by Charmaine Ross.
I’m a realistic, and I know I’m not model material. Never have been. Never will be. I don’t expect my heroines to be perfect either, and in a real world nobody expects anybody to be perfect. So why then, so we expect to read about perfectly formed barbie-body women in our books? Is it because we prefer it? Is it because we think our heroes won’t fall in love with a woman unless they have a perfect super-model figure? That they have to be perfect in every way otherwise no-one will even like them?
What I do know is that glossy magazines and Photoshop have a lot to answer for. We have created bodies to be an unrealistic product, to be moulded just as one would a mug on a pottery wheel, or a toy for a toy-shop. Bodies are not like that, and neither are women. Most are not the height of a model, or the wafer thin size that goes with it. Most women I know are people with tempers, a sweet-tooth, anxious, happy, joyous, hard-workers. They get sad, they get excited. They do not strut down a cat-walk in uncomfortable clothing, nor do they aspire to. In fact, they want more from life. Much more.
Then why this phenomena? Why do women think that they have to be perfect to be worthy of falling in love? That they must starve themselves to be so thin, and only then will they catch the eye of a man? That they don’t go into a melt down because they’ve slipped the gym for the day because some magazine told them they have to work out six times a week, keep a neat house, work a high-paying full time job, have two point five kids that are well-behaved, get them to their sporting activities each night after school and have a nutritious meal on the table every night? Does that sound like something well-rounded women want, or is it because we’ve been told from an early age that if we don’t do these things that we are unworthy. And no-one wants to be unworthy. Because if you are unworthy, you won’t be loved.
This makes love a leverage to be used as currency and love was never meant to be anything like that. Love is a gift. It is meant to enhance your life, make you feel good, comfort you when you are sad, be joyous when you are happy. It grows with you. Touches your soul. Tells you that you are a worth-while person even though you might have been cross, or angry, or tired. Because if you do all of those things the magazines tell you to do, you will be tired. And guess what, you probably won’t have time to fall in love, or enjoy all of the good things that go with it.
Women don’t have to be perfect to fall in love. Most men aren’t, and they get to have good women fall in love with them every day. After all, people are more interesting when they are sad, and angry and tired. That’s when things start to happen. That’s when people reach out for other people, they need to connect, they need to talk and laugh and get to know another person. And that’s when they fall in love. When you are not perfect and you reach out, you let another person in. And that gives love a chance to grow.
So don’t be perfect. Don’t even try. Life and love is more interesting that way.
Charmaine’s novel Makeover Miracle about a decidely imperfect heroine and her imperfect hero is currently free on Amazon!
Abbey Miller and her friend Jennifer have been picked from a live audience to take part in reality television show Makeover Miracle. This is Abbey’s worst nightmare, and brings back deep memories of being teased and the brunt of cruel jokes. The last thing Abbey wants is her soul to be laid bare for the whole of Australia to see, but being the true friend she is, she agrees to help Jennifer, who desperately wants to change her life.
Quinn Campbell, the producer of Makeover Miracle can see Abbey crumbling live on stage, and after she vomits into a waste paper basket, goes to her aid, not expecting see such a sad, haunted look in her eyes. There’s something about Abbey that reaches out to him. The look in her eyes brings back long buried memories of his sister and his failure as a brother to help her.
This is a story about one woman’s journey through harsh emotional abuses and the man who is able to make her believe in herself. Set against the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Makeover Miracle is a story about forgiveness, understanding, personal growth and, of course, falling in love with that one special person.