I have seen this term all over Instagram to describe the nice guy and I could not understand WHY! While a cinnamon roll might be a tasty treat to eat, it does not bring to mind a dreamy book boyfriend. This term bothered me so much I began to search the reason it came to fruition. In reading some of the characteristics of a 'cinnamon roll' I realized I had written one. But I never considered him to be a cinnamon roll. I didn't even know the term until recently. And I can't bring myself to use the term to describe him. But we'll get to that in a bit.
In my search for why, I googled the term and read many different blog posts. All describing any nice guy that was not alpha as a cinnamon roll until I found this one by Olivia Dade which spoke of the origins.
"You may or may not have heard the term before. Like many wonderful things, it originates from The Onion (a satirical newspaper), and it references an article entitled “Beautiful Cinnamon Roll Too Good For This World, Too Pure.” Over time, folks on the internet began using the “cinnamon roll” phrase to describe people, especially fictional people, who are sweet and lovely. Like cinnamon rolls. Like the heroes I wanted to read!"
The Onion, of course that would be where it all began. But I still didn't understand how some of my favorite book boyfriends were being described as a cinnamon roll. The article is talking about food and the perfection of the cinnamon roll. So I did a bit more digging and learned a discussion on Reddit took the article and ran with it. You know, the way discussions always take a life of their own when on the Reddit discussions boards. And the term 'Cinnamon Roll' was born to describe nice people.
Soon there after the term was transferred to fictional people, or more accurately book boyfriends. And here I am struggling with the term. I did read many blogs describing them in such a positive way. Here are a few:
Goodreads Listopia: "Heroes who are good, warm, sweet, maybe a little ooey-gooey. Might be alpha, might be beta, but all the way wonderful and too good for this world."
Romance Rehab: "For those of you who don’t know, a cinnamon roll hero is a sweet, supportive, kind, and oh-so-sweet hero who is just too good for this world."
As I continued to dig, I then ran into Beta Guys. As they were described, they sounded very much like cinnamon rolls.
Book Riot: "Betas are comfortable with themselves and where the heroine is at in her life. They’re just sweet, considerate guys who you want to bring home to mom and dad."
Dear Author: "A Beta Male’s seduction tends to be verbal and intellectual rather than physical and aggressive. They often wind up partnered with strong, damaged, and wary heroines – so a Beta’s seduction must fly under the radar in order to avoid setting off a heroine’s emotional tripwires."
And here is where things got interesting. The evolution of this type of guy. The beta guy posts were mostly written in 2014 or earlier. Then the article in The Onion came out and the beta term was transformed into the cinnamon roll. If we go back further, he was just a gentleman.
And this is the term I want to bring back! GENTLEMAN. The well-mannered man who knows boundaries, is strong and capable, and easy on the eyes. All the characteristics mentioned above.
My strong feelings on the subject may be because I wrote a gentleman in Beautiful Collision. Garrett fits all the descriptions above. But I always thought of him as a cowboy gentleman. I even have a discussion in Graffiti Hearts Book 2, Tragically Beautiful, where they are discussing the need a man has to take care of the women in their lives.
"It’s a fine line. I was raised to look after and respect women. It’s the cowboy way. Not because they can’t do it themselves, but it’s part of being a gentleman. I want to be able to shield when I can. I want to save the day when I can. It’s a touchy subject. But know, most of it comes from a good place of wanting to protect." ~ Garrett
Is it Old School of me wanting to go back to the term Gentleman? Maybe? Who's with me? Is there anyone else out there who doesn't like the term cinnamon roll? Comment below...I would love to hear what everyone's thoughts are on the subject.
As for now, I think I will continue to call my cinnamon rolls/betas a gentleman. I also have another gentleman in the works. Graffiti Hearts Book 3, Javie's story! He is a dreamy, caring guy, but can turn into the protective alpha when he needs to.
More to come as I work through his story! Stay tuned.