Welcome back to fablesandfae!
Before you continue reading this post make sure you have a big mug of coffee or tea at the ready! If you don’t take a few moments and go brew yourself a tantalizing, steaming cup of tea (or coffee, if you like that stuff).
Okay, ready? Let’s jump into the first Tea Talk on this platform!
For those of you that have been following my bookish channel, you may know that I had a segment of the same name on my youtube channel (which you can find here if you are interested).
Annnywaaaaaay. The reason that you are here. Hopefully, you clicked on this blog post because the title got some kind of reaction out of you.
Today we are going to be talking about the lack of fat representation in books– namely books in the fantasy, and science-fiction genres.
I can count the number of books I’ve read with a fat protagonist on one hand. Hell, I can count them on three fingers.
As someone who has been labeled as ‘fat’ for many years, it’s disheartening to never see an overweight main character in books. That’s not to say that fat people aren’t seen in novels- for sure they are, in really insulting and horrid roles. Usually, the fat character is used as a punchline in the joke, or as the villain (see Ursula from The Little Mermaid). Oh, and don’t even get me started on the idea that
fat characters need to lose weight in order to be successful/find love/finish their quest. If I see this portrayed in a book ONE MORE TIME I SWEAR TO THE GODS. UGH.
(Note: If you are reading this and you consider yourself fat or plus-size, you are perfect the way you are! You do not need to lose weight to increase your self-worth. You are worth an entire freaking universe of diamonds.)
It’s the age of #OwnvVoices and finding representation for more diverse characters throughout the various genres of literature. More and more publishers and agents are signing on writers who are POC or whose books feature POC. We are seeing more characters with disabilities and illnesses and while I am in no way saying that being fat is on the same level of misrepresentation as being a person of colour is, I am saying that I am sick and tired of not being able to identify with the skinny, athletic, gorgeous-without-even-trying protagonists that authors love to write (I’m guilty of this too in early works). Where are all my equally beautiful fat characters?
When I read/watched The Hunger Games and Divergent and The Maze Runner and Red Queen (and—–are you getting the picture here?) all I could think was that I could do what they were doing, too. Sure, it might take me a little bit of training first before I can embark on a cross-country adventure without passing out or breaking something, but I could do it. Fat people could do it. There seems to be this belief that fat people are stationary, incapable beings. Our presence is missed in works of fiction. AND THAT IS A PROBLEM.
We continuously tell young adults to love themselves and that they should be #bodypositive and know their worth but here we are writing all of these amazing books about amazing heroic characters…. and they can’t see themselves in any of them. They see another stereotypical “beautiful” girl being fought for by two extremely handsome men. I’m all for these stories don’t get me wrong but we need to start being more inclusive to not only skin
They say that the best way to write a novel is to write what you wish you could read. That’s why my current work in progress is a YA Fantasy (duology?!) that centers around a kick-ass, beautiful, fat main character named Anara.
I challenge you, as you pick up the pen, or open your computer to start writing your next great novel to remember all of the fat girls that could be reading your work one day. All I ask is that you don’t forget about them and you think about being their voice.
We can do so much better than this.
We need to do so much better than this.
Thanks for stopping by my first ever Tea Talk!
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Have a wonderful day,