I will always remember the first time I read a book whose heroine didn’t describe herself as having a small or average frame. I was a chubby teenager at the time that I devoured this book as fast as my dyslexia would allow. The book: The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. I had been drawn to it simply because the title made me laugh. It had a silver metallic cover with hot pink lettering. I remember as I read the final line of the book, I felt like I could live a full happy life and not be a perfect size 4. I had always believed that the plump state of my body was temporary. That I would eventually shed my back rolls and blossom. I had never felt like I could accept being plus size before I finished that book. Of course that was partially because what I do remember is that the story had a happy ending. It was more than that, though.
We cannot underestimate the importance of visibility. Reading, watching, and consuming all forms of media that exclude your identities and their depth, can be damaging. It is isolating. It leaves your identity in the hands of the very few characters playing in it. Representation can give you a sense of pride! You can feel as though that person is an extension of yourself. Their successes, are somehow your successes. It makes the character easy to relate to. It’s not to say you can’t connect with characters who are different from you, but seeing, and reading, characters who are a reflection of yourself is empowering. Here are some books featuring plus size people. Grab some tea, a warm blanket and snuggle up with one of these great reads.
I Do it with the Lights On: And 10 More Discoveries on the Road to a Blissfully Shame-Free Life by Whitney Way Thore (Whitney earned herself a reality TV time slot on TLC after a video of her dancing went viral.)
Ok guys, now it’s your turn! Comment some of your favorite reads!