Romance: Fiction’s Disrepected Child?
I heard an expression over at a Coffee Time Romance forum I haven’t heard in awhile: ‘Bodice Ripper.’ It was said there with affection and appreciation for those sensuous historical romance covers, but it got me thinking.
Do you ever feel like romance is disrespected? I do. The term ‘Bodice Ripper’ was really coined to poke fun at the covers and at the romances themselves. Mmm, all those swooning half reclined couples posed in erotic abandon...hot! I remember when Fabio was the cover model for half of the releases out there! But there was quite a bit of teasing about it, and that teasing continues about all things falling under the genre.
Whether its films labeled dismissively as “chick flicks” or people rolling their eyes when they see me reading a romance, I don’t think romance gets the respect it deserves.
Granted, I know some movies are called “guy flicks” too. But it seems as soon as there is a bit of romance, there is a label indicating only a female audience can appreciate it. I find that derogatory. I know writers of other genres that look down at romance as a genre...and erotic romance? Don’t even get me started.
Why does romance have such an unfair rep? I think the problem some people have with it is the aspect of wish fulfillment. Romance is often about happy ever after. Maybe people don’t find this realistic. And yet the goal of many fiction genres is to entertain. Are thrillers and mysteries not about entertainment too?
Fictions many different genres are about trying to meet the reader’s expectations in some way. Some call it a formula. I would call it a promise. When you pick up a romance, you know you are going on a journey that may have twists and turns, but will ultimately work towards a happy resolution. And you know what I call that?
Satisfying. I think I will put my nose back in my ‘Bodice Ripper’ now.
Please join me for tomorrow’s post, Flirty Friday.
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