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11 January 2012 @ 11:38 pm
Women, Fantasy Covers, and a Sneak Preview  
If you've been on the internet today (and I assume you must be, since you're reading this), you may well have seen Jim C Hines's excellent post about women and fantasy covers, which is both insightful and hilarious. It's been spreading like wildfire, as it well should. Really, if you haven't had a chance to take a look yet, you must. Go ahead, I'll wait right here.

Back? Finished wiping the tears from your eyes? The thing is, Jim has some truly excellent points there. When I read it, though, and he commented on finding the hip thrust painful, my first thought was "Well, that's because he doesn't have girl hips." Anatomy. It makes a difference. After all, those poses must be possible, if not exactly comfortable (forget practical), since the cover models managed to get themselves in that pose in the first place. Or at least a close approximation, helped with photoshop and such.

My second thought, of course, was "...I have girl hips..."

You can see where this is going. Naturally I grabbed my husband and a further sampling of urban fantasy book covers (including some with male characters, just to highlight the differences in the way the genders are portrayed) and we spent most of the evening doing an impromptu photo shoot. I really wanted to have the pictures up this evening, but it looks like that's not going to happen. I will, however, get them up as early as possible tomorrow.

I can make a few notes beforehand, though:

1- Not one of the male poses hurt me. Most of the female poses did.
2- My cat loves the camera.
3- Despite the fact my husband kept telling me to "Stop smiling, you are an urban fantasy hero! SNEER!" you can tell I'm laughing in about half the pictures.
4- I had a long black matrix-style jacket, a leather bomber-type jacket, a black brimmed hat, black stiletto boots, and a collection of foam swords on hand. I can't decide whether to be pleased or ashamed that I seem to come fully equipped with an urban fantasy wardrobe.
5- I am not a professional model (check child-bearing hips) but 15 years of dance training has given me a decent sense of body control. I was on track to becoming a professional ballet dancer before I trashed my knee. So when I say some of these poses are quite painful, it's a pretty good indication that no matter what shape these urban fantasy heroines are supposed to be in, these are not positions they would naturally stand in. Ever.

Finally, you can clicky to see a preview of how some of our photos turned out. The full post, with book covers to reference the poses from, will go up tomorrow.

Female pose (with cat):

Male pose:
Tehanieditormum on January 12th, 2012 10:37 am (UTC)
Cool! Looking forward to seeing what else you came up with - saw Jim's post this morning via Twitter and interested to see your take!