Okay, they have two arms and legs (most of the time, occasionally four), they most often have hair and the usual facial features, but how do the guys of m/m romance differ from our SOs/friends/relatives/coworkers? Well, 9 times out of 10 they are way hotter and have totally lickable abs, but beyond that. So I decided to do a little statistical analysis.
So I analyzed …. lots (?) of books (and realized that I have spent way too much money obviously on this habit) and came up with the hair and eye color description for 244 men. Then I compared it to what the general population should look like to see if they are pretty much in the norm or pure fantasy.
There are a few caveats to my research: There were a few oddballs with blue/green/purple hair and I’m going with natural hair color, not Halloween hair color. Some authors used unusual eye colors which I had to lump in somewhere. Gray/turquoise fits with blue, gold fits with brown, lavender …. um forget it. As well my comparison group is pretty much based on the US/North America, if you go by world population, nearly 90% of all heroes should have black hair and brown eyes but since most are set in North America, Europe and Australia, there is a predominantly white European background to most of the characters. (See, this is real research, you should see my spread sheet, it’s awesome.) On with the show.
The most popular hair/eye combinations in my books were:
* brown includes the always vague “dark”, brown and light brown
** red includes red, auburn, strawberry blonde
So you say, that looks like a pretty normal distribution, it’s not as if there were 150 blue eyed blondes or 200 green eyed redheads. But how does that stack up to the general population? Well, it’s REALLY hard to find hard and fast statistics on hair color and even less so on hair/eye combination but I did my best and I did find some information on eye color based on the American Society of Ophthalmology (See? Serious stuff here.).
In general, in the US the breakdown should go something like this:
*includes light brown/gold
The poor brown and hazel eyed guys are under-represented and the blues and greens are over-represented, especially blue. This could be indicative of the lack of different ethnicities in m/m romance, since the black, Asian and Hispanic population would greatly increase the percentage of brown eyes in the US, but in the books I surveyed they are definitely under-represented by population.
When it comes to hair color, things get a little hairy (haha). Except for red (approx. 5-6% with my data showing 4.9% – pretty close) there seems to be no standard breakdown of natural hair colors anywhere, but like the good little surfer I am, I found a few self-reporting polls (and we all know people NEVER lie on the internet therefore the data is clean) that note hair/eye color combinations (847 responses). Of course my breakdown doesn’t match exactly and they seem to forget hazel in all of the surveys so that kind of sucks. In a perfectly arbitrary decision I will also calculate it with hazel as part of green.
So what did all my spreadsheets and surfing tell me? Well, in general, the men in m/m romance DO seem to represent the male species fairly well (concerning hair and eye color, anything else I doubt it). Sure there are a few too many blue eyed blondes, the hazel eyed folks are getting the short end of the stick and green is perhaps just a tad too exotic to turn down, but on the whole there is a pretty good mix out there in bookland.
Kris likes this one. O_O
Do YOU have a favourite type who makes your heart go pitty pat? I’m partial to the black/blue ones myself or blonde/brown. Since I am brown (in a past life)/hazel I seem to be attracted to that which is unlike me. So do opposites attract or birds of a feather flock together?