Ham or Harm in Romance Fiction

In my opinion, romance novels have done more harm than good to the global society. Perhaps I should speak for myself alone, but let’s bet a hundred cowries that this story will resonate madly with you. Thankfully, I can always go down to Alpha beach* to pick your hundred cowry shells if you decide to refute my claim 🙂 (*taps her temple*sharp girl).

I am an avid fiction reader. It is the ship I sail to other parts of the world to get a new experience of culture, races etc. I immerse myself so deeply into the main character that I can almost predict his/her next move, what she would say, and I would even laugh out in reality if another character says something funny to her. I can’t count how many times my mum passed me weird glances at first, until she later got used to me. Even at that, she would shake her head and smile. I have always suspected she was internally rejoicing her daughter had taken quite a liking to the reading culture, because she (like my many big & small mummies) encouraged not discouraged me :).

It is almost impossible for any reader not to share my kind of experience except you were forced to read, or the writer is so-so-so poor in the Skills Department, which means I am not reading the book.

What now happens when one reads romance novels, iz-all-ovah*?

Given my love for studies, I tended towards romance fiction set in academic environments. For example, two Psychology major girls struggling for the affections of a tall, well-built and handsome Medical student, who needs a scapegoat to steal a cadaver etc. I can’t count how many times I strolled into the library fantasizing about meeting my significant other along the staircase. That is the first thing romance novels did to me. 

In my own romance fiction where I was the main character, I usually imagined I would drop my books and we (tall, cute eyes, 9-packed guy and I) would both bend at the exact same time to pick them up, then bump foreheads, look into one another’s eyes – and BOOM! That would be it…Love at first sight.

Well, unfortunately, the entrances to the libraries at both 1st degree (not like I was searching at this stage) and 2nd degree university levels had no stairs, they were straight walk-ins. Hence the sad end of my library-romance-fantasy. If I dropped them there… someone would just walk over them. Hey, I cherish my books!

D.M.Junkie Original 2011

Now let’s go in for the kill!

Romance novels do a lot more than help you create the perfect fantasy for meeting your man or woman, or how your wedding proposal should be organized. They could actually steal your real man or woman from you if you let them. I stress, if you let them. There is nothing really wrong with reading romance fiction, as long as you able to take it just as it is – FICTION. When you are able to back up your reading with the knowledge that this is so UNREAL, that no man or woman is as perfect as that hero/heroine, and they just don’t exist, you are safe. You can then enjoy the HAM in romance fiction.

Have you ever wondered why a brief guy is never the hero in a romance fiction? If the tall guy (hero) has a little imperfection like a scar running down his face, it is usually framed to be a cute scar the girl adores, and I’m sure you adore it along with her. Have you read, “her gaze settled on the scar, and her insides melted like the Sub-Saharan sun on Hagen-Daz”? (I kid :))

Every man can’t be handsome, tall, built, and so rich he could afford to write millions of dollars daily yet never go bankrupt. A friend came by mine yesterday, and like girls do, we broached the issue of “ideal man” (insert *sigh*). She said, “If you grow together, you’ll both stand a strong chance of lasting forever.” Her theory was that, the more ready-made (already established) a man is before you meet him, the less likely you both would have a fulfilling love relationship. You could share your thoughts with me on this by leaving a comment.

It goes without saying that romance novels which border on pornography should not be encouraged at all, because that is a get-away to another dangerous world of addiction. This is not to mention that fact that the ability to uphold moral and for others, spiritual values could also suffer.

On an endnote, I’d recommend two books (that do no harm) by Myne Whitman for your reading pleasure. They are available in all formats; paperback, kindle… the Ma is Good!

A Heart to Mend and A Love Rekindled – grab your copies ASAP.

Till next week Saturday when you visit my little cottage on the blogo-sphere again, it’s bye 4 now.


Alpha Beach* –  a beach in Lagos, NigeriaIz-All-Ovah*- it’s all over


Media Junkie as a Softie

P.S. I must say thank you to all who gave my wonderful feedback on the maiden edition last week Saturday, on Twitter, Facebook, BBM… you guys rock. One Love.

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14 thoughts on “Ham or Harm in Romance Fiction

  1. Lovely Piece tomi. Loved it from start to finish

  2. Adekunle S Jinadu says:

    lol … So now you’re searching?

  3. S-star says:

    Nice nice nice!!
    Many of the romantic novels corrupt our minds especially if you intend to stay pure in a relationship.
    Cheers dear

  4. joachim says:

    The romance industry is rather like the porn industry for men. They amplify the fantasies of both sexes for commercial gain, to the detriment of all concerned.

  5. Jen says:

    Another lovely post!! 🙂 *sigh* I also had my share of waiting for the “ideal” man as presented by romance novels…

  6. yetunde says:

    Romance Novels.I was an addict in school.How i passed WACE still amazes me cuz i would read M&B alongside past questions.But like you said,these books only tickle your fantasy.Its way different in the real world.The tall,dark,hansome dude is not bright.The bright dude has a pot belly.The 6-pack dude is obnoxious.The neat,tall,10-pack is ugly.No one is perfect.Everyone has flaws.But when you meet ur destined mate,its these same flaws you later admire.Besides,if we were all perfect,there would be nothing to work on.In a true relationship, you’re supposed to be a plus to the other person making positive impact.

    • Tomexy says:

      At Yetunde, I love this “The tall,dark,hansome dude is not bright.The bright dude has a pot belly.The 6-pack dude is obnoxious.The neat,tall,10-pack is ugly” you are so right.

      Thanks for your comments guys… i’m enjoying them.

  7. yetunde says:

    And the guys pushing a plane,whats their reason ? Excuse me,its a plane not a danfo bus.Its not going to jerk the engines to life.

  8. MediAfritiQ says:

    ahahah TOMI ! your blog always rocks my socks and you know your writing is addictive, but I couldn’t help but notice those boys pushing the plane, hahaha, its moments like these when my friends and I exclaim “Chy! Afrique na one!”.

    At this point in my life Tomi, I have to say romance novels are actually becoming my therapy, life, and relationships can be so tough that you need a romance novel, just to believe that perhaps there is some good left, or at least to escape. Certainly not the overly fictional, cheap pornographic or “urban” romance novels.

    As per the conversation with your friend, I have to agree that for an independent and career minded woman/man, they will prefer to grow together and really sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor, rather than walking into one person’s success. Its harder and could cause an occasional inferiority complex.

    some get it on Saturday but Diary of a Media Junkie is my Monday treat 😀
    Thanks sweety!

  9. MediAfritiQ says:

    Yetunde my dear ! I love how you phrased the fact that nothing comes solo, the perfect comes with its imperfection, ALWAYS! i think i have a new facebook status!


  10. aloted says:

    post made baba sense…amazing how what we read can have an effect on our lives and what we think about.

    I just did a post on my blog which was inspired by this post. do check it out when u can 🙂

  11. Tomexy says:

    @MediAfritiq hahahaha.. thanks girl, u are far too kind with those compliments. I kinda reason with you in terms of growing together. There is so much dignity in that. I guess we should try to find a balance somehow.

    @aloted: I’m heading to your blog right away 🙂

    @joachim has just made us understand that girls are truly not the only ones prone to the harm of romance fiction… there is comfort in that revelation, lol

    I hope i’ll see you guys here next saturday? Cheerios 😀

  12. Olufunke says:

    You are so so right, the things we read and what they do to us
    and true that ‘the perfect comes with imperfection”
    More grease and vaseline to your fingers

  13. lolahbf says:

    Romance novels for me used to be a form of escape for me. I would read like one a day. It got to a point where everything became romantic in my eyes so I knew I had to stop. I agree with the person who said it is porn for women. And how come the people in romance novels are always perfect (looks-wise anyway)?

    There’s a verse in Songs of Solomon that goes something like ‘don’t awaken love until it is ready’ i.e until ‘the one’ appears in your life don’t chase it. Plus I always wonder, what of those of us that haven’t been called to marry? Sure a lot of people have but singleness is a gift too. If you are addicted romance novels, you will never be satisfied with the gift of singleness God gives you.

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