I recently read an article about some actress (can’t remember for the life of me who she is) who has her agent to set her up on “dates” with women. No, she’s not a lesbian, not that there’s anything wrong with that. But rather, she just wants to be introduced or get to know women she finds interesting. This phenomenon, known as a girl crush, is similar to the bromance we keep hearing about of late.
When I think back on my life, I realize there have been a number of females I have found absolutely fascinating. There was Stephanie, the girl in my fourth grade class, who had poker straight blonde hair that fluttered in the breeze when she glided across the playground. She was everything I wasn’t. Confident, popular, smart. Everything she touched turned to gold. I studied her from a far, wishing not only that I could be like her, but that maybe one day she would concede to be my friend. In high school, I was friends with a girl who again, was the complete antithesis of me. Jet black curly hair and a face that Angelina Jolie would have envied, she had a talent for dancing, singing, drawing, writing. We formed a deep and lasting bond (to this day), but I never gave up that idolization at her ability to draw people to her and command the spotlight.
As I think back on all these “girl crushes,” I realize that when I create my female characters, in some way, they become crushes too. Yes, we want readers to fall in love with the hero, but it’s the heroine that in some cases may make or break a story. Women are multi-dimensional creatures and our relationships with women are just as complicated as with men. Maybe even more so. To that end, the characters we create must tiptoe on that fine line of being attractive, but not too attractive. Likable, but not a doormat. In other words, she has to be the kind of woman an actress will ask her agent to set up on a date. So in honor of all female crushes, dish on who is your crush. Here are mine.
Writer Crush (other than a fellow Mermaid): Sarah Mayberry. I recently discovered this gem of a writer and I’m green with envy at how she can convey emotion through characters. Not only that, she is cool as hell. She actually answered my email, the one where I asked for writing advice and sent back a heap of helpful suggestions.
Envy Crush: I’m ashamed to confess that this envy crush is strictly superficial. I once had a friend who was truly disgusting. 5’8” a size 0 with real DD boobs and legs that would put any model to shame. To make matters worse, she was hilarious, a PhD student in biology and could sew the most amazing outfits. I couldn’t hate her because she was just so awesome, but boy was I ever miserable when we went trolling for men together.
Fascination Crush: Okay, I admit. For some crazy reason I have an absolute fascination with Kate Middleton, or the Duchess of.. I can’t remember what. I don’t know if it’s the whole princess from a modest background or the fact that she’s so tall, willowy and has that thick mane of chestnut hair. Or actually, it may be the clothes. She seems to look good in anything (dang her!). She also seems so natural and down to Earth. Again, yes, I know it’s all a fantasy because no one really knows what she’s like except the people close to her, but indulge me.
Fictional Character Crush: Harper James from Kristan Higgins’ My One and Only. The way she wrote that character, I actually felt I was in her skin. I truly wanted to be friends with this woman. Or at least be there as she traveled the road Kristan so skillfully wove for her.
If I wasn’t straight, I’d be with…Crush You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine!