Meet Ms Perfect …
What woman doesn’t love the quintessential female protagonist? Who doesn’t aspire to emulate a wonder woman—a fit ’n’ healthy, perfectly-sculpted chick with an hour-glass figure (but leaning towards lean), lustrous locks, flawless skin, a sense of her own self, assertive in the boardroom, a tiger in the bedroom? A gal who goes after what she wants and gets it; one who is loved by men and admired by women?
Not me. I don’t love that kind of protagonist.
Oh, I love a woman who can kick arse.
But I prefer the kind who also kicks her own,
and sometimes ends up flat on it.
Have you ever attended a workshop led by a self-professed guru of whatever, the kind that plies you with bumper-sticker affirmations so that you go home all fired up from the razzmatazz and wake up the next morning on a high? But then a couple of days or hours or minutes later, you nosedive?
Welcome to real-world existence. Aspiring to the fictional fantasy woman with an impossibly small waist, toned booty, and a big bust is a bust.
You Go, Girl!
I want my book heroines to be appealing, sure, but in my book(s), she needs to be human: A protagonist who flubs. Fearless and fearful, she has thoughts and impulses that seem way too shameful to share. She sometimes overeats and struggles with willpower—she can’t resist ice cream. She burps and she farts. She has imperfect fat distribution and will go up a size in pants to avoid a muffin top rather than give up her muffins.
The earth doesn’t always move in the bedroom (except for when she’s romancing herself). And she doesn’t always think positive. She sometimes wails, ‘Why meeeee?’ But she’s no Suzy Creamcheese.
She doesn’t wait for a someday-my-prince-will-come to save her. No. She pulls herself up by the bootstraps and says to no one in particular, ‘Go ahead, make my day!’ Dirty Harry style. Still, she’s the kind of chick who turns to her friends for support when she feels trampled by the voices in her head.
In my book, a kick-arse chick is relatable.