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What makes someone a fat-positive character and not just a fat character?

Does it have more to do with the character's personal attitudes (e.g. not apologizing for their weight, demanding respect for their body as it is), with other characters' attitudes towards them (e.g. not treating them differently than characters of "normal" weight, or getting called on it if they do), or with the way fat characters are portrayed in general in relation to thin characters (e.g. the fat girl isn't the only character who can't get a date, the thin guy eats as much as the fat guy)?

Discuss.

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Fat-Friendly Children's Books

Check out the two guest posts by Rebecca Rabinowitz over at Shapely Prose on fat friendly children's books.

Review: The Curse of the Holy Pail

I read Too Big to Miss a few weeks ago and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped. The writing was mediocre at best, and my excitement at finally discovering a book with a fat female lead was overshadowed by the fact that the way Jaffarian handled the fat acceptance/self acceptance themes didn’t add to the story but distracted from it. I hate novels that preach at me, even if I agree with what’s being preached. But I did find the storyline and characters enjoyable and figured any kniks in the writing style, as well as further development of the characters, might be worked out later; the first book in a series, in my experience, is usually one of the worst. So I kept reading to see how it turned out, and I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed The Curse of the Holy Pail a lot more.

The writing is, to be frank, still subpar. Lots of “telling, not showing,” awkward infodumping, and ending chapters or changing the course of a conversation in what seems to be the middle of a thought. I can tell that Jaffarian is going for an informal, down-to-earth style of narration, and when it works it’s lovely, but I often found it distracting.

But The Curse of the Holy Pail succeeded where Too Big to Miss did not in presenting an array of different body types without sounding preachy or unrealistic. The characters are fleshed out more, and some interesting things are set up for future character development. Even Steele, the recurring “villain,” is developed into a multi-dimensional character with complex motives–something I wish had been extended to Odelia’s charicature of a fatphobic family.

The mystery itself is over-the-top and slightly silly–it reminds me of Remington Steele, in a very good way–but it is not so exaggerated as to be unbelievable. The plotting is excellent, and the twists at the end are unpredictable and at the same time make perfect sense. The romance subplot was both sweet and heartbreaking, and I won’t lie that that’s a good part of the reason I want to continue reading the series.

Altogether it’s a fun and lighthearted read, immensely enjoyable despite its flaws.

xposted

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Sex and Bacon

I know that this is not a fiction book, but it does address eating and food in a size positive way. Sarah is a former sex worker, and a member of inbetweenies and on lj as markedformetal. I don't know how many other people have read the book, but it is really good, and a frank look at the relationship between sex, food, and how we view our bodies. Her chapter on her working in a corporate setting and eating lunch with the other women in the area she worked in is interesting- especially how they viewed some foods as good and bad, how they viewed going to the gym as a virtuous thing to do, and how they were constantly picking apart their imagined flaws. The whole tone of the book is about loving yourself and loving your body- loving your curves and embracing the body you have.

I really do enjoy it and am on my third reading of it. I think I would be saying that even if she weren't on my f-list and I did not have a signed copy. Really.

Comics

Does anyone know of any fat comic book characters? The only one I can think of is Gertrude from Runaways, and she's not even "overweight," just "normal weight" (according to Wikipedia), in comparison to the usual comic book women who look like they're about to snap in two at the waist.

Mod Post: Interests

I'm looking to flesh out our interests list with fat-positive characters, books, etc. What kinds of things would you guys like to see there?
 Has anyone read Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy? And if so, any thoughts on the main character, Nevare Burvelle? 


Thoughts, anyone? (please excuse my heat addled brain X3)

To start us off...

I recently started watching Criminal Minds after seeing someone recommend it over at fattie_rage  because of Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness). Wow, she is awesome.

I also think Jonathan Creek is a brilliant show, and Caroline Quentin is amazing as Maddy.

I think part of what I love about both characters is that size is a non-issue. They're just the size they are, and it doesn't matter.

I can't think of many other positive fat female characters on TV. Although I did watch Robin Hood for a while (even though it's terribly silly) and really loved the fact that Marian (Lucy Griffiths) was, while not particularly fat, what would be considered chubby for an actress, and it was incredibly disappointing to me when I caught part of the beginning of Season 2 only to find that she'd dieted herself skinny.

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