Reading Fat Folks

What is this project?

My ongoing search that started in December 2016 is to find positive representations of folks who identify as fat women (update 11/2021: or nonbinary). That positive representation will not hinge on the character being miserable and then happy after losing weight or falling in love. Characters may lose or gain weight as their bodies change for myriad reasons (though I try not to promote dieting or exercising as a means to lose weight). Characters may fall in love, but I’m not looking for love to be the catalyst for self-acceptance. I also will not recommend books in which the character pulls her body apart and criticize pieces (I call this the “chicken dinner”). I may make errors in my judgement; I’m just one person, and my journey through body liberation is long and changes as I learn.

I purposely use the word “fat” because it is not a bad word. Using plump, curvy, plus-sized, fluffy, big-boned, shapely, voluptuous, or any other term suggests that fat is bad and thus needs a euphemism.

Common comments people leave online about fat people:

Are you concerned that writing about fat people glorifies poor health? Please keep that comment to yourself and read this article instead.

No, I’m not a subscriber to body positivity. Here’s more info about that.

Yes, shaming people for being fat is actually bad for their health. Yes, this is proven by science. “Tough love” does not alter fat bodies to be more socially acceptable in the eye of the commenter.

Some books are complicated. Some are good but have issues. I try to be clear about why I would/would not recommend a book and am happy to answer questions about individual books at grabthelapels AT gmail DOT com.

Books by Genre: