Every teenage girl has a heartthrob or two or more. In the 1920’s, it was Rudolph Valentino. The 1940’s had Frank Sinatra. The 1950’s brought Elvis and the 1960’s, Beatlemania. I guess Justin Beiber is the heartthrob of the moment?
My era, and I’m dating myself, had Donny Osmond, David Cassidy and Michael Jackson. However, I found these pop idols too young and immature for my taste. I drooled over movies featuring Cary Grant and singers like Tom Jones.
Speaking of Tom Jones …
When I was fifteen, the sexy Welshman appeared in concert and I was able to attend with my mother and friends. Women in the audience swooned and screamed as he shimmied and swiveled his hips while singing his sultry hits. For a preteen like me, he was sex on two legs. I may have not been old enough to date but I could fantasize.
Seeing the older girls, I wanted to rush toward the stage and wave something in hopes that he’d notice me. I grabbed my mom’s scarf, her favorite. At the edge of the stage I waved it like a flag of surrender. Other women and girls did the same. Pick me! Pick me!!!!!
Tom reached down and took my scarf. I gasped for breath as he rubbed it against his sweaty bare chest. After, he returned the testosterone-imbedded scarf to my squealing delight and smiled. He touched it!!!!!!!!
I didn’t faint but it was a moment that has lived in my mind my entire life. The scarf remains untouched in a plastic bag with the show’s program in my lingerie drawer. My mom wanted her scarf. Never! It was and still remains my prize. I came across it the other day and smiled at the memory. Both Tom Jones and me are older now. He’s still sexy!!!
As a writer, moments like these shaped my perception of men. Those teen idols have formed the basis of the characters in my novels. Bits and pieces of these “hot” men have influenced my depiction of the ideal hero.
I’m sure that other writers have used performers and celebrities in the creation of their heroes.