A Facebook friend posted yesterday his intention to write a ginger hero. He was looking for some help visualizing the guy. As a longtime fan of Eric Stoltz, I threw his name into the hat. Just my little foray into the past made me think of all the guys who've shaped my tastes and expectations for my own heroes. What qualities did I like? What physical characteristics drew my eye?
I realize these characters were written to appeal to their audience, but isn't that what I'm doing? Of course it is. I'm going to age myself here, but what the heck. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
John Cusack. Forgive me for not choosing an image of Lloyd Dobbler. He's more than Say Anything to me: the brainy geek in Sixteen Candles; the heartbroken hero in Better Off Dead; and shown here as the desperate and funny anti-hero in The Sure Thing.
Eric Stoltz. Then there's the soft-spoken artist, the sensitive hero from Some Kind of Wonderful.
No teenie-bopper list would be complete without Andrew McCarthy. Pretty in Pink was a big hit, so was he, though if I were Andi, he'd have a lot more groveling to do before he was forgiven.
Rob Lowe. Can you hear a long sigh when you think of that name? I do. I have a confession. I've never seen St. Elmo's Fire. I didn't see the Outsiders. But Rob made a blip on my radar anyway with Youngblood. Remember, I'm a hockey chick. He's scrumptious, though he's not the only eye-candy in that movie. Just sayin'.
So what do they all say about my tastes? I suppose their common link is they're flawed. They all need to struggle, fall on their faces, make mistakes, and pick themselves up again. Taking down a hero, even if only emotionally, makes him stronger. It's the trials he faces and conquers that ultimately pull on our heartstrings. These guys all needed to make a stand, resist the forces pressing down on them, and set their own courses.
Lucky for us, the struggles don't end because we're still out there, reading and writing about other men who embody their spirit and end up with the girl at the end. Isn't that romantic?
Who do you love?
Say, I forgot to mention, I'm the babe in the author hot seat today on the Beachwalk Press Reader's Group. I'll be giving away prizes and visiting, answering questions, all that good stuff. So swing by, let's catch up.