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.
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?
* * *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
Funny Girls: Hostile Makeover