Truly fat women in books and movies are most often villains, mammies, overbearing mothers-in-law, or unlikable tertiary characters (think the irritable secretary with a box of donuts in her desk drawer). The chick lit boom brought us a handful of chubby to moderately fat heroines â€” the aforementioned Jones, Jemima J., Cannie Shapiro, Heather Wells â€” but you almost never see a non-thin female character in a mainstream novel whose weight is not a major issue for her. Jemima and Cannie struggle with their weight and eventually lose a lot of it. Bridget yo-yos within about a 10-pound, not-really-fat range, and only considers liking her slightly plumper self when a man comes along and says he does. Two of Meg Cabot’s three novels featuring “average-sized amateur investigator” Heather insist that she is “not fat” right in the title. You hear? Not fat! Don’t even think such an awful thing! Also, why the hell are a bunch of mysteries titled with references to the protagonist’s weight in the first place?
I just finished reading a cute fluffy book called Holly’s Inbox and I had the experience I often do, of trying to figure out what size the character is. She refers to herself as wanting to lose weight and being larger than a size four, but I think it’s a Bridget Jones-type situation, because she also talks about wearing a bikini at one point (dead giveaway that she’s thin). Weight is not mentioned very much at all in this book, but even when I’m reading fluff, I want to know where I stand, if you know what I mean.
So what was the last book you read with a female protagonist? What size was she? And how was it dealt with?
Posted by mo pie