When I first started writing romance in the eighth grade or so, I generally chose dark-haired heroines. I had a thing about making a blond heroine the star of the books. I also tended to write about tall heroines (I'm a 5'8" brunette). Today, I write heroines of differing hair colors and heights, but I wonder if there is a natural tendency to write heroines that look like us or maybe even a sister or close friend.
While I do sometimes pick actresses or models who resemble my character, I haven't yet made a character look like a friend. However, there is one particular story that I plan to write eventually in which I will base the look off of a girl I've seen who works at a local bookstore. I just noticed one day that she had beautiful features and looked like what I want my heroine to look like. Interestingly, a friend of my mom's looks a lot like this character and like an older version of the girl in the bookstore. But, these things kind of came to me after I already had the character in mind.
So, do your characters look like you? Or, someone you know?