Thursday, August 18, 2016

Do We Favor Attractive Characters?


I originally was going to include this discussion (more like my neverending questions) in my review of Metaltown, but I don't plan on publishing that review until September. But if you do read my review at that time, you'll see what sparked this!

Recently, I've discovered how rare unattractive main characters, mainly girls really, are in YA novels. It's come to the point where I've noticed myself imagining characters as extremely attractive, beautiful, gorgeous, etc., especially when no description is provided.

Just a couple of days ago, I caught myself not liking one of the characters because of what happened to her face, caused by an accident. (More specifically, my first thoughts for her were "Not her face!")

And now that I'm conscious of this fact, I'm wondering why I thought that way. Is it because I just expect attractive characters in all books, because they pretty much are already? Is it because media is filled with attractive girls (and attractive everyone in general)? And as much as YA now is more representative to LGBTQIA+ and other types of diversity, does it ever touch upon beauty standards?

Maybe it's because I've been reading way too many fantasy novels. Everyone seems to be gorgeous in those haha.

But honestly, has anyone else noticed this? Can you remember any main characters, protagonists, or I guess any character really, that wasn't described as physically attractive? If you did, did you end up liking them?

I've found myself subconsciously imagining the characters to be pretty good looking, and I'm not sure what to think of it. Though I really think this stemmed from the fact that everywhere I look, I'm met with high standards of what society deems as "beauty". And as much as I don't care for it, it's definitely affecting how I think (and visualize). Yet, constant reminders of beauty in novels don't cut it for me. I recently DNFed The Thousandth Floor for this very reason. Two out of the five POVs were of genetically enhanced, drop dead gorgeous girls. So the bottom line is, I don't necessarily always favor the beautiful. But if I were to be truthful, I think looks play a part in whether I like a character or not.

Or at least initially. Turns out, after reading Metaltown, I very much favored the character from above over everyone else :)

How about you? How do you feel about attractive characters?