So I just read the blurb for this new book coming out called Dumplin'. Here it is:
Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.
It sounds great right, heck I almost can't wait to read it. Now for those of you who wondered why I used the world "almost" here's the section that drew me up short, o show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Now I'm a size 6 in most things, but I was a very late bloomer in high school so I was very very very small. I for one, as I'm sure most of you are as well, am 100% pro #weneeddiversebooks. I love that we're including everything under that hashtag. We're including LGBT, people with mental disorders, those who are physically disadvantaged, those who don't fit gender norms, those who are varying races, and yes, those with varying waistlines.
Now a reoccurring theme that I have seen in books, movies and so forth is something I like to call thin shaming. Twigs. Bony. Skinny minnie. Unhealthy. Skin and bones. And from a song "All That Bass,"(a song I really like Skinny Bitches). I have noticed that at times, while trying to show full figured women that they are indeed beautiful, we can at times, use negative terminology with regards to those who aren't full figured, and basically... that irritates the hell out of me. One day my friends said that in Easy A Emma Stone looked unhealthy.
She looks fine to me, she's just little. And I really like Meghan Trainor and I'm not trying to slam her or anything, but skinny bitches? Really. I'm just not a fan and I don't even consider myself skinny. I consider myself average, and yet I'm still insulted. Everybody can have body image issues, no matter what their pant size, and calling people twiggy or skinny bitches isn't doing anyone any good.
Now I haven't ready Dumplin' because it isn't even published yet, but that one word in the descriptor got my juices flowing, and this is what poured out. I don't think authors, song writers, or script writers, or even the every day average Joe means to be insulting when they make passive aggressive statements about someone being thin, but just like the word fat can jump out at a person and make them defensive, so can the many comments a person makes about someone being on the smaller side.
So basically I think using fiction is a great way to empower someone, but let's make sure that we're not tugging others down along the way.
If anyone cares to read a little more, here's a blog post called Don't Call Me Skinny that I stumbled across, it's blunt, but interesting.