Fabio’s Take on the Changing Landscape of Love Stories
Fabio, the renowned Italian American actor, and model who graced the covers of numerous romance novels decades past, has recently expressed his discontent with the portrayal of male characters in modern romance books. In an interview with the New York Post, Fabio, at the age of 64, criticized what he perceives as the excessive display of “soft masculinity” in today’s romance novels, attributing it to the influence of the “progressive woke movement” endorsed by the “political far left and the Biden administration.”
Dismissing this trend as nothing more than a passing fad, Fabio stated, “In life, there are trends, and this is nothing more than a trend. It’s ridiculous, like all the rest of the woke movement.” He further added that he has spoken to numerous women who yearn for “real men” and not what he refers to as “metrosexual” characters found in the new romance novels. According to Fabio, these novels have lost touch with reality and exist within the confines of a fantasy realm, akin to “La-La Land.”
But what exactly is this concept of “soft masculinity” that has triggered Fabio’s critique? Publishers Weekly recently reported on a growing subgenre of romance novels featuring male love interests who exhibit qualities like tenderness, supportiveness, and kindness. These characters, referred to as “cinnamon rolls” or “golden retrievers” in the romance novel community, stand in stark contrast to the often domineering and abusive male figures depicted in works such as “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
According to Kaitlin Olson, a senior editor at Atria, more readers are seeking out these “cinnamon rolls” and “golden retrievers.” She suggests that shifting societal views on identity, masculinity, and consent have influenced readers’ preferences, with many desiring romance novels that reflect the evolving cultural landscape.
While Fabio predicts the eventual demise of these softer male characters, fans of romance novels took to Twitter to defend their beloved “cinnamon rolls.” They celebrated the portrayal of men who listen, exhibit vulnerability, and possess empathy. One user, @SweetRazzberrie, wrote, “I like squishy centered men, and so do many romance readers.” Another user, @lesseraliterary, added, “Plot twist: women liking romance heroes who actually listen to them.” It seems that readers appreciate the departure from traditional archetypes and embrace the exploration of multifaceted masculinity.
In response to the backlash, @BookMarxbooks tweeted, “Sorry your time is over old man. Guys with 2 to 5 cats are the Hunks now.” This lighthearted remark highlights the evolving tastes and preferences of romance readers, who are embracing a wider range of male character traits.
As the debate continues, it is evident that the romance novel landscape is shifting. Authors and publishers are recognizing the demand for characters who reflect the changing perceptions of identity and masculinity in our society. Whether it’s the allure of the confident alpha male or the appeal of the gentle “cinnamon roll,” romance novels are evolving to cater to diverse reader preferences.
Ultimately, the readers’ voices will shape the future of romance novels. As the genre continues to explore the complexities of love and relationships, it will be fascinating to witness the ongoing evolution and the narratives that unfold within these pages.