the good buddy or the funny lady? Sure, these women receive accolades but rarely are they raised to sexy status. 

Take Melissa McCarthy. I’ve adored her since her crazy Sukie days on Gilmore Girls. She has entered into a career renaissance, but she’s still the comedic foil. And recently, I read an article talking about her amazing weight loss. My heart cringed. Why can’t she just be the leading lady? What happened to being All About the Bass? 

Do women have the unique ability to see into the deeper allure of less than perfect men?

My characters exist in my head, but I leave enough of a gap to let my readers build their own images. Are my characters good looking? By my standards, I think they are, but I’d venture to guess my vision is different than my readers. Think of the hoopla when, cough cough, Twilight the movie was cast. 

I’m looking forward to the day my novel is translated into film. You won’t see any author cameo, but I hope we’ll nail the casting without airbrushing the characters. 

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