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?
I’ll take one combo of each to go. Why restrict yourself I say! LOL.
BTW, oddballs?? You know you are talking about Hell and Blue, right? You wanna get thrown down this w/end or what?!
Slightly off topic… I have a pet theory that the reason why the heads are cut off on book covers these days is because of reader complaints that the model looks nothing like the character (ie different hair colour, eye colour, etc), hence the popularity of man titties.
Wow, I am impressed!!! You’re quite the researcher. I’ve got brown/brown at home but have always loved the combo of black/blue or blonde/red with green.
I like the request Kris put in, one of each of the combos. But don’t call me greedy, it’s just for a comparison taste test, I won’t keep them all ;D
I agree, when they show the face in detail I want it to be a close match to the character. Don’t put a black/blue on the cover and then the guy is blonde/brown.
Ooh, man titties. Yeah, some of the chest they show are SO lickable, aren’t they?
Lily: That’s it exactly.
I also have a fondess for a nice back pose complete with tatt, of course. 😉
Wow, like Lily, I’m very impressed. You put a lot of work into this obviously.
I’m not picky, but if I had a choice I’d go for black hair, blue eyes and preferably pale skin.
Oh yeah, a demo of each combo would be good, for the purpose of comparison, ;-).
Tam did a great job, didn’t she, Rikki. 🙂
By all means, let’s be as scientific and objective as possible and get comparisons. 😉
You ‘n’ Tam have got far too much time on your hands.
Do some work for Jebus’ sake will ya’, or you will be out of work and then you ‘n’ the Russkies will have to move into my place.
Or – just thinkin’ here, maybe you could go and live with the boy child? Tee he he he…
Thanks guys. It was fun. I love doing that sort of thing.
Mumma: Ummm, yeah, maybe I’ll come move in with you too. Do you have space? I’ve always wanted to live in Australia.
Probably taking one of each for a test drive is a wise choice. You guys are so smart.
And nothing worse than two blonde haired guys in the book and two brunettes on the cover. Ugh.
Ho, ho, ho? Isn’t it a little early for Christmas hon?
Tam: That’s how the song goes. Don’t try and ruin my fun.
Mumma: No way in HELL would I live with the baby brother. He would drive me bat shit.
Tam – I just love you 🙂 That was FAB! Do you mind if I borrow your idea and run with it please? I’ve had something similar in mind (but for heroines) for ages, but I like your approach 🙂
Oh, and as for what colouring I like? Black hair and blue, green or grey eyes….I’m so boring 🙂
Go for it Orianna. Its lots of fun.
Love the redhead!
And do you remember that song by Styx song Too Much Time On My Hands? Really? You don’t? Well, you should look it up! lol Do we need another contest to keep Krissy occupied?
Hey! It wasn’t me this time. It was Tam!
Thank you Tam!
My sincere apologies – I neglected to see the “by Tam” at the top of the post!
So you freaking should! I can concentrate on things… sometimes.