Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What is Beauty?

I've raised this question before, but writer Susan May Warren got me thinking in a recent post of hers in which she discusses how to create a memorable heroine for a novel. She says it is important to make your heroine beautiful--but what, after all, is beauty? Here's an excerpt of her post:

"Beauty – what is it? An informal Warren family poll elicits very different responses:

16 year old boy: Someone who is smart.
13 year old boy: A girl who can run fast. (not sure why)
11 year old boy: Nice hair.
15 year old girl: Someone who is unique.
Married old guy: Softness. Someone who is happy and cheerful.

What makes beauty? I think we can all agree that the bible points out that beauty comes from inside, and I agree. A crabby person, regardless of how beautiful, gives off a sheen of ugly. But a lovely person who exudes kindness can be very pretty.

When we’re creating a heroine, especially in a romance, but even in a suspense, she has to possess her own beauty. This is the other Secret Ingredient to a Strong Heroine. All heroines will have something about them that makes them pretty to the hero. They could be genuinely pretty – and then, only get prettier as the hero gets to know them. Or, they could be plain, and turn gorgeous as their inner nature is revealed. The key is, the hero has to see it, and appreciate it.

For example, let’s talk about one of my favorite actresses – Jodie Foster. Love her. She’s an amazing actress. However, I wouldn’t peg her as beautiful. One of my favorite movies of hers is Maverick, where she stars as a gambler against Mel Gibson. She’s a scamp, (and he likewise), doing what she has to get to into the big poker tournament (even stealing Mel’s money!). But the more she tricks Mel, and teases him, the more she turns irresistible to him. Her scoundrel ways is what draws him to her, and they make a perfect team.

What makes your heroine beautiful? And it’s not something physical – in fact, if she’s not physically beautiful, you have more to work with. You can draw out her other features, and then as the hero begins to see her in a new light, she’ll become gorgeous to him."

Just a few more thoughts on the ethereal quality that constitutes true beauty, as opposed to the material, physical emphasis of the world and the media. If you're not a writer, keep this in mind for yourself: It's not just what's on the outside that matters. Really! If you're not yet married, ask yourself how a guy who cares about you will behave; how will he treat you? If he cares for you, the real you, and not just the "outside" you--or just himself--would he ask you to do things you don't really want to? Would he pressure you, threaten you, or, God forbid, force you to do a physical act you don't wish to?

The answer is, a big, resounding, "NO."
And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Susan May Warren is the author of "Book Therapy", a blog for writers.
Join her list by writing to:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Anti-Ageing Run Amok

Today's post isn't directly related to the issues of the Club, granted; but I still had to include it here because it INdirectly affects each and every woman (and even men, but to a lesser degree) in Western culture.

Have you noticed that the trend to reverse aging is growing into a national obsession? It's often touted as a form of women's healthcare, but when it comes to cosmetic surgery to look younger, that just ain't healthcare, folks! That kind of "care" has a lot more to do with a woman's insecurities and self-perceived shortcomings--all which translate somewhere in the brain into being unlovable--and nothing at all to do with real health.

As usual, I'm going to say that the only healthy foundation for loving who we are has to come from loving who made us! Keeping in mind that we are given value by the God of the universe, no matter our age or appearance, can help us to avoid the pitfall of buying into today's youth culture. But, before I say more, why not click the TITLE of this post and go to a great article by Andrea Mann called, "Stop the Anti-Ageing Madness!" She's got more than a few things right.
Give it a quick look. (Click the TITLE of this post to go to the article.)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Join the Club!

Have you been keeping up with the girls in the Swimsuit Club? Why not "join the club" today by subscribing to this blog? You'll be kept informed of what's going on with Sharona, Angela, Frannie, Becky and Lisa, and there's always hunky Jason to read about, too.
While the Club is quiet right now (since the author is busy on another book, alas), it's a great time to join, since you can begin by catching up with past blog posts--do it by reading just one or two a day. Often there are links to take you elsewhere, a place that is of interest to one of the girls and will be to you, too. Why? Because their lives are like yours: full of womanish growing pains, surrounded by a sin-laden, oversexed culture, and with the same deep desires, longings, and love-seeking attitudes that fuel life. Ever feel that you're alone in this sojourn, looking for love but not finding what you need? You're not alone. Like I said--join the club.