News stories like this one tend to get me more riled than their stupidity deserves.
Apparently Mr Darcy's "real life" inspiration, James LeFroy, had the hide to NOT look like Colin Firth, the actor who would most famously portray the character over 200 years later.
Instead of being dark and dashing, he apparently had "frail" and "feminine" looks (because he had - gasp - fair hair and pale skin).
Now we'll bypass the fact that James LeFroy, from all accounts, was more of a Willoughby or Wickham-type character than a Darcy. We'll also bypass the fact that miniature paintings of this period are notorious for portraying an "ideal" version of the subject. We'll even bypass the frankly insulting suggestion that Austen had no author's imagination, and MUST have based her character on a living person.
What bugs me is that they're applying today's standards of beauty/masculinity to a person who existed before Nelson copped it sweet at Trafalgar. "Ooh, look at Jane Austen! She was in love with a big girly man! You like that Mr Darcy! Well, how does it feel now you know he was a big wuss? Huh?"
Don't these people realise that not twenty years earlier men were getting around in make-up and powdered wigs? LeFroy looks like some dude from Gladiators by comparison.
No bloke will ever be as good as Mr Darcy, just as no chick will ever be as awesome as Princess Leia in the gold bikini (or whatever your bag is). So just deal with it fellas, all right? The cheap shots are beneath you.