2:41 pm - 03/30/2014

Links Round Up: Week Ending 28 March 2014

Hi and welcome to the latest installment of our Links Round Up. For folks who don't know, the LRU is a compilation of items from the past week that may be of interest to VPers and is intended to broaden the kinds of conversations we have here.

To submit articles for next week's round-up, e-mail vpteam@vaginapagina.com. If you have additional articles you'd like folks to know about this week, feel free to comment directly to this post.

As a reminder, in lieu of trigger warnings, I use keywords describing the themes of the piece. Please skim these before deciding to read the excerpt or click through for the full article. Outside sources are not safe spaces, and mainstream sources' comments should almost always be avoided. The links I highlight don't necessarily reflect VP's views, or even my own, for that matter.

This week's round-up includes: on the idea of a "weight problem," young adult heroines and body descriptions, and normalizing obesity.

  1. My Weight Problem Isn’t My Weight by Issa at Love, Live, Grow (Keywords: weight, body shaming, weight stigma)
    I got to thinking, what is a “weight problem”? We hear that phrase a lot. “I have a weight problem.” “I have a problem with my weight.” “My weight has always been a problem.”

    Do I have a weight problem?

    Well, yes.

    I weigh what I do, and because of that I have a few problems.


  2. Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? by Julieanne Ross at The Atlantic (Keywords: young adult literature, body image, gender norms, body shaming)
    When it comes to recent young adult sci-fi and fantasy literature, this is typical. Divergent is just one in a spate of recent young adult novels—three of which saw big-budget film adaptations in 2013—to emphasize the diminutive stature of its main character.


  3. Normalizing Obesity by Ragen Chastain at Dances with Fat (Keywords: body shaming, weight stigma, weight loss)
    The hypothesis that Dame Davies seems to be working under, of course without a shred of evidence, is that fat people will all get thin if we never see anyone (including a mannequin) who looks like us shown in a positive light.



As always feel free to share your thoughts on any of these articles, along with whatever you've been reading or writing this week!
mycorrhizoid 1st-Apr-2014 12:03 am (UTC)
I have to disagree with the second article.

Most of the books she mentions are dystopian (granted, it's the craze right now) and feature street urchin heroines who are quite likely malnourished. In that specific context, it makes sense for them to be small.

I also interpreted the "Lena Beana" nickname to mean she was tall and skinny . . .

I agree that books should "actually reflect and affirm the diversity of the young readers who idolize them," but at the same time I wouldn't necessarily look to the fantasy genre for this type of development. Fantasy is often about the story itself and characterization/description tend to be shallow and often glossed over. Most of the time I'd prefer to decide what they look like myself anyway.

P.S. Besides Circle of Magic which has already been mentioned, The Girl of Fire and Thorns also featured a not-small heroine.
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