where has all the man meat gone?

This just in from the National Post -- and I love it, because I know when I'm thinking of down-home, guy-next-door good looks, I think.... Toronto.

Top models not beefy enough for Harlequin
Wanted: real men for cover shots
Ian Munroe, National Post

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2007

TORONTO - Harlequin Enterprises, tired of relying on modelling agencies that supply them with thin, boyish-looking camera fodder, is preparing to hold open casting for the first time in search of some average-looking men to grace the covers of its romance novels.
"We usually cast through the modelling agencies," said Deborah Peterson, a creative designer with the Toronto-based publisher of women's fiction, "but the reason we decided to do it is because what we're finding is the models we're getting from the casting agencies are getting progressively younger and younger, and skinnier and skinnier."
Harlequin Enterprises is the largest publisher of romance novel series in the world, selling books in 94 countries and producing more than 115 titles a month.
"I think it's actually just been a change in the fashion world," Ms. Peterson said of her company's difficulty finding the right male cover models. "We sort of get the trickle-down effect from that because we go through the same agencies.
"It's actually become a huge problem for us."
The company held its last audition for cover models in January in New York City. But Ms. Peterson said it was open to professional models only. The Toronto audition will mark the first time the company has looked outside of the modelling world to find new talent, she said.
The company has sent out mass e-mail invitations to the audition, which will take place all day Saturday at a casting agency in the Queen and Parliament street area, and is advertising the event on local radio stations....

Get the rest of the story on the Post's website -- hopefully the link stays up long enough to vote on (yes, that's right, vote on) your favourite Harlequin hunk.

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