mark at allums.com
Tue May 15 13:19:00 EDT 2007
deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:
> I can accept some stereotyped fat negativism in literature -- if
> I couldn't, I wouldn't be able to *read*. But fat symbols are a
> bugbear of mine, and the treatment of Dudley and Aunt Marge
> always makes me grind my teeth.
> (For more on fat in children's and YA lit there are some great
> freely available articles out there; try Rebecca Rabinowitz, "Fat
> characters in recent young adult fiction", from KLIATT, 2003, at
> <http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-108266685.html>. Her paper
> "Half a Hundred Masks But Not a Chance: Fat Characters in
> Contemporary Young Adult Fiction" was just presented at PCA, and
> if any of you contact me offline, I can put you in touch with her
> so you can get a copy.)
> (DWJ does a little bit of fat stereotyping but she also plays
> against it. Nan, for example, saves the day without ever losing
> weight -- this is a very big deal for me.)
There are some fat characters in children's lit that are portrayed
favorably. In keeping with the gay/etc. lit mentioned in some other
posts, one example is the book the movie "Angus" is based on. Can't
remember the title off-hand. I'm sure a Googling would take care of it.
In it, a boy has a gay father, and when they made the movie they
actually "fleshed out"* the character a bit, but chickened out about the
gay father. (The book is a bit sparse.)
And people are coming 'round about fat characters. Probably because
we're all fat now, and getting fatter. (Speaking for/about USians here.
I blame Archer Daniels Midland, makers of High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
Your proof is the in the popular people who are plus size: Oprah, Jack
Black, Queen Latifah, several popular people on American Idol (not that
I watch that, or anything), to name a few. The anorexics still rule,
but now they are constitutional monarchs, not absolute.
*A sort of double entendre, that.
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