I was just happily perusing some notes from Strange Horizons (a magazine focusing on speculative fiction) on a few tropes that really are done to death in fiction (particularly speculative fiction) and I was so happy to see the following call to stop equating Fat with Evil:
Fatness is used as a signal of evil, dissolution, and/or moral decay, usually with the unspoken assumption that it’s completely obvious that fat people are immoral and disgusting. (Note: This does not mean all fat characters in stories must be good guys. We’re just tired of seeing fat used as a cheap shorthand signifier of evil.)
- Someone wants to kill someone else, and that’s perfectly reasonable because, after all, the victim-to-be is fat.
- The story spends a lot of time describing, over and over, just how fat a character is, and how awful that is.
- Physical contact with a fat person is understood to be obviously revolting.
Yes! Let’s move beyond such concepts: both in Fiction AND in real life!!
This wee bit was encouraging enough for me that it made me smile today. How about you? Any good recent fiction you’ve come across and wouldn’t mind sharing here? Something which DOESN’T follow the above trope of Fat=Evil/Vile/Killable?