Now, if you want to argue about the shape being unrealistic, and her choice of a strapless top to try to hold them in place being insane, or even the sexualization of a teen (how old is she supposed to be these days?) being more than a little creepy, sure, I'm right there with you.
But don't try to tell us that this is going to drive away female readers. Not without some real numbers or market research to back you up. Why?
Because Cosmo has no trouble selling badly photo-shopped cleavage to women, consistently, month after month. The relaunched Teen Titans sold 26,000 copies in March. Over the past six months of 2013, Cosmopolitan sold, on average, over 500,000 copies each month.
Listen to these sorts of people as they speak on panels at conventions, and you'll hear them trash-talk Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. They'll tell you to avoid the “masturbatory fantasies” and rape and helpless female characters.
And while they do that, the romance genre of books will continue to outsell all the other genres of fiction novels COMBINED!
And hey, I can absolutely sympathize with (some) of the desires these people have for genre fiction. As a character, I find Bella annoying and far too passive to really enjoy reading about. But I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that writing a character like her will drive women away from your books. Nor will I tell you that having a half-fainted woman spilling out of her bodice with insane zero-g breasts on the cover of your novel will prevent women from reading it. Because, unlike Janelle Asselin and her ilk, I don't think you're stupid.
|Like, seriously, is she a halfling? And what's going on with her legs?!?|