In romantic fiction, there are certain characteristics that are pretty much mandatory for our heroes to possess. They’ve got strong personalities and they’ve got hard names – Jake, Luke, Jack. You’d be hard pressed to find a Trevor, an Elijah or a Julian as your romantic hero. Our heroes also, virtually without fail, have got impressive height.
Our heroines can be any height, but they’re generally average or below average when it comes to stature. I cannot count the number of times I’ve read sentences such as, “Even in her sky high stilettos, she barely reached his shoulder” or “He towered over her by at least a foot.” As a tall woman, I must confess: I find such sentences a bit irritating. Do these dainty little ladies really need these towering studs? Certainly not. Women of average or below average height can pair up with practically any man without feeling like she’s dating her son. Tall women… not so much.
Yes, I know that these stories are works of fiction, and let me be clear that I do not begrudge any of the couples I know who fit this description, nor do I shoot daggers at said couples when I see them on the street. But when I started writing Fashioning a Romance, I was determined that in my book it would be a tall girl who gets the tall guy.
Not that John towers over Caitlyn by “at least a foot”. He’d have to be over seven feet tall to do so. But he has got a few inches on her, which inspires Caitlyn to buy her very first pair of heels. For the first time, she gets to experience the sensation of feeling delicate and dainty, a sensation that’s completely foreign to her. And more than a little thrilling.
So I’d like to give a shout out to all the fabulously tall gals out there, and specifically to my pals: Sally, Hilary, Laura, Vikki, Natasha, Alida, Cristina, Celia, Martha and Allison (I hope I’m not forgetting anyone) and to my virtual tall gal pals: Bronwyn and Ladylilchub. And to those of you who are single, I hope you find your very own John Harrington soon.