sergeant-thundershield said: I've done searches and looked around, but I haven't found anything to help that isn't tinged with fatphobia (sometimes Google sucks). Do you know of any good resources to help a thin person with zero experience of fatphobia write a fat character in a novel? The heroine of my novel's fat and I really, really don't want to fuck it up.
Basically, every character has three considerations: Internal motivation, history, and present context. A person who has been oppressed and/or discriminated against might find each of those considerations affected by her oppression.
Her internal motivation (what are her goals? What makes her act, love, run, sit, dream?) might be skewed because she has been told she can’t or shouldn’t do certain things, or that she should value passing and gaining privilege more than the goals that privileged people get to have. You need to determine how (or how not) and why her internal motivation has been changed due to her membership in an oppressed group.
Her history has certainly been affected, which itself might be the reason her internal motivation was changed. Build that history. Has she been sheltered from fatphobia and only when, say, entering college experienced it? How did that affect her? Was she bullied for her weight her whole life, and to what extent?
And finally, there’s the present context. What kind of fatphobia does she have to deal with (or not) now? Why? Who leans on her the hardest, and to what extent is damage being inflicted upon her?
Now, it might sound like in order to write a fat character you have to make her fatness the focal point, but that’s not what I’m saying here. Maybe she’s an opera singer, and her unusual voice and style is the focal point. Maybe her fatness won’t even come up in the narrative but a few times. But don’t make her the fat unicorn who has never come across any fatphobia or is blithely unaffected by it — it’s unrealistic and will make the character ring hollow to a reader. Perhaps her story is one of aftermath, occurring after she’s come to terms with how her fatness is denigrated by the culture. Perhaps she comes from a culture that does not denigrate fatness and has been newly placed in one that does. Whatever her context, she deserves one, as any character who is a member of an oppressed group deserves one.
I hope this helps somewhat.
This morning, at the gym, she asked me to talk about the small group training and why I wasn’t sure about it. I mentioned that I didn’t really want to be in a group that was focused on weight loss. She made another comment about how “trimming up” would help with my goal of doing a pull-up. That’s when the Fuck-Off Fairy showed up.
The Fuck-Off Fairy is a special kind of fairy. She shows up on the night of your 30th birthday, while you are sleeping, and waves a magic wand over you.
Who took this hideous picture of me?!
Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.
Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.
“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.
I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.
“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it, mom.”
“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.
“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”
I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.
My daughter walks over and takes a look.
“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I love it.”
I take a deep breath.
This is exactly what I needed.
My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.
I still see my dimply, fat thighs.
I also see a mom collapsed on the shore that just explored the lake for hours with her children.
I still see chubby arms.
I also see the arms of a mom that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.
I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.
I also see an adventurous mom that loves her children something fierce.
Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.
Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…
I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.
Yes. You heard me.
“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”
Well… not exactly. But something like that.
Is it because I’m getting older? Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look? Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.
Really, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t hate my body anymore.
That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.
I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.
Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.
Thank you, kids.
Hi! First submission. I love, love, love this blog!
I am 17 years old, 200lbs, 5’0”, 40C, and I usually wear a size 18/XXL US.
In the left photo I am wearing a XXL sweater and size 18S skinny jeans, both from Target. In the right photo, I’m wearing a men’s XXL hoodie sweatshirt from god knows where and size L shorts from Walmart. No makeup or editing in the right-hand photo.
Know that you are allowed to love yourself and you are allowed to love your body, no matter what size.
I love this!!
Can we talk about the girl for the first half of this video and HOW AMAZING she is!
"Baby Got Back:" Sir Mix-A-Lot with the Seattle Symphony (by SeattleSymphony)
this is important
I’m sorry, what was that about fat people not being able to pole dance?????
What was that about fat people not having agility and the strength to do dance moves and shit while fat???
WHAT WAS THAT?
existing as a fat person and loving yourself
instead of hating yourself
#FatShamingWeek (Frequently Asked Tonjes) (by Meghan Tonjes)
Loving your body and being comfortable with it is one of the most rebellious things you can do in this world.
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