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Lately, I’ve been reading romance novels that feature Plain Janes. You know the type of heroine–she isn’t much of a beauty, and she doesn’t pretend to be. And while I understand why the Plain Janes have become popular, because we don’t all walk around looking like runway models, I do have some misgivings.

Woman's_Face_by_Fujishima_TakejiThe last book I read, the heroine had a very good looking family, and she was the Plain Jane. She didn’t feel beautiful, but she was happy with herself. Even the hero didn’t find her beautiful. Over time, he started to see more beauty in her, but for more than half the book he couldn’t figure out why he was even attracted to her. It was a great read, and I really enjoyed the book, but the heroine’s Plain Jane status didn’t sit right with  me.

Now, I do understand the draw of the Plain Jane. She gives us all hope that even when we feel less than attractive, someone else might see beauty in us that we don’t recognize. But more often than not, if we don’t see ourselves as beautiful, we convince those around us of our own convictions. If we think we’re unattractive, we act unattractive. And we shouldn’t blame to world for seeing exactly what we put out there.

Black_and_white_photograph_of_a_young_woman's_face,_eyes_gazing_leftEvery woman is beautiful, and sometimes she has to recognize it in herself first. I never write a heroine who the hero finds humdrum, because that isn’t my fantasy. My husband thinks I’m gorgeous. I can stop him in his tracks… still! Does that mean that every man falls over himself for me? Hardly! But Mr. Johns does. And that is what I like to portray in my books.

Lawman's Surprise Family coverNow, cover models are always slim (so the cover doesn’t always portray the heroine is every sense), but my heroine for THE LAWMAN’S SURPRISE FAMILY is plump, short and rounded. She’s had a baby, and that’s changed her body. She eats. She’s also beautiful, both in her own eyes and in the hero’s.

Who says we can’t feel beautiful if we don’t fit into a certain stereotype? How we see ourselves changes a lot of things!

I know a woman who calls her stomach a “Mom Gut.” The name is ugly, and she feels ugly about it. But I don’t see my stomach as ugly. It’s soft and round. It’s curvy and it’s warm to hug. It’s part of my beauty. I’m not pasty white, I’m lily white. I’m not overweight, I’m rounded and voluptuous.

Words hold more weight than we realize. Change your vocabulary. Look at yourself and choose to see your own beauty. You aren’t skinny, you’re lithe. You aren’t fat, you’re curvy. You aren’t jowly, your face has been softened by time. Your nose isn’t big, your profile holds character.

The words we use to describe ourselves reflect back to the world around us. Let’s choose our words wisely. Because, trust me, you’re gorgeous!