Male Models…Too Young?

I attended RomCon this year.  What fun.  It was wonderful.  I met more authors and readers in one weekend than I could have imagined.  It was the first time for me to attend a function as an author and I was amazed at the camaraderie that existed between the authors and the readers.  There was not an author or reader there that wasn’t absolutely tickled to be there.  Everyone had smiles on their faces.  The readers were excited to meet their favorite author and the authors were just as excited to meet their fans.

The other thing I discovered this weekend is I’m old.  There were two young men there, cover models, with the authors whose covers they model for.  There was a time, when I would have been one of those ladies drooling over them.  I did with Fabio when I met him nearly twenty years ago, but I digress, anyway, all I could think of when I saw these two beautiful young men was how very young they were.

Now I admit that I’m eligible for AARP but I’m not dead.  What in the heck is the matter with me?  Well I’ll tell you.  I’m just not attracted as much to young men as I used to be.  Now I want a man whose a little older, whose been around the block once or even twice.  I want a man who knows what it is to lose a loved one, one who has traveled the world and worked out in it for people he loved and people he hated.  Someone who still has a lot to give but has lived in the world, like I have.  I want someone who had something in common with me.  I don’t want someone who is only old enough to be my son.

We need to let the publishers and editors know that a man can be more than twenty something and still be attractive to the romance novel buyer.

Just as I want my heroine to be older and wiser than the sixteen year olds from the early romance novels, I want my hero’s to be different, too.  Before it was a hero in his late thirties or early forties with a sixteen year old heroine.  Yuck!!  That just seems so warped now.

I still want a hero in his thirties or early forties.  Someone who knows what he wants.  Someone who wants a woman, a partner, someone wise enough to know her own mind and go after it.   Not a girl, just out of the school room, as they would have said in the old historical romances.  I want the old maid.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the six pack abs of the models.  They are fine figures of men.  Very nice to look at.  It would be nicer to have those six packs attached to a face.  Maybe even one with a few crow’s feet.  Or laugh lines.  And would a little, I repeat little, hair on their chests be so bad?  I don’t want it to look like they are wearing sweaters, but a little something to assure us that they are old enough to legally enjoy that glass of wine with us.

34 thoughts on “Male Models…Too Young?

  1. Haha, great post! I think the same issues that apply to women in the media (i.e. the craziness of plastic surgery, photoshopping, eternal youth, etc.) also apply to men. I know that, like you, I don’t really like the men on the covers of books. They look too fake to me. And I’m only 28! 😉

  2. Amen to that. I look at the “Boy’s” today and think, “I’m past being a cogar, I’m just a dirty old woman.” A little hint of grey in the hair wouldn’t be so bad either

  3. You ma’am are a genius. We just had this conversation today. When I look at a male model today I think of my son. A cougar I’m not. I just don’t see the marketing departments recruiting other models in their 30s, 40s and beyond. My protagonist in The Past Came Hunting is 39. That’s as young as I want ’em these days

  4. I love your post!

    I agree. Models and actors are getting younger and younger. Okay, okay. I’m getting older and older but I still like to look. I like to see some lines on their faces, a few grays in their hair.

    I still like the older actors and want to seem them more. Tom Selleck and Tom Skerrit come to mind. Oh, and I loved, loved, loved, Ben Johnson. Sean Connery, yeah baby! I mean seriously some of the men I admire the most were adults when I was just a baby. Oh, let’s not forget Clint Walker. What a body! And at a time when actors didn’t sport muscles. He has the typical male romance models build before Fabio ever came on the scene. I grew up with Kurt Russell and still love him, have always watched everything he’s ever been in. Then came Pierce Brosnon, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig–okay, you caught me. I’m a Bond fan, except for Roger Moore (he just never cut it for me). Now, I’ve added Gerard Butler, Ben Browder, Bruce Willisj (how could Demi give him up for Ashton? I’m clueless!), & Jason Statham to name a few more.

    I like that rugged, I’m a man’s man look. Not this metrosexual homogenized look that so many men sport. Sorry, if you’re hunting for clothes from the girls/misses/ section of a clothing store, you’re not going to make it in my fantasies. If I caught my husband raiding my closet, we’d have a problem.

  5. Congratulations on your first post, Cynthia.

    I like my men a bit older too. At least old enough to carry on a conversation, but since I write YA, I scope out the young ones for my heroines. It’s a touch job, but my heroines appreciate the sacrifice.

    Lucie j.

  6. Great first post! I’m in my thirties and I’d like to see a male cover model who doesn’t need Clearasil, or that I could get arrested for just looking at him. And I agree about the heroines, too, none of my heroines are under 26.

  7. Oh, yes, a more mature male specimen would certainly be appreciated. That’s kind of the point of romance novels, to portray heroes we can relate to. When they look fresh out of high school there’s a bit of an “ick” factor, I think. Those boys are better suited for YA covers.

  8. “A little hint of grey in the hair”…and the six pack abs? LOL! That’s great. I held onto my six pack until somewhere into the early 30’s when kid time put a severe cut into gym time. If it is any consolation ladies, I feel the same way about many of the female models today. I can’t help but think they are the same age as my daughters.

    I have said this before, but what bothers me most about all these male models is their bodies are completely hairless. Just a bit creepy. Good luck with the book Cynthia.

  9. What a great first blog. I agree, Older men are way more attractive. I raised my kids why would I want to raise another?
    Enjoyed the blog

  10. A great post.
    I wonder what the average age is for romance authors– I’m guessing significantly north of forty. The readers likely are too.
    As you point out, a little world experience is required to grab our attention.

  11. I have always been attracted to older men. I was one of the few who didn’t go gaga over William Shatner in the original Star Trek, or TJ Hooker, but as the years went on & I read both his fiction and non-fiction books I fell in love. What tied the knot was Star Trek The Voyage Home when he was wearing those spectacles. 😀

    Welcome to the blog world Cindy – you are doing awesome!

  12. I agree! I love a little hair on the chest. Hubby has chest hair and I can’t get enough of it! My eighteen year old son tried to shave his chest hair once and ended up with razor bumps. He decided to live with the hair. And did someone mention Sean Connery? Oh yeah!

  13. Wow, your first post and you zing right into the hot topics–great! And I totally agree with you on this one. Maybe it’s partly being a mom of young men…I see a young man I want to make him a sandwich.

  14. Great topic! I interview models/actors every month, and lots are in their late 30s or early 40s. Younger guys are great to looks at, but so are those who have “aged” and still look attractive!
    Saw your message on FF&P!

    • Thanks for letting me know where you saw it. And thanks to everyone for your comments. I’m glad that you found my blog interesting. – Cynthia

  15. Congratulations on your first blog post!!

    I know what you mean and agree that a hero and heroine who have some life experiences and something to offer each other also have great things to offer readers.

    I haven’t been to a RomCon yet, but it sounds like such a wonderful experience.

  16. I do like a mature man. And I remember lots of romances in the old days that were about more mature heroines and heroes. Jane Austen has her main heroines be a little older, even when she includes the young ones. I think women have always wanted to hear their own stories and not just the improbable stories of May/December romances. I too was at Rom Con (and they were beautiful boys) but I also noticed the definitely older women clamoring for photos with said boys. Seems that beauty is appreciated by any age.

  17. What a great first post! And I am in full agreement. Although as I get older, my heroes are only a bit older than my oldest son. But my heroines are close in age to the hero and most have experience, depending on their circumstances. Since I write historicals, it’s not really proper for single woman to have full experience with a man, but they’re not completely naive either.

  18. I’m in my late thirties, but I’ve never been attracted to male models (except maybe the one on my book cover). I always seem to go for the slightly older types, the ones who have maturity, who aren’t looking for a one night stand, and actually are old enough to handle a relationship. My favorite actor is Anthony Andrews of Scarlet Pimpernel fame, and I still swooned when I saw him in the King’s Speech. Love your space colors by the way!

  19. I agree. Some (most) of the male models are younger than my sons. I appreciate a hero and heroines in their mid-30s. It’s strange, but when I read about protagonists older than that, I automatically catch myself thinking, “That’s too old,” before catching myself.

  20. Hi, Cindy. Some time ago, and I’m not saying how long, I married a younger man. Even though he was young, he was serious, considerate of other people, romantic, and didn’t blink an eye at the age difference. He’s still my best friend, my husband, and my hero. But I do know what you mean about the gorgeous young men who are accustomed to the girls drooling over them. Do they have what it takes to commit to one woman for the rest of their life? They have some living and learning to do before they become actually interesting or viable mates. — Karalee

  21. When I see cover models my thoughts aren’t thinking of real life. They’re going with the fantasy of the romance hero. And I enjoy admiring them without thinking of myself as a cougar. A beautiful canvas is … well, beautiful. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new painting or a classic. Now sleeping with it … that’s a whole different matter. LOL!

  22. I’m in total agreement. I have kids the ages of these young men.
    I’m not saying the models aren’t hot, that they look tasty, but come on.
    Is there much behind that smoldering gaze? I need depth and strength of character.
    Something a few years would suggest.

    Terrific post!

  23. Personally, I agree with you…but we aren’t writing for just ourselves, and many of our readers may be in their 20’s, so a 27 yrs. old hero may work for them. Which is also why I read a lot of women’s fiction and hen lit. :p

    Also why I people my stories with older secondary characters I can relate to, like Miriam in The Good of Goodacre Hall. Just because she’s dead doesn’t mean she’s not full of *life* lol.

    I have to agree with the poster who commented on hairless chested heros/romance cover men. When did the hairless look come into vogue? Was I too busy doing laundry when they all ran off and shaved their chests? Yuck. I like a little fur on the pecs. Only if the guy appears to be a shag rug all over would I offer him a razor and a can of Gillette!

    My idea hero (if I were writing a book for myself) would be about 55yrs. old, salt and pepper hair, tall, a good job with money in the bank, and have a great smile. Oh and he’d have to like redheads who are a bit on the chubby side. lmao! Great post!

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