I really appreciated Jennifer’s post last week about body image and where she saw large kids reflected, or misreflected, in literature. It reminded me of my experience.
Because I was the fat kid. Still am, in fact. I remember the jokes and the uncomfortable moments and an awful lot of Bud Light references.1 And it’s taken a long time for me to get comfortable with who I am, and that’s something I’m mostly okay with. Mostly.
But I’m not okay with it being okay for others. And it’s not cool that weight and body image issues consume so many folks’ free moments and clog up brains with worry, anger, and frustration. So I hope you’ll read her post and have a look at the list of resources that she’s collecting around characters who are big and it’s not a <ahem> big deal. Now, I’m not sure the best way to hand such a book to a child without perpetuating some sort of weight challenge, but I know that if anyone can figure out how to do it, it’ll be a librarian.
PS – Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is the first book I’d put on any such list. Even though Mobe actually does break free of some of his weight stuff, it’s still a really great book.
- I bet your middle name is “Heavy!” Get it? Bud Heavy! Not Bud Light. Get it? Get it? Because you’re fat? Ha ha!” Mean kids weren’t always the brightest kids. Some stereotypes hold up. [↩]