Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Making of a Woman

Misconceptions about womanhood are played out in books and on the big and small screen all the time.  To believe that emphasizing the attractiveness of a woman's face or the firmness of her thighs will have no effect on how men view women or how young women see themselves is a lie.

Writers who perpetuate such misconceptions do a disservice to womankind.

Lately, I've been editing my version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses featuring a dozen distinct female characters. The journey from character sketch to final scene taught me a great deal about what makes a woman.

Let me tell you, it ain't those size 0 jeans. (Especially if the lady in question happens to be fond of chocolate. Or human.)

And it certainly isn't a blemish-free face. We earned those wrinkles with years of laughter and tears, didn't we? 
Could it be the sweet, patient woman who holds her tongue when perturbed? Perhaps.

But it could just as easily be the sharp-tongued lass who gives as good as she gets.

Might it be the glowing wit that leaves a room rolling with laughter? Maybe.

But it might also be she who delivers speeches that inspire, uplift, and move a room to tears and brave acts.

Being a woman may include a heart worn on a sleeve for all to see and abuse. It may include a tough skin built to guard a soft heart from hurt.

True womanhood encompasses a number of human foibles, mistakes and missteps that make a character human, lovable, and more understanding of others.
The women featured in literature should be a reflection of the mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and wonderful aunties in our lives. Good, bad, interesting, bland. Real. And more than a pretty face and an itty bitty dress size or a big bottom and a penchant for donuts.

Because that doesn't define us.

Real women are driven by love, pain, anger, jealousy, protectiveness, loyalty, and a myriad of other things. Shouldn't they have a place in literature? Shouldn't they have a chance to shape the way men think about us or what young women learn to value in themselves?

The more complex, intriguing woman I transform from  fairytales princesses who suck up the abuse only to become trophy wivee into complex, intriguing women, the better I feel. Isn't it time to stand up for real women with saddle bags, rings under their eyes, and no energy? Isn't it time to celebrate motherhood and dirty diapers and potty training? Isn't it time to celebrate women who work their butts off to make a difference in the world?
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Thanks for dropping by! Feel free to leave me a comment and share your tips on crafting female characters. And if you'd love to read more about writing awesome heroes, peruse away!
Develop Sassy Heroes by Being One
Barbie's Dream Boat
Classic Heroines: Anne of Green Gables
The Power of Fairytales
Fairytales & Fancy Footwear
Diva Depressed
Funny Girls: Hostile Makeover



8 comments:

  1. *Standing ovation.* Well said.

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    1. Thank you! This is my answer to hubbies and judgemental bachelors who can't see the worth of the good women in their lives. And also, an answer to the media's celebration of beautiful faces and ignorance of beautiful hearts. Thanks sweets!

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  2. Bravo. I love this, and it's why I started to blog. I wanted to show women that we are real, good, bad, and ugly it's all part of life. It's been pretty fun to see that on Instagram my makeup free in the moment pics do just as well as the makeup full poses...maybe we are getting our message across?!

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. There's so much more to womankind than a pocketful of cliches. We live, we breathe, we triumph, we fail. We do it all. And the journey, make up or no, is as important as the destination. :)

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  3. Hear, hear! I raise my glass to more tales featuring a diversity of women who are so much more than their appearance!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I tire of women who act like flakes and airheads. We need those sassy, taking out the trash type of heroes too! We already representing in the world...we may as well take over literature as well!!! :)

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    2. Your Grammy Elsie would have loved this little piece! She loved it when her mother-in-law Sara wrote a similar piece about young women who didn't do much to earn their keep but sit around. She raised 9 kids in the Texas panhandle. I hope some young women get a chance to read what you said about real women!

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    3. Thanks, mama! There's so much we can do to encourage correct ideas about women and their capabilities. And all young women deserve that. Thank heaven I read awesome females when I was young. And also, a pretty great mom who knew about the value of education and a good foundation. Thanks, mom!

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