Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The role of the beard in romance writing

The hirsuit modern hero is hard to come by.

I've wracked my brain for 30 seconds (because it gets sore if I wrack for too long) and can't think of any leading male character in a novel I've read recently who sports a beard.

Maybe historical romances are the exception to the rule - where the hero maintains a neatly trimmed moustache or beard a la Sir Frances Drake or the Three Musketeers?

Facial hair can be problematic for several reasons:

1. By association: the homeless man who waves a polystyrene cup at me on my way to work has a beard
2. It is there to cover up an imperfection - no chin, thin lips
3. It's rough and scratchy - girls (and boys) - have you ever seriously kissed a man with a beard? Ouch
4. Food can can get stuck in it
5. It can be threatening

I know I am being 'beardist', but when did you last see a film with a bearded protaganist unless he was evil or quirky/eccentric (and those are never the heroes)?

The right beard in the right context eg: 19th century romance, could work.

But in 2009 women tend to like 'em misbehavin' and clean shaven.

PS: This photo is of Prince William in 2008. Maybe he's compensating for the thinning pate (I'm talkin' head, not liver).


Anita Joy said...

Never Shayne - unless you include the 5 o'clock shadow. Now that can be just darn sexy!

Monique Wood said...

Poor Prince William! He looks older than his years.

I agree with Anita, 5 o'clock shadow is HOT. That's as far as I'll go, I'm afraid!