Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sailer's Law: literary edition

Sailer's Law of Female Journalism: The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking.

The literary version:
Put Fat Girls in Your SFF YA

So you read all these books, as many as you can, and it becomes difficult not to notice a pattern. You realize all the girls in all the books are just different kinds of skinny. You can’t for the life of you find a girl that looks like you. Books are supposed to help us dream and dream big but you’re starting to feel like you’re just too big to dream. You’ve read a couple books where fat girls get to be loved in the real world, and that’s wonderful, but fat girls don’t get whisked away into alternate worlds and told they’re a long lost princess. Fat girls don’t get to see the magical underside of New York City. Fat girls don’t save planets.
It's not about being too big to dream, it's about being too fat to do anything active. Unless a writer is sufficiently inventive to come up with a plot that concerns saving the planet through the heroic act of finishing off four large bags of Doritos at a sitting, how exactly are these fat girls going to actually do anything?

Anyhow, it's a little ironic, given that there are not exactly a dearth of fat women writing SFF YA, as this portrait of 2014 Nebula winners demonstrates. Forget saving planets, that pair of superchubs look like they could devour planets.

41 comments:

David Taylor II said...

Meet Faith, the plus sized heroine we can all admire:
http://www.people.com/article/Faith-Plus-Sized-Superhero-jody-houser

David Taylor II said...

Not sure how to make that link clickable.

Jew613 said...

There can be chapters about not fitting into airplane chairs, eating entire boxes of donuts and wheezing.

Dexter said...

If writers can invent worlds where skinny women are ass-kicking, kickboxing, expert pistol shooting badasses, surely they can also invent worlds where fatties are desirable and do stuff besides sit on the couch and eat!

Harsh said...

I like to think that in the future obesity will be a capital offense. A guy can dream, can't he?

S1AL said...

@Dexter - It's called the "willing" suspension of disbelief.

Sean said...

Faith isn't plus size, she's enormous and revolting. She can fly and has telekinesis because she's too fat to walk to the refrigerator or lift something. Why move an arm when you can levitate a mouthful with your magic.

Sean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel Horton said...

More pics for perspective:

https://sarahhollowell.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/11193268_10155431798360697_9044342065263605934_n.jpg?w=300&h=300

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CdY4kzoWAAId71v.jpg:large

Daniel Horton said...

Oh and her about page is classic:

http://sarahhollowell.com/about/

Picture of her, picture of her cats. Is this not a parody account?

Timmy3 said...

A fat girl doing a somersault is hilarious. I can't imagine such things but they apparently do. It can't be taken seriously. It'll be another Melissa McCarthy comedy.

JudgeMontrose said...

Guys, guys--It's not hard to put "curvy" heroines in our sci-fi. Frank Herbert already addressed the issue with Baron Harkonnen--you just have to have her surrounded by a ring of anti-gravity suspensors.

paworldandtimes said...

Contrary to your cis-weighted opinions, art and literature do find inspiration in big beautiful women, such as this fine Borscht Belt paean to the fat woman:

Bobby Vinton - Too Fat Polka

I get dizzy, I get numbo
When I'm dancing
With my jum, jum jumbo
...
Can she prance up a hill?
No, no, no, no, no
Can she dance a quadrill?
No, no, no, no, no
Does she fit in my coupe?
By herself she's a brute
Could she possibly
Sit upon my knee?
No, no, no

Weouro said...

"surely they can also invent worlds where fatties are desirable and do stuff besides sit on the couch and eat!"

Yeah, that's the main obstacle. They need some kind of artifice to explain why in this book's universe a 1.5 waist to hip ratio is attractive. It's harder than making an ass-kicking heroine because, unlike being an ass-kicker, no one ever wanted to be a fat-ass. It would be as difficult as making horrible dental hygiene attractive. "No one with rotten teeth and shit-breath ever got whisked into an alternate world and told she's a princess."

Cecil Henry said...

This female journalist is just excusing and justifying ENVY as a social stance.

Call it out for what it is.

Bard said...

Envy as a social stance. I like that. I have been trying to do that a lot lately; identify the specific context behind behavior and identify it with one specific word. When I can do that with clarity, it helps bring into focus what other influences are there. I.E. you rarely have gluttony without sloth and shame.

cbashcraft said...

The fat character------Unicron. Played by Orson Welles who, at the time, was so fat they said he devoured planets.

Sun Xhu said...

"Forget saving planets, that pair of superchubs look like they could devour planets."

They already started. Pluto used to be a planet...

VoodooJock said...

She could always save the universe by falling into a black hole and getting stuck.

Mr.MantraMan said...

Who's the black chick?

Is Tor taking the lead in Chubfic? If not then it must not be important.

Michael Maier said...

Actually this is great AND realistic writing.

In THE FUTURE, SCIENCE will give us all anti-inflammatorys that actually don't kill you and have zero side-effects. And so the women will probably ALL become filthy, grubbing gluttons with:
-no joint pain
-no diebeetus
-no body odor
- etc. etc.

Remember WALL-E? Yup. Exactly where we're headed. These broads are BRILLIANT!

Too bad they'll be dead of heart disease in their late 40s...

Oliver Märk said...

The whole world is to blame – not the journalist has to change something but all the others have to. That’s the logic of all SJWs.

From http://freedompowerandwealth.com

Dexter said...

"A fat girl doing a somersault is hilarious. I can't imagine such things but they apparently do."

Must be happening in zero gee.

ray said...

Two entitled white blimpettes, one empowered black female, and two cucks. Ain't that Amerika. Everybody else must change to accommodate their inferiority. Or else.

Where are the aliens to disintegrate the planet when you really need them?

ray said...

"She could always save the universe by falling into a black hole and getting stuck."


Black holes have standards. They eat planets, not people who look like one.

Ron said...

I'm beginning to realize that bitchy fat girls are the equivalent of cowardly men who watch too much porn.

Dexter said...

If you were a bucket of Haagen Dasz, my love....

Amaryllis said...

More pics for perspective:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CdY4kzoWAAId71v.jpg:large


You know, I'm not perfect myself, and I try not to be too harsh to people, but when you're genuinely starting to look like the Brood Mother from Dragon Age, you should probably suspend your fat fantasy lobbying. When you're so fat that you're wider than you are tall, and your arms are DISAPPEARING into their own rolls of lard, you're actually becoming the universal symbol of everything loathable in most fantasy worlds.

They absolutely should put more fat girls in fantasy. As villains. If it ever gets optioned for a movie or series, you can write it off as affirmative action casting, and you don't look like an idiot as you try to make something awful into something to be envied.

Aeoli Pera said...

That's no moon.

Aeoli Pera said...

It's not about being too big to dream, it's about being too fat to do anything active. Unless a writer is sufficiently inventive to come up with a plot that concerns saving the planet through the heroic act of finishing off four large bags of Doritos at a sitting, how exactly are these fat girls going to actually do anything?

I can think of plenty of ways a fat chick could save the day.

1. Orbital slingshot.
2. Drop her down a gravity well to cause a giant planet-side explosion.
3. Redirect a radiation pulse with gravitational lensing.
4. Achieve fusion, renewable energy for all.

I'm telling you, the future is bright for fatty-fic.

Aeoli Pera said...

5. Universe is collapsing to the Omega Point, our fair heroine hugs Jupiter and reignites the cosmos.

Aeoli Pera said...

6. Heroine eats until she becomes a supermassive black hole, thus preventing the heat death of the universe. Reskin Katamari Damacy and you've got a ready-made video game tie-in!

Don't worry, do your best
Picnic kibun, feel so good
Suteki na afternoon
Furachi na midnight yeah

...

Na na na na na na na na na katamari damashi
Na na na na na na na na na katamari damashi
Na na na na na na na na na katamari damashi
Na na na na na na na na na katamari damashi

Tom K. said...

These big authoress are doing what wires do. Generating FANTASIES!!

I loved Peter Parker because he was bookwormy like me and full of self pity like me and felt awkward like me... BUT he was also Spiderman! And he could luck ass and take names.

The last thing a fat girl wants to read about is a fat heroine because she knows, no matter how wonderful and powerful she is, the alpha never chooses the fat girl. And if he did it would BREAK the fantasy spell, destroying her willing suspension of disbelief.

A nerd can dream of being Spiderman, but a fat kid can only see himself as the Blob.

It's called Reality. Get a clue.

Eric said...

I doubt fat heroines (like "Faith") can be commercially successful. Fat women hate being fat - they get negative feedback for it every moment of every day. No amount of whining about "fat shaming" is going to change the lack of interest from men, the pain in the joints, sagging, sweating, lack of energy, etc, etc. There's no way someone like that is going to fantasize about having magical powers or whatever without also fantasizing she was able to lose enough weight to be active and attractive.

Mr.MantraMan said...

In the third world they eat fat chicks

Michael Maier said...

Exactly, Eric. That was a point I meant to make earlier.

No ONE, but especially no females WANT to be overweight.

Being thin for females is like being stronger for men. What guy WOULDN'T want more strength if it could be had just by wishing it?

APL said...

Eric: " No amount of whining about "fat shaming" is going to change the lack of interest from men, the pain in the joints, sagging, sweating, lack of energy .."

Well, they do stay fat, and that couples with the other vices associated with Fat people, gluttony and sloth.

Lord Nifty said...

"Forget saving planets, that pair of superchubs look like they could devour planets."

I'm never going to be able to look at Unicron from Transformers the same way again.

genericviews said...

Mike Maier, I totally agree. When I am playing Skyrim, I often wish I could carry an extra 20 pounds of loot so i wouldn't have to leave behind that Ebony Battle Axe of Time Wasting.

Quadko said...

Or, Beware the Rubenesque of Success

Aquarius Moon said...

Good grief, how do people balloon to that size?! :O

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