Many gazillions of people in this world do not have perfect eyesight, and many people wear glasses or contact lenses – or both at various times.
This includes romance heroes and heroines.
Now, I could get into the fact contact lenses in books are mentioned once and then totally ignored; like the characters never have to take them out or clean or deal with them, and that nobody ever gets something under the lenses and stands there with tears streaming down their face (me every day!), however it doesn’t make for much of a romance.
But what I’m angry about right now is the covers of these books.
In December I picked up two books in a row where a main character wore glasses full-time. In the first one it was the heroine. It was the hero in the second.
The covers are below.
Where are the bloody glasses?
These aren’t the only books. In fact, I cannot recall a SINGLE romance book cover where the character who is meant to be wearing them has them on.
Harlequin/Mills and Boon certainly has an aversion to them. Such as this Sarah Mayberry cover with a glasses-wearing heroine:
Because when you have poor vision, the best place to wear your glasses is ON YOUR HAND.
Historical characters are given the same treatment:
I get that smaller publishers have a limited budget for their covers, which means they have to go for whatever stock photography they can get their hands on, but surely they could try harder (a side note: the guy on cover #2 isn’t supposed to have a beard, either!).
There is NO excuse for publishers like Harlequin, other than that they don’t think it’s sexy enough to have a character with an eyesight problem. After all, Harlequin gets their own models and costumes and sets and producers when they make their book covers. I’m sure they could add a couple of pairs of glasses to the wardrobe department.
It’s a small thing, but a significant one. Just as the women on covers are always Amazonian runway models, no matter how petite the author describes them as, or how a hero always has short, dark hair, no matter how long or fair it is supposed to be, I’m getting that people would be much happier if authors just kept the glasses for the sidekick characters.
So much for the diversity authors are trying to go for!