Since I started writing for xoJane I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in my fondness for fictional characters over ‘real life’ celebrities. Give me a choice between Ryan Gosling and the descriptions of the detective Albert Campion that you find Margery Allingham’s novels and I would always plump for the latter.
In truth, I have fairly ‘eclectic’ tastes when it comes to crushes – my first was Gary Lineker, my worst was (er, is) Ed Balls and in between we have everyone from Eric Cantona to Glenn Danzig. I don’t know what to tell you.
So yes, perhaps it’s safer if I stick to crushing on fictional characters – Campion, Sharpe, Inspector Montalbano – ooh I just realised they’re all crime-fighting adventurers! (Don’t worry, I promise I don’t fancy Hercule Poirot.)
A swift survey of my fellow xoJaners revealed unlikely obsessions with: Aladdin (yes, the cartoon), Mr Tumnus (I'm assuming this crosses over into James McAvoy-fancying territory but I can't be sure) and the man from 101 Dalmations. Another cartoon. And then of course we have Alice's amazing tribute to her dream man, Lord Peter Wimsey.
Oh, I just remembered another one of mine: Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. This was a combination of the character in L.M. Montgomery’s books and the role played by Jonathan Crombie in the 1985 TV series.*
There’s been a fair bit of hand wringing about the fact that so many millions of teenage girls (and grown women) are obsessed with Edward Cullen in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, but he’s only the latest in a long line of brooding, intense literary heroes, dating back to Mr Darcy, Heathcliffe, Rochester and, yeah, I’m going to go there, Rupert Campbell Black.
Does imagining yourself as Bella, or Jane, or Elizabeth in an elaborate scenario with your hero of choice mean you’re more likely to seek these types out in real life? I doubt it – for a start there aren’t that many sullen teenage vampires/breeches-clad gents striding about these days (more’s the pity) and all that brooding would become wearing quite quickly, I suspect.
I like being able to colour within the lines of a fictional character, imbibing them with the looks and characteristics that I choose - they're so much more obedient than real life folk. And in a funny way, the more sketchily they've been written, the better, because there's so much more potential to put yourself into the story - I suspect this is why writers of, let's say, less 'literary skill' (Stephanie Meyer, Agatha Christie) are so popular; their characters can be a tad, erm, cardboardy, but you can fill the rest in yourself.
*Warning: never find out what became of your teenage crushes – you will invariably be disappointed. See: Edward Furlong.
So tell me, which fictional character do you lust after - did you have inappropriate feelings for Robin Hood (the Disney cartoon fox version, obvs) when you were a kid, or Bugs Bunny, or what? Share!