Elizabeth Bluemle has a great post in her PW Shelf Talker blog about negative stereotyping of fat characters. It’s a pervasive and unfortunate problem.
There are a lot of books, like mine, which are specifically about overweight characters. Body image and weight may or may not be the primary issue of the book, but the author is clearly thinking about it and, hopefully, approaching it thoughtfully.
But when you look at books where it’s not one of the main issues, authors all too often resort to making the baddies or the butts of jokes be the fatties. So, this made me try to think of books with fat characters who are neither evil nor used, unwillingly, for comic relief.
Hassan from John Green’s An Abundance of Katherine’s comes to mind. He is a funny character, and sometimes uses his weight for humor, but he seems in control. He’s a fully realized character. If I were an overweight teen boy, I wouldn’t feel assaulted by this depiction.
That’s kind of where my list starts and ends. There have to be more, though, right? I’m hoping I just can’t think of any because their weight is such a small part of who they are that they don’t spring to mind. Can anyone think of any other characters that are incidentally fat and not stereotypes?