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No One In Romance Novels Is Ever Fat

So, fat people have sex, too.So, fat people have sex, too.

That might seem like a pretty out of the blue statement, but I just wanted to let you know. If you've ever read romance novels, you'd probably never know it.

I do read romance novels — I read the big historicals and paranormals and all that stuff, but what I really love? Are the Harlequin Blaze 4-titles-a-month novels. I don't judge you for what you read, so bear with me here. *grin*

After you've read a chunk of these a month for several years, certain patterns make themselves kind of obvious. And one of those patterns is that, perhaps in pursuit of realism, romance novels are touching a lot more explicitly on body hatred. Sometimes this is okay. Most of the time, this is a disaster.

If you're not familiar, let me describe the heroine to you. She is white. On super rare occasions in the Harlequin variety, she is half Asian. In some historicals, she is half Native American. She is either incredibly slender and self-conscious about her lack of breasts or she is super curvy and self-conscious about her "ultra feminine" body. She is not comfortable being naked. She is not fat, though she often thinks she is. If she were fat, as some heroines have been in their dark and secret pasts, she'd never have sex.

Harlequin Blaze is the series most occupied with being hot and sexy.Harlequin Blaze is the series most occupied with being hot and sexy. So authors have started talking about this stuff — using the heroine's body fears as a way to create intimacy with her male (also white, unless he's half Native American, and generally ripped) partner. In other words, she is uncomfortable but his desire and devotion make her feel beautiful.

And, you know, that's all well and good if maybe a little codependent. But then you get the books where the heroine is constantly involved in bashing her body in more obvious ways or participating in bashing the bodies of other women. My favorite (and by favorite, I mean the one that makes me most angry) example of this sort of thing is a series of books by a writer named Jill Shalvis.

The most notable are Flashpoint and Flashback. Both of these books are part of the American Heroes: The Firefighters series. These books are set in Santa Rey, a charming California town where the firefighters are the hotness and an arson investigation is consuming lives.

In the first novel, Zach is the stereotypical fightfighting hottie and Brooke is the feisty EMT who is supposed to be our strong female character. I might argue with that portrayal (especially since the characterization of both Brooke and Zach is pretty weak in this one), but what really burns me is a passage toward the end of the tale. Zach has just been injured in a fire when we get to page 158.

Brooke and Dustin [the other EMT] were still unloading their patients at the E.R. when word came from the fire scene that they had the flames eighty percent contained, and the injured firefighters had been evacuated safely.

Alive.

And on the way to the hospital.

Brooke took her first deep breath since she'd heard the words firefighter and down in the same sentence. She and Dustin tried to wait but an emergency call came in for them — a woman with chest pains needed assistance.

While Dustin drove, Brooke called Aidan [another firefighter].

"Blake's in surgery," Aidan said, sounding tense and stressed. "Badly broken leg."

Omigod. "Zach?"

"A concussion, broken wrist and a few second—degree burns. I know that sounds bad, but he's going to be okay, Brooke."

Relief hit her like a tidal wave, but she couldn't lose it because they'd arrived at their call, where she and Dustin found a three—hundred—and—fifty—pound woman stuck in her bed, needing assistance to the bathroom.

"You said you had chest pains," Dustin said.

"Right. I do. But I think it's heartburn."

"Are the pains gone now?" Brooke asked.

"Yes. Completely."

"Ma'am, we still need to bring you in to be checked—"

"Okay, so I never had chest pains. I called because you people won't come out unless it's serious."

They were speechless.

"Would you hand me my TV remote?" she asked them. "Oh, and that box of doughtnuts?" "Would you hand me my TV remote?" she asked them. "Oh, and that box of doughtnuts?"

Brooke stared at her. She'd missed being at Zach's side for this, for a woman who couldn't reach her damn remote so she'd called 911? She handed over the remote but not the doughnuts. "Ma'am, the 911 system is for real emergencies—"

"It was a real emergency."

Dustin still couldn't speak.

"Hey, I'm sorry, but Grey's Anatomy is repeating and I missed it the first time around."

"Medical emergencies," Brooke said tightly.

The woman finally had the grace to look a little abashed. "I know, but who else am I going to call?"

"You could do it yourself." No longer speechless, Dustin was clearly furious. "Consider it your daily exercise."

They left there in silence, and it was several long moments before either could speak.

"That didn't just happen," Dustin finally said.

But unfortunately it had, and they had another call, and then another, and it was several hours before Brooke could get another status check on Zach. By that time he'd been released from the hostpital and was at his house, supposedly resting.

1. The fat woman serves absolutely no purpose in this story other than as intended comic relief. She is solely intended to be an object of ridicule.

2. You aren't supposed to empathize with her to any degree — no, she is set up as a hindrance to Brooke being at her lover's side while he is in the hospital after being injured at a fire. You can go ahead and hate this fat person, getting in the way of things that are, you know, actually important.

3. Her remote? Seriously? AND DOUGHNUTS? Are you fucking kidding me? Can you play on any more fat stereotypes?

4. She's immobile enough, at 350 pounds, that she can't get her own damn remote/doughnuts? Now, I weigh 300+ pounds and, I have to tell you, I am limber enough to kick some serious ass (and to have some pretty awesome sex).I weigh 300+ pounds and, I have to tell you, I am limber enough to kick some serious ass (and to have some pretty awesome sex). This is the sort of thing that Kate was talking about yesterday.

5. Her daily exercise? Yeah, because EMTs should absolutely be portrayed as being snarky to the fat people who call them for help. That's really quality medical service right there.

There is so much wrong with this passage that it completely overwhelms the way the rest of the book is entirely mediocre. And yeah, that's a cheap shot, I admit. But it's also true. This is the only way an actually fat character generally makes it into these books — as an object for ridicule.

I am seriously curious whether or not Jill Shalvis was dieting while writing these books. Because Flashback, while it doesn't feature the same overt ridiculing of fat people, still sends a very clear message that the women need to lay off the doughnuts — that fatties can never be sexy and fat starts at a ridiculously low standard.

Yeah, she mentions doughnuts again. A lot. Kenzie, our female lead, is a soap star. And, to achieve her Hollywood beauty, she normally follows a pretty strict regimen. However, since her brother's death in a fire and everyone subsequently blaming him for all the arson, she's LET HERSELF GO! She's eating doughnuts! She is going to eat all the doughnuts in the world and get fat and no one will ever hire her to act again!

Kenzie, in this example, has just been blown up. She was on her brother's boat when it exploded and Aidan, her long-lost love, rescued her from a fiery, yet still watery, grave.Aidan, her long-lost love, rescued her from a fiery, yet still watery, grave. Now she's in the hospital.

God, she hated hospitals. They smelled like fear and pain and helplessness, and all of them combined reminded her of her own uncertain childhood. She wished she was back on the L.A. set of Hope's Passion, acting the part of the victim instead of really being one. Comfort food would help. Maybe a box of donuts—

[The inconsistent spelling isn't me — it's what is published in the book itself. And, I mean, that is obviously the result of two different editors, but come on! Isn't there a style guide for this sort of thing?]

Her doughnut musing is interrupted by a visitor. But, you know? A whole box of doughnuts? I read that and, based on the previous book, winced. Then I went on. We come to a scene where Kenzie has driven out to the docks, to stare at the wreckage of her brother's boat.

Then she sat in the parking lot nursing a hot chocolate and a blessed box of donuts, staring at the charred remains of Blake's boat.

She was alone, except for the occasional car. One was a light—gray sedan that slowed as it passed her, the windows so dark she couldn't see in. Probably another looky—loo like herself, except... except she'd seen a car like it before, somewhere…

She ate a donut.

Until a couple of weeks ago, before Blake's death, she hadn't had chocolate or donuts in months. Maybe years. She'd been on a strict eighteen-hundred-calorie diet, combined with a workout every single day, without fail. All to look good.

That's what TV stars did. They looked good. She was paid to.

Except she no longer had a TV show to look good for. Back in L.A., she knew the job—finding frenzy had already begun. All her co—stars were busy auditioning, and what was she doing? Eating donuts instead of facing the fact that she was unemployed.

Do I really have to explain what is wrong with our heroine sitting in a car eating doughnuts and thinking about how she USED to look good?Do I really have to explain what is wrong with our heroine sitting in a car eating doughnuts and thinking about how she USED to look good? Throughout this book she is presented as being the hottest thing Aidan has ever had the privilege of touching. But, you know, she's had a week of eating doughnuts and now that is all over.

"What did you send him?"

She lifted a shoulder. "Rough drafts of stuff."

"Stuff?"

"I've been writing. Scripts." Another lift of her shoulder. "For the day I finally ate too many donuts and didn't get asked to audition anymore."

Seriously, I'm ready to cry now. Her constant harping on doughnuts at first made me want a doughnut and then it made me never want to think about doughnuts ever again. Because, OMG, can there possibly be any more angst associated with a snack food?

"And, anyway, it no longer matters." She turned back to the screen. "It's over."

"What do you mean?"

"My soap got cancelled."

"It did?"

"Yeah, and there are auditions for new parts but I've been eating too many donuts, so…"

"So… what?"

"So I'm going to get fat."

He let out a low laugh. "You look great, Kenzie. So great I haven't been able to keep my hands off you, as you might have noticed. But I'm very sorry about your job." He couldn't believe he was about to say this. "You could always stay in Santa Rey."

"I thought about it." She sighed and faced him again. "But staying seems like a comfort thing. You know, like going back to the last place where I was happy. It's a cop—out. And I was only happy here because of Blake."

He held his breath. He'd made her happy, too. Until he hadn't. "Maybe it was more than that."

"I don't know." She sighed without giving away her exact feelings on the matter, although he suspected she didn't know her exact feelings. "I wouldn't be able to get a job here."

"I know they don't film TV or movies anywhere close, but you could do something other than act."

She scoffed, then looked at him with heart—breaking hope. "Like what?"

"You know what. You could write. And eat all the damn donuts you want."

Okay, I'd like to first, and most simply, address the idea that going back to the place you were last happy is a cop-out. What the shit kind of crack rock logic is that? You can't ever go back to the places where you were happy? The hell? What makes it a cop-out, exactly? If she doesn't want to go back to L.A., then what is she supposed to do to NOT be a cop-out? Move to Wichita (which may be a very lovely place, I've never been) just because she has never lived there?

And now let's talk about the idea that her career is over because she has eaten some doughnuts.And now let's talk about the idea that her career is over because she has eaten some doughnuts. She has eaten some doughnuts and so she is going to get fat. She's going to get fat and look horrible and be miserable and wah wah wah wah wah.

Don't get me wrong, I love romance novels, as deeply and incredibly flawed as they can be. But I do not think women of any size are made sexier by self—hatred. All these fictional women who are so afraid that they are fat? I just want to tell them, "Honey, it's not that bad. And you can still get laid."

÷ ÷ ÷

Kate Harding founded Kate Harding's Shapely Prose, a blog about body acceptance and the treatment of fat people in the media.

Marianne Kirby is dedicated to body politics and fat acceptance. She is co-moderator of the Livejournal community Fatshionista, which has more than 2,500 members.


Books mentioned in this post




  1. Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere: Quit...
    Used Trade Paper $7.95


Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby is the author of Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body

63 Responses to "No One In Romance Novels Is Ever Fat"

  1.  
    jehovasfitness June 18th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    If you're really bothered by the way overweight people are portrayed, then don't be overweight. If you truly were comfortable with yourself you wouldn't care what others thought because you know deep down it's what you want and what's best for you. shocker!

  2.  
    gothdiva1 June 18th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Ya know what the real shocker here is jehovasfitness? That you obviously didn't read the whole article.

    The point is that we are ALL human beings with feelings, and whether you are fat or thin, tall or short,etc. that NONE of us should be ashamed of who we are, and that society needs to step up it's game and stop treating people who are not in the norm like something we should fear.

    And BTW,it's oh sooo easy to just stop being fat overnight. And I am comfortable with myself and don't care what people think of me. I can walk 22 miles in two days and am completely healthy, so I'm not going to argue the fitness/exercise crap anymore.

  3.  
    LivingTheQuestions June 18th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Marianne and Kate,
    You might want to check out Eloisa James's novels. First, because they are fantastic, and second, because she seems to intuitively be in-sync with size acceptance. One of her novels, Pleasure for Pleasure, focused on Josie, who really is fat and gorgeous, if memory serves; as a fat woman, I enjoyed it, though I suppose I wasn't yet as focused on FA as I am now. I guess this gives me an excellent reason to reread it! :-) She also offers one love story featuring a woman in her 40's, which is quite refreshing in a romance novel.
    James does follow the romance novel formula of a woman gaining self acceptance because a man accepts her first, I think, but in general, her novels are refreshing and smart. She is a literature professor at Rutgers, I think, and the daughter of the well known poet, Robert Bly. Perhaps as a result, her novels are often rich with references to more "canonical" (ugh, but you know what I mean) fabulous poems and plays. Anyway--she's worth reading.
    And--thank you, thank you for this wonderful week of guest blogging!

  4.  
    Judy Bagshaw June 18th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    What? Romance novels don't feature fat girls? I beg to differ. I know for a fact that there are all kinds of romance novels and short stories out there featuring big beautiful women in the lead role. I know, because I wrote some of them, and continue to write them. You can find them through my website www.judybagshaw.com. Or check out one of my publishers, Pearlsong Press. There you'll find my short story collection, full of fat women and in some cases older heroines too! You'll also find Pat Ballard, the Queen of Rubenesque Romances.

    Perhaps Harlequin hasn't quite caught on to the notion that big can be beautiful and sexy too. Too bad. But in the meantime. there are a multitude of other writers and small press publishers who have seen the light. We'd appreciate the support of our efforts.

  5.  
    Jennifer June 18th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    HA! I think I have 2 new favorite quotes:

    " . . . OMG, can there possibly be any more angst associated with a snack food?"

    and

    "I just want to tell them, "Honey, it's not that bad. And you can still get laid."

  6.  
    The Rotund June 18th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    jehovasfitness, that's actually backwards. I don't care what you think about my body and that gives me the freedom to say, hey, this is screwed up. So, you know, maybe try reading the post instead of just telling me to lose weight.

  7.  
    Pat Ballard June 18th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I enjoyed the article. Right on!
    We need more articles like this.

    I would like to mention that I'm the author 6 romance novels and a compilation of short stories featuring Big Beautiful Heroines.

    These are all listed on Powell's Books at:
    http://www.powells.com/s?header=Search+Form&kw=Pat+Ballard

    Also, my publisher, Pearlsong Press - www.pearlsong.com - has several other authors who feature larger heroines in a positive way.

    Thanks again for your article.

    Pat
    www.patballard.com

  8.  
    theAnj June 18th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Wait... isn't this whole argument a bit sexist? In romance novels, both the female AND male leads are versions of a "fantasy" ideal. Isn't it possible that that's what sells the book/story/fantasy/dream? I've yet to see the dashing fat waddling pirate sweep a fair maiden off her feet- and I certainly wouldn't buy a book if that was the case (at least not without a really funny story line)!

  9.  
    colin June 18th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    sex sells. thin women are sexier than fat ones. That is why I think there are not many books featuring overweight women. The story with the fat girl and doughnuts is ridiculous though.

  10.  
    libbyblue June 18th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    thin women are sexier *to you* than fat ones, colin. and the idea that only people matching a particular body ideal ought to be considered sexy is so pervasive that people who feel otherwise are marginalized and told that they are freaky fetishy freaks for having wider or entirely different standards of attractiveness. perhaps you could take a step in a more positive direction by owning your own personal preferences as being precisely that, your own personal preferences, instead of using the cop-out that everybody must feel the same way as you? there is a very fine line between the descriptive and the prescriptive in discussions of what "people" want. owning your preferences brings us one tiny step back from prescribing the desires of others.

  11.  
    Bill Sherman June 18th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Another example of a current Pearlsong Press release featuring a full cast of plus-sized heroines and their loves is the just-published Measure By Measure (http://powells.com/biblio/61-9781597190176-2), on which this writer and his wife, Rebecca Fox, collaborated. Set within a mythical midwestern size acceptance group, the book features a full-figured cast of women (and some men) looking to find love and self-esteem. And some of 'em, in our admittedly biased eyes, are pretty darn sexy, too.

  12.  
    Charlotte June 18th, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    The excerpt about the woman calling the fire department to help her get her remote is one of the most tragically bad pieces of writing I have ever read. It makes me mad on so many different levels.

  13.  
    GeekGirls Rule June 18th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Colin, Sexy is totally subjective. And while you might find skinny women sexy, there are many, many men and women who don't.

    I was joking with a friend last week about how "busy" I was lately, and that I didn't dare lose weight because if any more people found me attractive I'd NEVER get any sleep.

  14.  
    SA June 18th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Yes, as COOP's photos of April Flores clearly show, fat women can't be sexy! (Warning: many NSFW photos. "Red and Green" is totally safe, "Exotica" starts off safe, "La Chaise" is stunning but definitely not safe.)

  15.  
    Sara A. June 18th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    IF fat people don't have sex AND I have sex THEN I must not be fat

    A= Fat people don't have sex
    B= I have sex
    C= I am fat

    A
    B
    ~C QED

    Just wait until I tell my doctor!


    On the subject of romance novels, check out Mary Balough. She does stick with the two main romance novel body types, but all of her characters are well thought out and distinct from each other. They have real life problems and a sense of humor. She deals well with the genre and doesn't get precious about it. She also is pretty knowledgeable about the arts and history and has some interesting arguments about music and theater between characters.

    What I like most though is that she likes to play with genre conventions. She's had a number of novels where the main character is no longer a virgin (very unusual for period romance), are older than usual, and she likes to play with class dynamics as well as traditional morality. She does this while being fun!

  16.  
    sexyfatbitch June 19th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    'thin women are sexier than fat ones.'

    Factually incorrect, I'm as hot as hell.

  17.  
    MarySue June 19th, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Colin, just because you don't find fat women attractive doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people who do find fat women attractive and sexually desireable. I should know, I'm going out with one of them tonight. I think I'll recommend we stop off at Voodoo Doughnut.

  18.  
    men_in_full June 19th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    TheAnj, I would love to see the dashing fat pirate get the girl (and without making him the "funny fat guy," either.) I guess it all depends on what your fantasy *is* - and why should we all be expected to have "off-the-shelf," "mass-produced" fantasies? A little body diversity in genre writing wouldn't hurt at all.

  19.  
    Stephanie June 19th, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I'm glad to know there are some romances out there that feature fat (or fatter) women... trust me, I'll be looking for them! In many instances, a woman will start out fat in a book, but then, as she finds love, suddenly she's losing weight because she starts to "truly value herself." Huh? Gotta be redeemed!

    As far as whether fat women are or aren't sexy... according to the stats, there are a lot of fat women out here, and while they might not be using us in TV advertisements, we're in relationships and we're having sex! Ergo, someone's finding us sexy.

    Finally, I do wish there would be some equality in the descriptions of men, too. Not every guy needs to be ripped. But, I still would bet money that it's easier to find a romance novel featuring a guy who's not a hardbody than it to find one with a fat heroine.

  20.  
    colin June 19th, 2009 at 9:54 am

    If you don't agree the majority of men find overweight women not as sexy as thinner women, you must be very ignorant. Being fat is unhealthy and I do not find that very sexy at all. Similar to how I would feel about a smoker.

  21.  
    LivingTheQuestions June 19th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Colin,
    In case you are interested in this topic, I recommend some reading. Gail Kolata is a science editor for the New York Times, and her recent book, Rethinking Thin, explains the science of weight gain and weight loss quite well. Then, the blog Junk Food Science just today examines the studies that suggest that weight gain seems to have some important health benefits: http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/ It turns out, being fat is not inherently unhealthy.
    And, in terms of attraction: human attraction is complex and beautiful and bigger than any one of us. Certainly, culture affects it: often, young men who are open about their attraction to women who do not fit the cultural standards of beauty are treated badly, themselves, so there may be pressure to hide that attraction. In any case, I hope that we would all be led by kindness and humility, towards acceptance and even (if we're lucky) celebration of the many different ways that those around us experience attraction. Makes life richer.

  22.  
    DRST June 19th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    If you don't agree the majority of men find overweight women not as sexy as thinner women, you must be very ignorant.

    Colin - it being your personal prejudice doesn't make it true.

    Also, if you're basing this argument on what you see in the media, it still isn't true. There's a big difference between men thinking a thin woman in an advert is sexy and men believing only thin women are ever sexy. And since there are a hell of a lot of fat women out there getting laid? I have to assume that this mythical majority you claim to speak for is lying to you.

  23.  
    karl lagerfeld June 19th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    And people subsist on McDonald's too. What's your point?

    Because millions of people eat McDonald's it's good food? What percentage of those millions, would, if they could afford it, eat fine cuisine instead? Or even a high quality burger that costs 10-20 dollars?

    Fat women are plentiful, and largely forced to lower their standards. Most men are also fat or otherwise defective and must lower their standards to the level of fat, or otherwise defective women. So normies get together and have sex, so what? How does that prove that thin, awesome women are not hotter than fat women? The very fact that they are so prized by society and can afford to have much higher standards when it comes to suitors proves that they are.

    Quantity of sexual partners does not equate status or else prostitutes would be raised to royalty.

  24.  
    JoGeek June 19th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I like the fact that the author suggests that hollywood actresses actually eat 1800 calories a day. From how many are quoted and the weight loss regimes they shill for, I'd be surprised if the norm was more than 800 or 1000. After all, who cares if you're eating less than the Geneva Convention anti-torture minimums for enemy combatants, as long as the people with widescreen TV's can see your ribs?

  25.  
    karl lagerfeld June 19th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    lol @ jogeek, setting aside how ridiculously limp wristed the modern definition of "torture" has become, those standards were set with soldiers in mind.

    Soldiers are male, with different caloric requirements than women. My gf subsists on 800-1000 calories a day. Her bmi is 18.6. She claims to feel nothing but great.

    Of course this sounds absurd to a fat woman, since that fat woman needs more calories to maintain her weight.

  26.  
    LivingTheQuestions June 19th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Karl,
    There seems to be some assumption that your girlfriend's caloric needs are normal. I'm not saying that they are not normal, actually: I'm questioning the whole idea of normal. If we chose the mean or average height and ascribed "shoulds" to it, I would question that. If we chose some mean shade of skin color on a color spectrum and called that normal, I would question that. Similarly, I question the assumption that any given weight is normal and some sort of goal to which all women or men should aspire.
    Again, it seems much richer to celebrate the amazing variety of human bodies and loves and experiences. To do so may force us to challenge our assumptions that our experiences are normal. My experiences in my body are just that and nothing more: your girlfriend's caloric intake--whatever it takes to give her joy and health--is just that and nothing more. But the combination of all of our normals isn't normal at all: it's extraordinary.

  27.  
    wouldyoueva June 19th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Soldiers are male, with different caloric requirements than women. My gf subsists on 800-1000 calories a day. Her bmi is 18.6. She claims to feel nothing but great.

    Really? In my reality, the sky is blue, and soldiers are both male & female. What color is the sky in your universe?

    I'm wondering how you know your gf subsists on 800-1000 cals. a day. Do you keep track? How do you know she isn't sneaking food behind your back? I'm not a nutritionist, but I can't imagine how she gets all her nutritional needs met on that little food.

  28.  
    heartfire June 19th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    As I said over at The Rotund, the excerpt from the first book was heinous. Absolutely wretched in a how did the publisher think that was fit to print sort of way. The excerpt from the second book, on the other hand...

    As someone on the fringes of the entertainment industry, I have to say that it's a fairly accurate picture of what goes on in a lot of women's heads. Right or wrong (and we all know just how wrong it is), it is extremely difficult for a woman of even average size to make a mark in the entertainment industry. The industry expects actresses, particularly those who don't want to be typecast as the mom/grandma/best friend/random bit part to be stick thin.

    Remember all the carping and moaning in the media when Renee Zellwiger (yes, I know I butchered the spelling) gained the weight for Bridget Jones and didn't instantaneously drop it? Remember all the stories praising this actress and that actress for being back to pre-baby shape a few short weeks after delivery and the stories that chastise the ones who take longer? I forget who said it, but I remember reading an interview with one actress who said she felt like crap through the entire filming of a movie because of how little she could eat to maintain the look demanded by the production team. I want to say it was Kate Beckinsale regarding one of the Underwold movies, but I don't quite remember.

    I auditioned for a particular show at my alma mater. The director said in the audition that there was no question I could sing anything in the show. Did I get even a chorus part? Heck no. When I asked for feedback, he told me that I was too chubby, that he had already cast enough fat girls. I was a size 12. Still firmly within the size range sold by "normal" stores. Several of the girls were only two dress sizes smaller than me. I could sing circles around them, but a mere two dress sizes killed my chances with this director.

    That was a college production, folks, and not in NYC or LA. People who have the good fortune to make it as far as Kenzie did in the second book are subject to so much more scrutiny and pressure to be stick figures with boobs.

    Regarding feeling like a failure if one leaves LA... To many, leaving, even if you're not happy in the hub city for your sort of acting, is the moral equivalent of giving up, of saying you can't hack it. It's not about the strength it takes to say this is messed up, I'm outta here. It's about the perception that if you leave, you're too weak or not talented enough to be successful. Heck, the prospect of possibly having to go back to the small town I grew up in without having achieved even a tenth of what I wanted to feels like failure, and I'm in a much smaller city than LA or NYC.

    I'm not saying it's right to have to obsess like that. It's flat out wrong to have to starve to be employable in your field, but that's the reality for many women in the entertainment industry. Fanatic exercise and fanatic calorie counting. As far as I'm concerned, the excerpt from the second book sheds some badly needed light on the darker side of the entertainment industry. The only thing that sounded off was the calorie count. It was way too close to what a normal (as in non-entertainment industry) person would eat. In this case, the excerpt suggests that it isn't the book that's warped, it's the heroine's line of work that's warped.

  29.  
    Mary June 19th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Ok, some people seem to be missing part of the point of the article. The autor or autors weren't ONLY complaining about the lack of fat women as leading characters. That could easily be explained by profit margins (even though romance novels are aimed mainly at women and i don't think women would have conflict with a fat leading lady, they might actually relate and enjoy it more). They were also complaining the portrayal of fat women in general and the constant body hating. The body hating is key here, the constant mention of doughnuts as some sort of horrible punishment the woman is inflicting upon herself. Or how she becomes worthless because she may gain a few pounds. Self loathing shouldn't be the norm, and any man who thinks a woman should hate herself for not fitting into his idea of sexy is a flat out idiot.

    Now, if you don't think fat women are sexy, that's fine, it's your choice. But don't impose it on others, sexy isn't an absolute.

    And to Karl Lagerfeld in particular: Aren't we a little self rightous thinking that anyone who dates fat people simply has low stardarts? You are clearly a very superficial person and i don't expect to be able to have a decent argument with someone who seems proud of his girlfriends low BMI and food intake, but don't for a moment dare think taht you are somehow better than someone else just because you consider yourself "normal" and can afford to have "normal standarts" and date thin people. People are so much more than the packages they come in, and attraction isn't simply what they sell you in the magazines.

  30.  
    Flavia June 19th, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    There are so many things I could say, but I will try to keep them down to a minimum.

    1) There's fat & there's fat. As in "Most women aren't really fat, we're just not stick figures." OTOH, there *is* a serious epidemic in this country - which I am convinced comes from the sort of food we eat - but, further elaboration will cause a huge digression, so I will drop it.

    2) Skinny women are NOT sexier than heavier women - I used to be skinny, & even tho' I was still... pursued, I know I look better at a higher weight. But, OTOH, being really fat can be just as unattractive as being too thin - it all depends on the person.

    3) If a person called the EMTs just because of a remote & snacks, they would be entitled to be a trifle snarky. They might even be entitled to arrest that person. So, even if the portrayal was "unfair", their behavior was not "unprofessional".

  31.  
    jehovasfitness June 20th, 2009 at 6:19 am

    I think it should be noted, that everyone has different tastes. But, the vast majority of men prefer women that aren't "fat". Maybe skinny is overdone, as a lot of guys I know prefer women with "meat" on their bones, but these women are no where near fat. In fact, my fiance isn't skinny at 5'7 179 lbs and 38 D I might add :D , but she's not sloppy looking either.
    Fat= turn off
    Skinny as a rail is not good either, but better than the other extreme

  32.  
    minervaK June 21st, 2009 at 12:17 am

    "If you're really bothered by the way black people are portrayed, then don't be black."

    "If you're really bothered by the way disabled people are portrayed, then don't be disabled."

    "If you're really bothered by the way women are portrayed, then don't be female."

    I see your logic.

  33.  
    Momo June 21st, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I read a Harlequin romance novel once where the heroine's body was described thusly: "Her boyish hips..." I stopped reading right there. I mean ew. I didn't want to read about a woman who had a boy's body. That's NOT sexy and NOT romantic. It just made me feel icky.

  34.  
    Colin June 22nd, 2009 at 11:30 am

    DRST, I'm sorry but you weren't correctly reading what I submitted. I never said men believe "only thin women are ever sexy." I tried to make it clear that it was not an all or nothing concept. Also, just because "there are a hell of a lot of fat women out there getting laid" does not make fat women sexier than skinnier women.
    Honestly this does not make sense to me. Fat women saying how hot they are. You shouldn't believe you're hot just because a FAT WOMEN says that you are. Unless of course you are a homosexual who likes fat women but I assume you are heterosexual.

  35.  
    LivingTheQuestions June 22nd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Colin, the whole idea of what is inherently "sexiER" is perhaps part of the problem that folks are having with your post. Different people find different things sexy, as you admitted; and over the course of a lifetime, one person will find different people sexy. What is sexiER than something else only matters within one given person: some folks are sexier to me than others, but then that starts all over with the next person, who will find see sexiness in a different group than I do. And someone can find a woman sexy after having known her without attraction for quite some time: "sexy" rests of shifting sands.
    Why is it so (apparently) distressing to you to read other people's reflections that what you find sexiest is not universal? Why does it need to be? Why is this an emotional issue for you? Some of my friends are attracted to men with long hair; others to tall women; some to black women, some to men of asian descent; some men I know are attracted to heavier women, many to smaller women. It's part of the gorgeous diversity of human... indeed, all... life.

  36.  
    jehovasfitness June 22nd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    minerva, are you kidding me? Your logic makes no sense. Being fat is a choice for the vast majority of people.
    Being black or handicap is not.
    And please don't give me the crap that being fat is not a choice.
    Look in someone's fridge or shopping cart and you can tell why they look the way they do.

  37.  
    Karl Lagerfeld June 22nd, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    lol @ wouldyoueva.

    I'd wager that less than 1% of the POW's or enemy combatants in history have been female. Even now women in combat positions is a rare, rare thing. So in your fairytale world where women can and in fact do, do everything men do, it must make perfect sense that if women are half the population, there MUST be female POW's right? Wrong. In fact the more you walk down this road, the more you look like an idiot. Obviously when they wrote the definitions for torture for ENEMY combatants they were thinking of men.

    Just as when they wrote a recommended dosage for Viagra they were probably thinking of adults. Could babies theoretically take Viagra? Sure, it's just a pill. I suppose they might, just as women might be a significant, relevant percentage of the POW population. But the idea that a recommended dosage for viagra considers the remote possibility of a baby consuming it is just as idiotic as your claims that the people who write rules for POW torture were seriously considering the caloric needs of women and men.

    As far as my gf's bmi and calorie intake. Yes I'm pretty sure she only consumes on average 1k calories per day. This idea that this can't possibly be healthy is ridiculous as even according to Harris Benedict, her bmr is 1225. As she is trying to lose a couple pounds, she is consuming less than her bmr. I doubt something around 18% underconsumption represents an impossible nutrition standard.

  38.  
    Colin June 22nd, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Sure sexiness can refer to many attributes but in this case can we please stick to body type? I'm not trying to argue that all men should like a non-overweight Caucasian women with brown hair. What I am trying to say is most men find non overweight women sexier than fat ones.

  39.  
    Colin June 22nd, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    "I used to be skinny, & even tho' I was still... pursued, I know I look better at a higher weight"
    Perfect example. Just because you weighed less than before does not mean you looked better skinnier. Very skinny is not attractive the same way being to fat is.

  40.  
    LivingTheQuestions June 23rd, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Colin, I recommend this article: http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006/06/22/big_love/index.html

  41.  
    Lissa June 23rd, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Honestly, I'm a bit puzzled as to why there are so many comment about what men find attractive in a woman in this thread. The original article was about romance novels which, while some men may read them, are overwhelmingly marketed to women. So men's tastes in the real world, whatever they may be, seem rather beside the point.

  42.  
    Hands June 24th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I work out 3 times a week. I work a job where I'm on my feet and walking 8 hours a day. I don't eat sugar, I eat little to no meat, I subsist mainly on fresh, raw fruits and veggies along with whole grains. I eat organic as much as I can, and I never have fast food. I probably average around 1800 calories a day. My main indulgence is coffee, and as we all know, black coffee has, like, 2 calories a cup.

    And yet, I weigh 40 pounds more than all those charts tell me I "should". I probably am perceived as a fat girl. What other "choices" do I need to make to stop being fat?

    Btw, I love the way I look. I feel great, I feel sexy, and I am confident and happy in my own skin. Frankly, I think those are the main things someone needs to be sexy: confidence and happiness.

  43.  
    spinsterwitch June 24th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Great article, although I'd already read some of the original blog posts...there's a good link I have to a list of romances with plus-sized and taller heroines.

    I think what gets frustrating for me, as a fat activist, about some of the romances that I read with plus-sized heroines is that they often focus around weight loss (I haven't read some of the authors who commented above, so don't yell...). Or the trope is used in which the heroine mysteriously loses weight when she falls in love.

    Bahhh! Silly authors.

  44.  
    gwynneth June 24th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    the women may be fictional but i feel like writers must put a lot of themselves into their characters, and that includes their flaws. people are flawed. you think the author should write about a perfect world where no one has skewed images of themselves and guilty pleasures? you can't tell her her writing is wrong. you don't have to like it, but i don't think you can say it's right or wrong.

  45.  
    Peggy Elam, Ph.D. June 24th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Kate & Marianne, I'm enjoying your book and your blog posts. As a psychologist and the founder of Pearlsong Press, I'm trying to make a difference in the way fat people are portrayed in fiction and treated in the publishing industry.

    These posts and comments have inspired me to schedule a couple of teleconference calls in July and August in which several Pearlsong authors and I discuss creating and publishing fat-positive fiction. I would love for you two to join the discussion.

    The calls are recorded and archived at our website (www.pearlsong.com/pearlsongconversations.htm), and I broadcast edited recordings on my Health At Every Size show on Radio Free Nashville. They're another way of spreading a body-positive message as well as promoting books.

    Thus far the teleconference call participants include Lynne Murray, author of the Josephine Fuller mystery series (her new book, Bride of the Living Dead, will be published by Pearlsong Press), Pat Ballard, the Queen of Rubenesque Romances and author of 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are), and Ellen Frankel, author of the memoir Beyond Measure and co-author of The Diet Survivors' Handbook. More authors may join us.

    Those of you reading and commenting here who would like to read more fat-positive fiction, please consider participating in our Pearlsong Conversation! We welcome your comments and questions.

  46.  
    sexyfatbitch June 25th, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Sure sexiness can refer to many attributes but in this case can we please stick to body type?

    Blow up dollies are all about the body type.

  47.  
    gwynneth June 25th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    i think this is censorship. if you want to see a book about what you want, then you write it.

  48.  
    vanessa June 29th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I beg to differ, I've read at least 2 (that I can think of off the top of my head right now) that are some what body positive and the heroines are NOT the stereotypical skinny girl, nor do they at any point become one. Granted, their sizes/weights are not specified, but you get the picture they're not supermodels.


    Real Women Don't Wear Size 2 - by Kelley St. John
    Too Much Temptation - Lori Foster


    When I feel like delving into fantasyland (where a fat girl CAN get some action from a hot guy), these are two of the books I return to over and over again.

  49.  
    Elizabeth June 29th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Draumr Publishing, LLC is currently looking for "big beautiful heroines" manuscripts for their "Dangerous Curves" imprint.

    http://www.draumrpublishing.com/submissions.php

  50.  
    SNd July 6th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    I spent Independence Day with family at the County park, where a carnival was setup.

    Little did i realize the social experiement data which would be so directly clear.

    There were 2 carnival food trailers setup right next to each other. One had elephant ears, fried potato chips, french fries, etc. The other was a tropical fruit smoothie vendor, whom took fresh fruit with ice to make smoothies.

    Each of them had a long line.

    The clarity was unbelievable. Obese people at one line, non-obese people on the other. Complete obese families in the fried food line, giving evidence that family traits can lifestyle and choices (rather than genetics).

    This was so obvious, it became a topic of disucssion with the group whom attended. Everyone agreed.

  51.  
    GoodGracious July 6th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Gosh, SNd, I guess those fat people somehow managed to reproduce, despite so many odds of unattractiveness stocked up against them. I'm sure they were all crying on the inside, like they should be, due to their poor choices.

    I look forward to seeing the official release of your scientific research. The data gathering you've been engaged in sounds truly accurate and remarkable. Surely no one could be able to offer any contradictory anecdotal evidence to your observations.

  52.  
    sexyfatbitch July 8th, 2009 at 8:27 am

    'Complete obese families in the fried food line, giving evidence that family traits can lifestyle and choices (rather than genetics).'

    Really?

    I once knew a family round my way that dealt drugs, their clients were slim and
    so where they.

    I didn't come to any weight conclusions about it, but maybe it explains why SNd,
    can't stick to the point of this post, which is a dearth of fat heroines in
    romance novels.

  53.  
    Colin July 9th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    "Blow up dollies are all about the body type."
    I'd rather a blow up doll than a "sexy fat bitch" :)

  54.  
    SNd July 12th, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Obesity is a killer, and it's not sexy. So you find a doctor whom tells you you're healthy. Feel good, fight the trolls on the authors site, argue that health isn't related to obesity.

    Give it a few years, when diabetes and joint problems wreak havoc on your body. You will regret it. 300lbs is unhealthy, and you would be in total denail to argue otherwise.

    No, it is not genetics. Genetics don't change as rapidly as obesity is overtaking America. If your mother, aunt, sister, brother is fat - then you learned your eating and excercise habits from them.

  55.  
    Kat July 13th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    You know what...it's all according to taste. As I tell my daughter....we ARE fat...it's the way we are...embrace it and don't be embarrassed by it....why should we, it's who we are! If someone calls her fat....well then the way I tell her to handle it is to ask them how long it took them to think up the obvious. Wow....what an epiphany! Some people like fat people and some people don't. If you are fat (as I am) let it bother you or snicker at them (as I do) when they very smartly say to you...fat ass...no really? I didn't know that....great observation genius! Who cares? I mean really.....if every fat joke, fat reference, or appalled look you get bothers you....something is wrong with you and your image of yourself. Be honest with yourself and don't let the honesty of others shock or bother you....we all make blond jokes, black jokes, Pollock jokes, Jewish jokes....why is fat any different....because it's true and it hurts? Aghhh! If you don't like being fat...do something about it...me {shrug} I'm lazy about losing weight but the health problems associated with it? Well, that is just scary...so, if and when I decide to lose weight...it will be for ME and my health not because some durned book referenced a fat woman and a box of doughnuts or because some stranger told me I'm fat and gross and to lose weight! Just be honest with yourself and to hell with everyone else. Enjoy, embrace and be YOU fat OR skinny!!! But also be honest with yourself about the health risks...they are real....One more thing; I disagree that fat can not be sexy....after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I don't think that EVERY 'beholder' out there thinks that a size 2 is more beautiful than a big curvy gal with nice legs!!! POWER TO THE FAT CHICKS!!!!

  56.  
    sabrina_dragonlady July 25th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    (I apologise for bad grammar because engish is not my mother language)
    hello! I came here not really a lot into the subject but I understand the point. I agree with what you say for the most part. I wanted to say that I read romantic novels since I was young and I love them but I find that is not only the fat part that is wrong. Two things that are constant. She has a beautiful body and a beautiful face. Ok... the fat thing I dont know... it bothers me but I think they colud be not obese wich i dont think is healty but they could be a bit more realistic ok?They dont need to be perfect.. and one thing I ask... youre fat? Ok, if you want to you can change it (Of course I dont say its easy cos Im not skinny trust me, not fat but I dont have what you would call an atractive body...)But what the hell happens if youre ugly? someone tought of that? What do I do tell me? Do I get surgery on my face? I dont understand. I know I can live with it, I know I can learn to accept myself... I dont know... must all the girls have beautiful features? Perfect soft skin, color eyes most of the time, beautiful lips, long beautiful some strange color hair...
    beautiful beautiful beautiful... aparently thats all there is. I try to think diferent but all I get from the outside is youre never gonna be good enough... So meaby im wrong, I dont know. Is just what I feel

  57.  
    Wait.. October 26th, 2010 at 9:24 am

    There are books with fat heroines. There are books with fat heros ( albeit very rare).
    But i have yet to see a romance novel about TWO fat/ugly People.
    You know why?
    Because of the publishers D:.
    Beautiful = MONEY
    It sells.
    Look at twilight.
    The 'plain' heroine can't keep saying about Edward's ' sexy tanned muscular ultra hot body'.
    And 99% of the fanbase are girls.
    You can put them together yourselves.

  58.  
    meg November 6th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Regarding the article, I was appalled at the 350 lbs woman that wanted her remote. I agree that the editor should have taken more notice and have not let it get to the point of publishing because it clearly made everyone involved look like a twit.

    I also agree that romance novels are "fantasy" and that many who read the novels look for a place and plot that is completely different from their own lives. A place to visit and get away from the hustle and bustle of life. The majority of the romance books cater to athletic caucasion men and women with the occassional half bloods and the only "plump" women or men in the books are the motherly nannies, irritating bosses, or the villians, etc....I, for one, am tired of all of the main characters resembling the same featues from book to book and author to author. The only thing that seems to change are their eye and hair coloring, shape of their nose, and depending on the writer how plump the woman's lips will be. I found this website simply because I typed in "romance books with fat women" on my Google search bar....and I did this because I'm overweight and now divorced and wanting to read about overweight and divorced mother's falling in love! I relate to that now. I no longer relate to skinny single women in their 20s like I used to. I think it is important to remember we read what we can relate to with a twist of fantasy to take our minds away from the hustle and bustle of life.

    Also, on the comment on who is sexy and who is not. We all have different tastes and preferences and thank goodness for that!! But I do have a question...are we really talking apples to apples here? When fat is being talked about the question is "what is fat?" "what is obese?" "what is normal?" "what is too skinny?"....everyone will have a different answer for each unless you are following a common number of statistics regarding BMI, weight, height, caloric intake, etc. Also, keeping in mind that you cannot always judge a person's size or weight just by looking at them. I've yet to find one person, including those who fit women in fashion clothing on a daily basis, to be able to accurately guess my size and weight.

    My ex found me to be disgusting but then a boyfriend found me to be curvy and beautiful. It is all on how I reflect myself incombination with their preferences. I have always had an issue with weight on certain parts of my body. However, when I exercise I am one to pack on defined muscles. After I had my children I gained alot of weight and then lost it but I didn't do a great job with the exercising so now I have loose skin that must be cosmetically removed. Life happened to me...mixed with good choices and bad choices. Does that make me unsexy?

    For those of you reading this, I wonder what I look like to you while you are trying to invision me? When I say I gained alot of weight....am I 300 lbs to you? 200lbs?? When I say loose skin are you thinking about skin hanging from my stomach to my knees and the skin of my arms flapping in the wind? Do you see me with three chins? See...this is not an apple to apple comparison. So getting into arguments about fat people being sexy or not sexy is irrelevant. For all we know, Colin finds women a size 12 fat and that is the average size of a women in the US last I had heard. I am a mother that weighs 200 lbs but I do not look 200 lbs and I wear size 18 clothing, XL is most shirts but depending on the cut of clothing and bust size I have to go to a 2X. Not that that matters but I wanted to help you invision me incase you were to have tried to imagine what I looked like and see if your apples compared to my apples...incase one of us had an orange in the basket by mistake :).

    The lengthy and long winded point I'm trying to make is that (well many points actually):

    1. It is never in our place to judge others especially outter appearances. It goes against the Golden Rule.

    2. Yes health risks are important and we should all eat healthy and exercise.

    3. Readers should have the opportunity to find novels that relate to their everyday lives and if that means writing about non-hollywood beauties and non-Hugh Hefner type babes then so be it...take the plunge and write about divorced overweight mothers falling in love...father's included!

  59.  
    Deer Jesus June 5th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I don't actually read romance novels. I found the article interesting though.

    My comment is more so directed towards the people saying that fat isn't sexy and that it's "unhealthy". What does it matter to you? You are not these people dealing with these situations. My health and romantic life are no real concern of yours. You seem to be forgetting that we fat people are HUMAN and as fellow human beings we deserve the same respect and dignity that you expect to get yourselves. So, seriously, stop coming to FA blogs and communities just to troll.

  60.  
    Slightly Confused February 22nd, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    None of this really has much to do with the article, though I can understand people's frustrations with other comments being made. The 350 lb woman scene was quite incorrect. I am 300+ lbs and 6 ft tall, and I do martial arts and was a vegetarian for 12 years or so. I just think it depends on body structure and the life we are given.
    And men not thinking larger women are sexy, is also incorrect. History confirms the sexiness of larger women. Each culture, era, and society are different on how they view sex and relationships. Honestly, I would like to read a story about 2 larger people being together. It would make it more realistic to me, because of my personal experiences.

    It's just how "you" define the word sexy, and whether or not these stories relate to "you" (as the reader). Keep in mind, that different genders view concepts and meanings in various ways. It's an on-going issue.

  61.  
    Ayrialakira February 25th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Okay that was way over the line in the story about the fat girl calling 911 for her remote-
    clearly the auther who wrote that series wanted to get a point across in her writing, i hate that- just like when authers write there beliefs as there characters beliefs in there own books. reading all the comments~ fat girls are healthy in a sence, and they are beautiful!, im not gay but i have to say I have found some big girls really sexy!, and find i myself beautiful~ i have a lot! of very skinny friends who can't do anything about there weight because they have health issues-but many say they wish they were my size because they hate it when their ribs show, and others that have lost weight said they wish they were big again because they hate not having curves. and to other comments i understand if you don't find Big girls attractive, that's you opinion. and to others--I have found mean who are bigger very attractive, not over the top but that has a little belly-it's cute to me! >//< some of my friends think im crazy because of it but hey i don't care! XD I found this Article refreshing, mostly because it made me laugh and agree with the writer! oh and to those who don't like curves! if you ever take that step maybe you will like what you see XD joking-maybe im not. . . . :3

  62.  
    MusicLover March 5th, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    "What the shit kind of crack rock logic is that?"

    Okay I just had to say that made me laugh so hard I cried because that is definitely something I'd say in a fit of rage! Hahaha!

    Now back to the conversation.. xD

    I turn 18 in 23 days and I have to say I've been reading romance novels since I was 9 and I got into adult fiction at 14 because I just couldn't stand teen novels! Most books I've read do not commonly show "big" or "fat" women. If anything they say the vague term "curvy" which is fine but they never give an-- I guess you could call it-- "exact dimension" of this so-called curvy figure. I personally think more description other than big or the female calling themselves fat is needed to describe the character's body.

    I find myself in agreement with meg's opinion stated because it really is a case of apples to apples. And to be a good sport I'll even add a description of myself :)

    I'm 4'10", I walk 4-7 miles a day, and I weigh 129 lbs. I've worked for a year as of March 11 on dieting, losing weight, and exercising and I've lost 10 lbs. The sad thing is my doctor told me that according to my personal charts I need to be 120 to be BORDERLINE healthy. Like some girls I started puberty at 10 years old and gained 30 lbs that weren't my fault and I'd like to be at 115 lbs even if it seems impossible.

    I call myself fat because I can not look in the mirror without feeling disgusted knowing that to most people I am not considered attractive and the skinny Asian girl next to me who lacks the intelligence and personality I have (not to sound special or better but just in general) is more likely to be liked and loved despite her superficial behavior and views. Does quantity mean less quality? Sometimes I feel that where I live it does.

    Does that mean I want to be some skinny size zero? No but I work on myself everyday and I might be so goal oriented that it's dangerous since I'm eating 600 calories a day. I feel like I have to struggle more to be the weight that most girls around me take for granted and maybe if our society portrayed big as beautiful as often as they did skinny as beautiful maybe our suicide rates and issues with anorexia and bulimia nervosa wouldn't be so high. I'm doing a graduation project on the media and there is a study of Indian girls who began having these eating disorders once exposed to American media in large amounts so to deny what is happening or say "sex sells" is just stupid when it is at the cost of lives.

    Sorry to be so chatty but I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe something should be changed. Maybe more people need to approach this issue and make our authors aware that as much as we value what they do now more needs to be done to bring stories back that relate to the common person and showing people and readers that something as heart-racing love is REAL and CAN happen to a common person who may not be a size 4.

    I have not experienced something so simple yet complicated in my life and sometimes I still shyly hope for it. I may be naive and stupid but at least I have hope that we will be better than what we are now.

  63.  
    Elizabeth March 26th, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Personally, I think it is wonderful that there are so many different sizes and types of men and women. What fun would the world be if you couldn't try new things with new people and have variety? Sure obesity can be unhealthy. Sure obesity can be ugly to some. Skinny can too. That's why there is variety. I think obesity is a choice, I mean we do pick what we eat, however, I have always wondered why it is that some can just stop at one piece of pizza and be full and think no more about it, while others can't. Why it is that some don't think about the leftovers in the fridge while others can't sleep because there are leftovers in the fridge. For you to understand that statement you would have to have a weight problem because otherwise it doesn't make sense. It should be a simple thing to just leave the leftovers alone, but to a person who has a weight problem it isn't.

    Anyhow, as far as attractiveness goes, I really believe that 50% of people prefer socially acceptable weighted humans and the other 50% are attracted to the larger variety. Socially acceptedness is a matter of who said what outloud that someone else agreed with. Kind of like a rumor. Someone says something and another person agrees and then suddenly its the truth or a trend.

    I believe that what it truly comes down to is that we all have a preference and no preference is really more preferred than another. We are all insecure and all have flaws and all like what we like. BUT just because you like something doesn't mean that MOST do.

    Books for Plus size:
    Promises Prevail By Sara McCarty... Doctor's Delight by Angela Verdenius... Wrath by Lauren Dohner.... Reasons I fell For the Funny Fat Friend..... The DUFF.... got tons of them.

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