Totally Random Bit of Randomness
Last year, I got to listen to some samples from the audiobook of one of Karen Marie Moning's Highlander Romances. Like all the books in the series, it is narrated by Phil Gigante, a theatre veteran and award-winning voice actor.
I was just musing that he and I have very different storytelling styles and that I wouldn't have made the hero of that novel sound quite like that, but then again, I don't have a man's ears for men's voices . . . when it came the heroine's turn to talk.
And I couldn't believe my ears! I actually sat up straight and asked aloud: "Is that how we sound to men???"
His heroine sounded flouncy . . . almost fluttery. When I had read the novel to myself, I had made her sound a bit firmer in my head. But I don't know if that was just my interpretation of the character or the fact that I have a woman's ears for women's voices.
(Listen to a sample from Beyond the Highland Mist . . . if you dare. Bwahahahahahahahaha! It's not the best excerpt for the point I'm trying to make, but it has the most dialogue of all the available samples. And since it must be said now: let the record show that I think Gigante read all the excerpts very well.)
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I started watching reruns of America's Next Top Model, Cycle 8. (Possibly my favourite Reality show and possibly my favourite season.) One of the challenges was to portray a male character and to share the frame with a male model portraying a female character.
I thought Jaslene Gonzales' "Nautical Boy" picture is amazing. Not only does she really look like a boy, but she also looks kind of hot as a boy. Many of the other girls just looked like women playing dress up. Although they had the clothes and the makeup, they didn't also have the body language.
Only when the episode was over did it occur to me that a man watching the same footage (a straight man, it must be said) might have stared incredulously at the screen and wondered, "Is that how we look to women?" (LOL!!!)
This, at least, is something I can answer. =) Jaslene might look like a "boy," but she's limited to a very specific type of "boy." That is, a skinny male model who was scruffed up for a photo shoot. And the whole effect makes for a pretty picture . . . but that's it. Her "masculine body language range" isn't very wide.
Image Sources: a) Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning, audiobook narrated by Phil Gigante, b) Jaslene Gonzales America's Next Top Model photo