So I was thinking...
My husband always makes a comment about smoke coming out of my ears whenever I say that, but I assure you, I'm alright. ;-)
Anyway, I was thinking about the millions of way you can describe someone. There's endless possibilities; angular nose, full lips, wide forehead, wrinkles: acne, freckles; curly, straight, or tangled hair; tan, pale, everything in between. The list us absolutely limitless, but does it really matter?
In love, everyone always insists that looks dont matter, and for some that is completely true. Can the same thing be said for writing? You could spend hours describing your protagonist in aching detail. The reader would have an absolutely perfect picture of who you're describing, but that's not what they want is it?
No! They want to use their imagination! If you say something like "he's the most gorgeous man I've ever laid eyes on" and then proceed to describe someone who is attractive to you, you're relying on the hope that anyone who reads your story has the same taste as you do.
And my ultimate point hasn't even been made yet! After you describe your character in the right way, you always go on to show more about them in their actions. At least for me, I can think of a character a totally different way (physically) once I'm finished with the story. Sure their basic features stay the same, hair length, hair color, eye color, that sort of thing, but their personality always gives me a better idea of their appearance than anything else.
So again, I ask. Is the physical description of a character important? I'm gonna say no. So, I'm trying it out in my novel (that I'm 159 pages into, yay me!) I'm going to just barely describe people, just enough to get a good idea, and let personality and imagination take over.
Besides, whats a book without a little imagination right? Paper and ink, that's what!