Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Thursday Thought: The Perfect Man

Wow! A new segment and two weeks in a row! I totally wasn't expecting that.

I'm on a plane home from Baltimore today, so really, this was a REALLY late Wednesday night thought, or early Thursday morning thought, depending on what time zone you're in, but I figured I'd round to the next full day, yeah? Okay.

What was I saying again? Oh yes, the perfect man.

I have been reading a lot of YA Fantasy lately and have found this "perfect guy" thing coming up again and again. Edward Cullen is described again and again as perfect in looks, charm and intelligence. Damen Auguste, the adjectives are less repetitive, but similarly descriptive. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

So what of the lovable endearing guys who are flawed?

I've said before, I am a big Sarah Dessen fan. So much so that one of my all time favorite books is This Lullaby. I realize that Ms. Dessen doesn't write YA Fantasy, more on the YA Contemporary Fic side, and this is probably why. Within This Lullaby is Dexter. A sometimes employed musician with wild curly hair who forgets to tie his shoes, doesn't really know how to do his laundry, challenges people to completely insane things (think eating a dozen bananas in 1 sitting) and can't seem to stay in one place for very long, Dexter is the complete opposite of all these idealized, arguably perfect characters I've read about in recent YA Paranormal/Fantasy.

That being said, does this mean that in order to be a good male protagonist in this genre there should be something that makes him arguably perfect? It would seem so, to me anyway. That's not to say that the endearingly lovable guy who doesn't have great hair and chiseled features doesn't have a place in YA Paranormal/Fantasy, but it would seem less likely that his place is alongside the female protag.
Maybe I'm completely off base here and it's just been the books I've chosen to read in this genre, I dunno. Definitely correct me if I'm wrong. And if you have any recommended readings to help me find a "Dexter" in YA Paranormal/Fantasy, I am game!

In reality, there are way more Dexters out there than there are Edward Cullens, so I just wanted to point that out. Not that the Edward Cullen-esque guys don't exist. I'm sure they do. I just wouldn't hold my breath.

Just a thought.


Eric said...

I've said this before in other posts of my own, but I think the "perfect" anybody is boring. I didn't find Edward Cullen to be perfect at all. Good looking maybe, but not perfect. The humanistic flaws are what make him compelling, not the perfection.

ElanaJ said...

Yeah, I like Dexter's myself. But good-looking ones. IMO, the boy in the book has to be good-looking. Why else would I (or teen girls) want to read about him? Flawed, sure. Quirky, even better. But always good-looking. ;)Which is why Edward is so perfect. Not that he is perfect, but that he's perfectly beautiful, yanno?