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    Fabio (yes, Fabio) thinks the portrayal of men in modern romance novels is “hogwash.”

    Emily Temple

    June 22, 2023, 10:24am

    Oh dear.

    Earlier this month, Publishers Weekly reported on romance readers’ increased appetite for books with “cinnamon rolls” and “golden retrievers” as their leading men—categories that are exactly what they sound like: “sweet, supportive, and kind” (CR) and possessed of “a warm, floppy energy and positive attitude” (GR).

    “We’re seeing changing views on identity and masculinity and consent in the larger population, and readers are looking for romance novels to reflect what they’re seeing in the culture,” Kaitlin Olson, a senior editor at Atria, told Publishers Weekly.

    So obviously, The New York Post called Fabio, erstwhile I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spokesman and legendary 90s romance novel cover model, to see what he thought of these “squishy-centered men” who “typify the changing face of attraction.”

    “Hogwash!” declared Fabio, presumably in a shirtless rage (according to the Post, the 64-year-old “still looks as hunky as ever” due to the fact that he sleeps in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which he explained “reverses the aging process”).

    The Post reports that Fabio “scoffed at romance publishing’s ‘soft masculinity’ concept, and blames it on the ‘progressive woke movement’ that he feels is being promulgated by ‘the political far left and the Biden administration.'” (Again: oh dear. But also, would love to know what Biden thinks of contemporary trends in romance novels.)

    “In life, there are trends, and this is nothing more than a trend,” Fabio added. “It’s ridiculous, like all the rest of the woke movement… I talk to many people, I talk to many women and the women say, ‘We can’t find real men anymore,’ and they say, ‘We want a real man, not a metrosexual,’ so what they say is happening in the new romance novels is detached from reality. It’s La-La Land.”

    Ah yes, because in reality, women are much more likely to encounter a 6’3″ Italian muscle monster than a nice soccer coach with a couple of cats. (Also, I wonder when these supposed conversations took place, because absolutely no one says “metrosexual” anymore.)

    Shockingly, contemporary romance readers don’t seem to care what Fabio thinks. Bring on the cinnamon rolls!

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