Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TONS of fun…

...or Loving a Larger woman...

In this world of ours the American population has gotten larger. It’s a fact. I’m one of those LARGE and IN CHARGE women.

In junior high/high school I was on a gymnastics team and I exercised regularly but I wasn’t Skinny Minnie. I wasn’t the most appealing one in the group. While the other girls were small, short and barely had any curves I had an hour glass figured from the time I was almost 13. I was also vaguely weight conscious. I weighed nearly 120 pounds at 5’2” and my father lovingly called me Thunder Thighs. (This didn’t bother me as my mother is a large woman.)

I went away to college where everyone was thin. Instead of the Freshmen Fifteen, I dropped weight. I arrived at college wearing a size 13/14 and by the time I left at the end of the year I was wearing a size 2. I was thin. (Almost too thin. I didn’t have the body structure to handle being that small.)

I married, had a couple of kids and the last time I saw a 2 it was preceded by its twin sister. I went on all kinds of crazy diets…took fem-phen (which worked like a CHARM and I would give my eye teeth to have again!) Then one day I woke up and went hey—there’s nothing wrong with ME! It’s everyone else! Those super skinny chicks who look like walking skeletons? EWWW!

I still struggle with my weight occasionally. I go through bouts of depression over the size of my clothes, occasionally!

I once heard that lots of romance authors are fat lonely women who write about what they can’t have…I wanted to SLUG the idiot who said such a thing. For one thing they obviously haven’t met the authors I know who write WONDERFUL love stories. They are BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED, and (THIN!) Happily married women. And a couple of extremely handsome, wonderful men who are ALSO happily married.

I went out to the bookstore and came across a book—the title and author I will NOT name because she is a wonderful person and a talented author—I picked up the book because it was about a larger heroine. I thought WOW! FINALLY a book that shows a large woman in a wonderful light.

I read the book and while the story was heart tugging, and had a wonderful HEA I was angry at the plugging of the book. The plus size heroine who obsessed over her weight? She wore a size 16 occasionally an 18.

16/18? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Now I get that a 16/18 is making the heroine about 160 pounds. Maybe 180. I guess in this skin and bone obsessed world where you’re not beautiful unless you’re border line anorexic that seems huge but is it realistic? I mean come on! On my bad days I would KILL to be a 16/18 again. (But then with the whiff of chocolate muffin sanity returns…)

Now I’m comfortable in my own skin. Most of the BBW (Big Beautiful Women) I know are the same. After all I have a husband who I can satisfy and keep happy. I still hike, fish, ATV, boat, walk, play with my babies. So what if some quack tells me I’m morbidly obese—yeah read THAT on your medical records and see how it makes you feel!!!

I read romances and I don’t care if the heroine is teeny tiny or if she’s hefty mefty. (If I like the book I’m the heroine in my own mind anyway!)

But if the book is marketed as a PLUS SIZE romance, can you at least not enforce the skewed view that a woman of 160 pounds is unlovable and FAT?!?! PLEASE! To me plus size is NOT wearing the clothes whose size equates the age of your teen daughter! Show me a heroine who wears a size 24…who goes into the 5-7-9 to use the bathroom before she stops for a beautiful dress in Woman Within, Lane Bryant or Catherine’s!

Am I alone in this feeling? I’d love to hear from some women who are in the same boat with me. So ladies, you’re BBW? Tell me what you think!



Holly Hunt said...

I'm a 16-18 girl (when converted to US sizes, anyway). I would LOVE to see a plus-sized lead, but, alas, I cannot write one - she always seems obsessed with her weight. Doesn't help that I go through the oh-god-I'm-huge-ooh-chocolate-bugger-that-*scoff* frames of mind too.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I was a tall skinny girl/women until I hit menopause. Beauty is within and no one sees weight after the first smile.

But, Donica, healthwise, save room for that extra weight while you are trying to find a happy medium through "the change." It's only for you. Your husband and children will love you anyway, and we'll love your writing.


Coffee Time Romance and More said...

I am glad to see romance books with not skinny model size peoples. Not all of us are skinny (including me..wink) I have romance. So as long as it does not focus on the weight, I think it is great!

Maria said...

I love to see a romance novel where the heroine is a healthy size- not where she is a size 2 woman or a woman at 5'6 and 110 lbs lamenting that she needs to loose weight. I think that if you really think about it - especially if your romance has any kind of physical action element (such as police/special forces) that it's ridiculous for the heroine to be small - sure a 110 lb woman with no muscle tone will take on a 240lb man and come out the victor...really? I applaud anyone who makes their heroine life sized

Anonymous said...

I am a petite 5 foot 2 inch woman who struggled all through school (I was called Thunder thighs constantly in middle school by idiots who were skinny and cheerleaders *sighs*) and my weight flucuated all through my 20's. I was underweight when I had my 2 kids and now at 35-almost 36-I am content with my size. I am a size 10/12, have a boytoy who loves me and my curves and two beautiful (handfull lol) kids. Who needs to be a size zero. I like reading BBW women who find love and the men (or women) who love them.

Thanks Donica for the post.

Dawn R.

judiebabie said...

I was a skinny girl in high school and then I got married and started having children back to back and bam, I'm a size 18! I do have 8 beautiful children and I like who I am and the size I am. I would like to be thinner but I don't know if I'll ever be. I love the vivacious heroiones. Maybe I should write a book about one?

Allison Knight said...

They used to call me big Bertha. When I reached the age of 70, I decided 260 lbs was a bit much. Now, at 170lbs I wear a size 16, I'm happy and healthy and I refused to write about "little" heroines. My girls are well endowed, and other than describing curves I leave the size to the reader. I too detest the description of a hero being able to span the heroine's waist with his hand because it doesn't fit my picture of an 'endowed' heroine. Who needs that? I'd rather picture the heroine as a 'normal' person.

Anonymous said...

I am five foot eleven and I am a big girl as well. I look forward to authors and stories about good sized girls who are either protagonistis or antagonists. So far, the list is dismal and I continually hope that authors take the chance and write more.
I have never been thin. I was born almost thirteen pounds breech (poor Mom) and I have never seen a skinny day in my life.
My last and only bikini was when I was four.
It takes time and effort for me to not be depressed about my weight. What helps is knowing that God loves me unconditionally and I should do the same for myself.
One day I will meet the guy who believes this as well.
For now, I can hope for erotic/romance novels about bbws.

Candy Stone

Ciara Gold said...

You know, with the response here, seems like you might have hit on a niche. I'm like Julie, I never had to worry about weight due to a high metabolism until I hit menopause but I'm still not real heavy yet. I don't obsess over it. I'm comfortable and I have a husband who adores me no matter how I look. But - I can see a need for this type of heroine. Wow - maybe we could do an anthology. Hmmm. A thought. Ideas are flowing. Ya. Might be a start.

Anonymous said...

I am 4'11 and I am 37. I am gravity's wench. I'm overweight. I also have failed to become a prima ballerina, poet laureate of any country or a stock car driver. I'm ok with that. I dress for me I live for me and I work to make the world a better place. I have heard all the names and all the put downs. I like reading books for escape, if she is confident and smart, I like the heroine no matter what furit she may resemble or what season her coloring is supposed to be. I don't waste my time on stories that bemoan the if only secnerio.

Brandlwyne aka Brandy B said...

Hi. I love to read about "+ size women". I am plus size. I have always been really curvy and extremely blessed in certain areas, lol Great topic!!!


ladybirdrobi said...

Thanks, I enjoyed this and I never saw myself as fat or plus sized. I was skinny as a child and then after a surgery during my ninth year of high school I started adding weight because I couldn't take gym. At my largest I was over 300 pounds and now I currently weigh 222 pounds, I only lost the weight because I kept getting sick and my doctors couldn't figure it out exactly the fist episode they think it was my glucophage medicine so it stopped and then 2 years later that same vomiting, severe nausea and diarrhea episodes came back this time because my body didn't like the fish oil capsules my doctor wants me to take. I still have to tell him that after the experiment we all agreed on that the culprit this time is the fish oil.
Anyway I just want to say that we large boned people who most call fat or plus sized deserve to be happy and to be loved and I love it when I read books about women like me and even if they aren't it's me I see when I read.

Have a great day.

Laura Hamby said...

Great post, Donica. Sure, I'd love to be dainty. But I love my chocolate too much. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well said ladies! I appreciate a story where your characters are believable, whether they are "plus sized" or not.

Connie Northrop said...

I've almost always been overweight and I love reading BBW stories! Once it a while it's great to hear that I may yet find a guy who wants me for who I am.

At a size 26/28 and just turned 48 it seems most single men my age are trying to trade up for a younger model. I'll keep waiting, please keep writing!

Cornelia Amiri said...

I'm so glad you posted about plus size romances - I wish more were written. I wrote a Celtic/Romance set in 5th century AD called Vixen Princess and the heroine is middle aged and has gained the weight most people gain - you could call her plus size

Twisted Sister said...

Excellent post, Donica!
I've battled my weight since HS. I had a hard time relating to petite heroines. I want heroines who are confident with their size, and have brains. I do know some 115 lb women who can kick ass--after years of training!
But so can I--despite my weight and age. I am a dirt car racer and a diver. Let me tell you that a wetsuit hides NOTHING. I won't let my weight stop me.
I would buy books with plus size heroines as well as older than average!

elaine cantrell said...

Preach it, sister. Women all over the country are with you!

Sandra Sookoo said...

I just had a book release about a plus-sized woman who wears size 16. Some may not think that's considered plus but it's the size I wear so that's why I wrote the book. I had fun with it and am able to laugh at myself, so to me, the size doesn't matter. The content does.

AzReader Gaye said...

Love stories with real peeps and large women are as real as it gets. I can mention two books I enjoyed Elegant by Isabella Jordan and He Comes With the Dark by Deirdre O'Dare, both erotic romance featuring BBW heroines. My weight goes up and down--right now pretty proportional and I mean to keep it that way for health but I'm also tall and just not a small person. How can I identify with a Barbie Doll lead? Give me a real lots to love lady any day!

jellybelly82158 said...

I am 5'6. In high school I was in a size 14-16. Then I got pregant and I went up to an 18-20. Then the second child came along and I went up to a 22 which I have stayed at for the past 24 yrs. I know most men look at the skinny women (my first husband did) but my husband of 25 yrs tells me daily that I am beautiful and he loves me just the way I am. So yes, I think it would be great to have a heroine of the plus size.

Jude Johnson said...

Wonderful post, Donica!

I've always battled with weight. It never helped to have three sisters who were all gorgeously slender and popular in the hometown. As "Anonymous" said, I, too, am gravity's wench at a flat five foot tall. I carry a hidden twenty pounds so when I looked like I weighed 150 I was at 170 - and a looking fine size 12. I'd like to get back there again (15 more to go), only because I want to wear those clothes in my closet. I am physically active and literally walked an 18 year old into tears one day because she couldn't keep up with me. Good health is far more important than the actual size.

I don't care what size my heroine is - as long as she isn't a walking X-ray. I write about curvaceous women. The actual size is never mentioned. My hero adores his lady's curves and even creates a little ode to how he loves the flowing lines of her silhouette.

So keep up the TONS OF FUN, Donica! We'll be right there with you!


Anonymous said...

It would help if the heroines on the covers weren't little bitty things.