I was thinking about this the other day, as I read the tenth book with a red-haired green-eyed heroine. 2% if the population has red hair. Only about 2% of the population has pure green eyes. And yet, it’s becoming super likely to find a heroine who’s red-haired and green-eyed.
As I thought more about this, I realized there seems to be a lot of trends going around YA.
- Red hair and green eyes. Like I said, very, very few of people in the world actually have one or the other, and even fewer have this combination. Yet I can think of tons of YA heroines who do. Puck from the Scorpio Races. Tory from the Virals series.
- Being short. Look, I’m not saying that someone who’s five-foot-one couldn’t stop a war. I’ve got a cousin who’s tiny but if you mention that you might just end up dead. But, again, I don’t meet tons of super short teenage girls. I think the shortest person I know who’s my age or older is only a half an inch shorter than me, and I’m 5’3″.
- Being described as slender yet super curvy. It just doesn’t work like that. When I picture slender, I picture someone without a lot of curves. Not huge breasts, no big hips, just a very straight, almost boyish, sort of build.
- Not describing themselves as pretty. I get that not everyone is drop-dead gorgeous, but still. When you imagine Annabeth or Katniss or Tris or someone like that, based on their descriptions, you imagine them being pretty. But they never actually say that, they seem to think that they aren’t good looking. POSITIVE BODY IMAGE, THAT’S WHAT I WANT. Seriously, is it really too much to ask for?
- The stupid love-triangle thing, or the eyes-meet-across-the-room-and-I-knew-I-was-in-love-thing. First off, if you can’t choose between two people, I don’t think you really love either of them. Secondly, falling head-over-heels in love with someone without saying two words to them doesn’t guarantee the lifelong romance everything seems to get. You’re enamored with someone, not in love.
I’m sure there are tons more, but these are the ones that I think bug me the most. It’s something to really think about when you write, because it often feels like almost every heroine has all of these traits, even though it doesn’t really fit with real life.