Monday, April 03, 2006

Fat Girls Guide to Books

One thing I hate about being fat is fat girl books. I'm not referring to Fat!So! or Fat Girl's Guide...I'm referring to books like Good In Bed, She's Come Undone and Jemima J... These books start off awesome...Fat girl trying to make it in the cruel, thin world. But, then, and this always happens...they get skinny!

I love reading about fat girls. But, I have yet to come upon a book in which the fat girl character doesn't either lose weight for a man, happen to just lose weight by accident or have visions of mold growing all over her food so she stops eating. If I ever wrote a book, I'd have the fat character stay fat, win the lottery, find love and have babies, and maybe gain a few pounds along the way.

I don't know much about the author's of the above mentioned books, besides Wally Lamb who is a guy (can't blame him for not knowing about what would piss a fat woman off and She's Come Undone is one of my all time favorites), but the other authors happen to be women...are they fat? I don't know, but I, for one, am annoyed.

And, not to be all pro-fat here, but it really bothers me that these woman seem to get their lives together only when they lose the weight. They find love, they get better jobs, they start living the life. Well, screw that.

If any of you know of a fat girl book in which the fat girl stays fat, finds love, wins the lottery and maybe gains a few pounds in the process...let me know! I'm looking for a new book. In the meantime, I'm going to pretend there's mold growing on my food and see how far that takes me.

38 comments:

Six said...

I hear ya! Let me share something with you about myself:

I'm losing weight because I want to, not because I give a hoot about what society thinks about me. I'm doing it so it's easier for me to get around. I want to live a more active life. I also have a history of diabetes and high blood pressure in my family. I don't have those health problems at my current weight, but I honestly am concerned that I might develop them one day because my food choices haven't been the best, so I'm trying to change the way I eat. I'm not dieting. I want to eat healthier for the rest of my life, so that I may have a rest of my life. I don't binge eat, contrary to popular belief, but I do eat some foods which are high in calorie. I will continue to eat those foods, but I will eat less of them and more of the kinds of foods which are more nutritious and better for me. My motto is: "Everything in moderation" not "Thinner is better".

HOWEVER, I will never be skinny. I will always be a big girl, by society's standards, even if I lose weight, so I am not going to live my life like the people who constantly say "When I lose weight, I'm going to...". I'm going to do stuff NOW.

I'm also not going to purchase or support products, services, or people that try to sell you the idea that being thinner will automatically make your life happier and make you more attractive, because that's a crock of you-know-what and everybody knows it.

The plain truth is, EVERY life has its ups and downs, no matter what you look like, and when the media embraces this truth with the honesty it deserves in its commercials, tv shows, movies, so-called "beauty" magazines, books, etc... then and only then will I support their products.

If anyone comes across anything which falls into the above category, let me know, too. Until then, keep your money in your pockets, my sistas. Money talks. The absence of money speaks volumes.

Cecily said...

Jennifer Weiner IS indeed a big girl. And remember, in Good In Bed, she didn't actually get skinny--what she got was fit, and that caused her to lose a little weight, but she was still a size 16+. The only time in the book she got actually skinny was when she was suffering serious post-partum depression and walking like a lunatic. As soon as her depression passed, she gained weight back and got the man of her dreams. He was a diet doc, too--who kept telling her she looked fine. Same is true for all of Jennifer Weiner's other books. The women change how they feel about their weight, but don't actually get model-thin. And yes, she's one of my fav authors, so... :)

Sam said...

But still, she got fit...not saying that's bad....but, I too haven't read a book about a fat girl who stays fat either. What's going on!!! ha ha ha :)

Anonymous said...

Night Play By Sherrilyn Kenyon Is a great read, if you're into paranormal romances. The heroin is Bride McTierney a plus size girl with style!

This was the first book I ever read that had a big girl in it as the main character!

Kelly said...

The one good thing about Jemima J is that she levels out toward the end and is happy. I think what I liked more about her getting thin is her gain in confidence, although it's a false confidence until she becomes truly comfortable with herself.

I'd like to see the fat girl book where maybe the girl loses a few, maybe she doesn't, but along the way she gains a confident, sassy attitude. I know some pretty big girls who draw people to them like magnets because of their raging personalities, including men. Sometimes personality does count!

duenneschen said...

The Weight-Loss Diaries by Courtney Rubin is a good book. She was a guest writer for Shape that followed her weight loss/gain for an entire year so the book talks about that as well as countless other tales from her life. It's pretty entertaining.

Midknyt said...

First, I second what cecily said.

Other than that, there is The Long Trail by Penny Hayes. Not only is the main charector pretty fat, but the book is a lesbian romance novel set in the old west. I believe that may be one of a kind. The main charector does lose a little bit of weight while they are walking on the wagon train, but the only reason I remember that (it wasn't a big deal in the book) was because her partner noticed and didn't like it, didn't want the woman to change at all. The main charector does stay very fat.

Anonymous said...

Try Inappropriate Men by Stacey Ballis. Witty, intelligent, successful, HOT, unapologetic fat girl has men all over her, doesn't shed a pound. Really good writing, too. Also Conversations With the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer -- overweight heroine's life improves when she gains confidence, not loses weight (writing not as good, but still an entertaining read).

Sheila

Anonymous said...

Hey, except for the lottery all those elements of a happy life are in She's Come Undone. Remember, she lost the weight and attracted Dante, hardly a positive.

S. Lynne Fremont said...

Conversations With The Fat Girl was a pretty good read where one character loses a lot of weight with surgury and her best friend doesnt. I think the best friend ended up losing some weight near the end but not a lot and mostly due to healthy lifestyle changes. Mostly she got more comfortable with the size of her body.

byrneout said...

My god, but Jemima J was a steaming load of shit. Jane Green deserves to have her license to speak the language revoked, rather than being permitted and encouraged to write another book. The world is a little worse of a place because that book is in it.

Anonymous said...

Amen sista!

erica said...

Word byrneout! That book was utter garbage. Actually, calling it garbage is an insult to garbage everywhere.
It's the diarrhea of the literary world.
Wendy had a whole week about hating Jemima J a couple of years ago, and everything here is spot on: http://www.poundy.com/2003_09_01_blogarchives.html

Regina said...

Maybe this seems unrelated, but people used to tell me I'd find a relationship (or just be happy) once I got rid of the anger and bitterness I was carrying around because I was lonely. But you know what? I didn't lose one bit of anger or bitterness and recently met and fell in love with a great guy. So when people try to identify the thing you have to fix in order to be happy (or whatever your goal is), tell them to FUCK OFF. Or direct them to my blog entry about this (http://chicanaontheedge.blogspot.com/2006/03/bitter-forever.html).

GoBetty said...

Read Wendy McClurg's book (is that her last name?) I'm Not The New Me. It was funny. And good. And I think about being fat sort of. She is real and still plus-sized I believe.

Amy said...

Wendy McClure, her site is poundy.com.

i'm reminded of bridget jones diary (the book) when she loses alot of weight and everyone tells her she looks sick and she re-gains the weight and falls in love.

A reader said...

I was hoping that "Fat Girl," by Judith Moore, would be the ultimate bitter and angry voice that's been lacking in "fat girl" stories/memoirs. Not saying bitter and PO'ed is great, but most of us live in the grey zone between "whoo! Go Fat!" and "I hate myself and want to die."

The book was plenty, um, self-loathing, but it was passionless and uninspired. It was like listening to Eyeore drone on for 100+ pages. "Why boooothhher...my feet are shaped like hog's hooves..."

Actually, I adore Eyeore, but in small doses.

Is'nt there a market for a book that somehow addresses the anger and hostility without turning in to a cheerleading session?

emily pound said...

"Two Girls, Fat and Thin" by Mary Gaitskill. The main character is a fat woman who stays fat and she will steal your heart. The thin girl turns into a friend, although at first they are adversaries. Very beautifully written and I thought, a heart-wrenching book.

EatingAin'tBad said...

This isn't super helpful b/c I can't remember the book name OR author (gee, I'm useful) but there is a mystery series where the herione is fat and doesn't give a shit. The books don't focus on her weight - it's all trashy murder mystery stuff - but the character is fun b/c she has all these great adventures, is smart, always wins in the end and even has some romance in her life. She even has all her clothes made for her by this other character in the book b/c she can't find what she wants in stores. I'd do that if I won the lottery!
I'll try to figure out the series and post what I find. Sorry I wasn't more helpful but I love murder mysteries and couldn't help but post.

EatingAin'tBad said...

I'm not a total loser! I found what I was referring to above (I know you've all been anxiously awaiting the news). The author is Lynne Murray, and she's done a series of Josephine Fuller mysteries (3 that are listed on Amazon). They're set in San Francisco which is also pretty cool.

I also want to give a shout out to Davetta. I'm in a similar situation where I'm losing weight by choice but I'm not trying to be thin (and will never be).

Kim said...

I am not even religious, but AMEN! AMEN! I mean, I can deal with how I look, so why can't the rest of the world? Is anyone else annoyed with Margaret Cho for losing weight? How about Marian Keyes for claiming she's "round" and being at most a size 10?

Anyway, love your post. YOU ROCK!

Kim said...

I am not even religious, but AMEN! AMEN! I mean, I can deal with how I look, so why can't the rest of the world? Is anyone else annoyed with Margaret Cho for losing weight? How about Marian Keyes for claiming she's "round" and being at most a size 10?

Anyway, love your post. YOU ROCK!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Crusie's BET ME. Not that it sounds like the heroine is any bigger than, say, the size 12-size 16 range, but she's "round," she STAYS round, she gets a lovely sweet guy who LIKES her round (and brings her donuts! though not in a sicko way). One of the book's central issues--very unusual for a romance--is Min's coming to terms with the roundness. A lot of people say there's no way Pretty Boy would fall for Round Girl even though she's also Pretty, and I admit the majority of Pretty Boys are acculturated to be Pretty Shallow; but we all know of instances where it happens, so nyah nyah to those who scoff at it on the grounds of plausibility. And unless best-selling authors and TV shows and movies (unacknowledged legislators of the world and all that) SHOW it happening, it'll continue to be a statistical anomaly and idiots will continue to say it "can't" happen. (I had a friend complain that no way would Renee Zellweger every be able to choose between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth--did you ever? As if a) Renee Zellweger weren't drop-dead gorgeous herself and b) every one of the world's three billion men were as stupid and tunnel-visioned as Grant's character.) Kudos to Crusie, that's what I say. And--either a nice bonus or the real attraction, depending on your point of view--Crusie's one of the best writers, in terms of style, anyone could want.

--Cat

floradoragirl37 said...

Lol!
Anonymous up above me! That comment you made about someone bringing the woman donuts but not in a sicko way -- that was hilarious!!!!
ROFLMFAO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, she's a supporting character in the novel, but Hannah in What Love Means To You People is a smart beautiful fat woman with an adoring boyfriend and she doesn't lose a pound.

See more about the book here.

Anonymous said...

The series, No. 1 Detective Agency, has a heroine that is fat. She's an intelligent woman that solves crimes and has a man desperate to marry her. Her weight is only mentioned in passing and actually has nothing to do with her personality. It doesn't define who she is and I find that very realistic.

uberfrau said...

I hate those books. They're like those teen movies where the girl takes off her glasses and is suddenly hot, but for fat women.
But to be fair-Good in Bed-she only loses weight when her life gets all fucked up, and gains it back at the end and finds a wonderful doctor. I think there were other things i didn't like about that bok.

Didn't that also happen in Blubber?

Pattie said...

Pat Ballard, "Queen of Rubenesque Romance Novels" has a whole series of romance novels in which the fat girl gets the man and doesn't lose any weight at all. Though I don't recall any lottery winning.

Jsygurl said...

Mmmmn, don't recall the name or the author, but I read a fantastic story once - girl started off skinny, and married, but her best friend/jogging partner died of cancer. She started getting fat, hubby ditched her, BUT, she discovered she had hated her life anyway, met exciting sexy new partner, who loved her size, ended the book the biggest ever, having sex on the kitchen floor.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Susan Stinson's Venus of Chalk? Great book, character is fat and whole and wonderful.

Courtney said...

I have yet to read a fulfilling fat book.
Seems to me they starve for somethin

Courtney said...

someTHING

ahem.

Anonymous said...

Girls, I have the answer to your prayers. All of Katie MacAlister's contemporary romances star beautiful, large women. They always get gorgeous men who (gasp!) like them how they are, and they don't lose an ounce. Particularly The Corset Diaries. Great book.


much love

xCx

Anonymous said...

I know, I know, Jennifer WEiner messed up big time with Good In Bed. But she redeems herself a bit in Little Earthquakes, about four moms during their first pregancies and first year of motherhood. The fat one is the happiest, has the best marriage and the easiest baby. Yeah, she gets the worst mother-in-law, but it's small potatoes compared to the others' crosses to bear.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently reading Jemima J. (and She's Come Undone is one of my fav's) and the author of Jemima J. is skinny. I saw her pic on the back of the book. I think it's weird!

Anonymous said...

As a fat girl all I can say is, Rubenesque romances are COMPLETE BULLSHIT! Wally Lamb's book I read as an assignment in college and got sick! Read Jennifer Crusie's "fat" girl book and it was a joke! So was that stupid Wiener's book! They aim to make fat women feel empowered- I disagree! I felt worse knowing that what I was reading was a shit pile. I dieted for 20 years- from age 5 to 25 literally- and got NOWHERE! Starvation, over exercising, diet pills, diet fads, laxatives, diuretics, you name it I did it! And came out getting sick, losing my hair, and not having my period for nearly 3 years! And guess what? The effects were short term weight loss and I packed on extra when I regained the weight!

And all to have no guy give me a second look. I get plenty of black and Hispanic ghetto rats trying to make a grab for my tits and I end up getting into fights on the street sometimes. BTW I'M NOT A RACIST, but black guys aren't my cup of tea! CAN YOU GET THAT GHETTO RATS?! White guys only will date a fat girl to control or abuse her in some sick and twisted way (and the worst part is they're ugly and fat too)! The men in those books are COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC! The only time a good looking white guy who wants a fat girl is when he has a FAT FETISH! Case in point: that dumb bitch Winokur that was in the first "Hairspray" B'Way cast got married to a good-looking white guy- FAT FETISH! Crystal Renn just got hitched to a white guy- FAT FETISH!

All I know is I'll be going vegetarian soon and then as soon as my numbers look good to my GP after a few years I'll be going in for plastic surgery. Size 12 here I come! I'm not greedy, there are foods I won't give up and I certainly won't ditch liquor! But I want to look nice in clothes and get a tattoo on the back of my shoulder without the artist wrinkling his nose at my back fat. But I'm sure that the dude would look something like those freaks on "L.A. Ink" that I wouldn't touch with a 50-foot cattle prod.

In short, I can accept being fat but I don't take pride in it. And Camryn Manheim can you please stop pushing your huge fat ass in everybody's face- it's annoying! I hope you never get diabetes, but having a baby at your weight was stupid! And Oprah, just shut your big, fat mouth and stuff it with fried chicken, sweet potatoes and mac n' cheese! You're a fat fake who flaunts her billions (along w/that bastard Dr. Phil, her trainer and chef) making poor people feel worse that they already do. I hope your stocks are worthless now in the crash!

Thank you for listening, and ditch the rubenesque books please.

danielle burgess said...

Wow, what this one person above my comment "ghetto rats" seriously!?! She needs to get over herself and stop judging people. Those were some pretty mean comments! Just because this is the Internet and we have the right to say our opinion doesn't give you the right to act like that! I'm a size 20 and I really truley believe my "white guy" is with me because he loves me not cause he has a "fat fetish" that's so disrespectful. It may not have been said to me personally but it was pretty ignorant! Your rant was definitely all over the place and not needed this was a sime blog about books and you turned it into something completely observe!

Anonymous said...

I read a book not too long ago titled "Diary of a Mad Fat Girl" and thought it was hilarious. the main character does not loose weight and her attempt at the gym has her ending up wearing sweatpants (with holes) and a bag of peas between her legs.

Personally, I don't consider myself "fat" but I'm definitely plus-sized. I just accept it. If I truly wanted to lose the weight I would. But here's the deal: I don't. I'm lazy. I have a wonderful personality! My boyfriend loves me.. and all of his 6'2, 180lb glory makes me smile when I curl up next to him. We're a 10 and we're happy :) Ghetto rat? Get over yourself and get a better attitude.