As readers of romance we often talk about our Book Boyfriends. We go on and on about the swoon worthiness of the male lead. We recommend many books based on the male character and how awesome we think he is. However, I don’t think we give enough credit to the Female Lead. You need to have both in the story to make a romance work.
Why is this? Why do we often treat the female lead as a supporting character? In a romance novel we must have both, or it is just a book about some dude’s ass and abs.
I have a couple of thoughts about this. One I think that as woman reading the stories, we cast ourselves as the lead. From a young age we are taught to not self-promoter. We shouldn’t list all the things that make us awesome, so if we are casting ourselves in the lead of the romance novel it would make sense that we wouldn’t promote ourselves. On the other side of this I think often we tend to treat the female like as we do ourselves, we pick at her flaws. We look at all the ways her behaviors annoy us and there for we don’t “like” her. Instead of embracing her and accepting her as human and understanding her difficulties we do what women often do and we tend to be hyper critical of her.
In a recent episode of the podcast, Drinks with the Bees, Brittni and I talk about this very subject. We talk about who would be our Book Besties. Which female leads would we want to go grab chips and margaritas with? We both came up with a list, but it wasn’t easy. I did realize I do tend to relate more to the best friend of the MC versus the MC. A lot of times the MC’s best friend is the sassy snarky voice of reason, which is the type of person I tend to surround myself with.
Moving forward I am going to try and read with a less critical eye. I am going to try to embrace the Female lead more than I have in the past. I hope that from that it can translate well into my everyday life where I am building other women up and not tearing them down. I challenge all of you to do the same. I am challenge you to look at the female lead and embrace her flaws and remember she is human.