The Full-figure Debate and Standards of Beauty

full pinupSomeday, maybe in my 60s or 70s, I will finally learn the lesson that when something seems bad or going in the wrong direction, it’s simply the universe’s way of joking with me. Redirection straight ahead! Case in point: I posted the blurb for Bittersweet Deceit, the follow up novel after Stuck in Between and #2 in the Bound by Your Love Series. One woman who I owe a debt of gratitude to wrote, “You lost me at full-figured.”

Being full-figured myself (no it’s not code for fat) I was very surprised and at first offended. However what surprised me even more were all the women who chimed in to the contrary. Author groupies even posed the question: Would you not read a book because the character was full figured? There were 296 comments on the question and I have read them all. They either were very pro having a full-figured female protagonist (most) or they said it didn’t matter either way.

The average size of a woman in the US has drastically changed during my lifetime. Where I used to be the largest or close within my group of friends, I now fall in the mid to lower region. Our society used to worship the full-figured woman pretty much until Twiggy came along. Models of today do not by any stretch represent most women.

My series is based around a group of friends of differing sizes, which is real life. I never considered that Lainie’s size would be an issue. It’s just about telling her story. I’m happy to find out that many women are even more excited to read Bittersweet Deceit knowing that she is a larger woman.

Meghan Tonjes is a singer/songwriter, YouTube star, and body-positive vlogger who had a photo removed from Instagram because she is a full-figured woman. I’m sharing her VIDEO with you, which is well worth the watch. Instagram has since apologized to her and reinstated the photo.

I have read stories with all different types of characters whether it be race, religion, size, politics, time periods, etc. I personally love realism in what I read, the author’s ability to take me on a journey I would never otherwise experience, and a story that is relatable. That’s what I strive for in my writing as well.

Please chime in on this subject. I’m very interested in hearing what you have to share.

Warm full-bodied hugs,

Blakely

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6 thoughts on “The Full-figure Debate and Standards of Beauty

  1. Personally, I love love LOVE body positive books. I’ve been on both ends of the weight spectrum… too thin and dressing to hide bones that stick out… and too large and dressing to camo cellulite and too many curves. Honestly? Both suck. Think of the message we have out there: Real Men Want Meat On The Bone. Big Boned doesn’t jiggle. What in the everloving hell are we doing to our daughters with conflicting messages such as these?

    We live in an environment that incorrectly fosters the belief that it is ok to be judgmental and to tear down a woman because of her size, her career choices, her parenting style. It sickens me. The saying “real women have curves” bothers me.

    Real Women SUPPORT fellow women, regardless of size.

    This being said, I WANT to read a book that challenges me. I LIKE seeing someone with the same low self-image overcome what society tells us is acceptable and learn to love herself. I still need that reminder that I am more than my pants size.. whether it is single or double digits. :)

    • Thank you so much Amber for posting a comment. I agree with you, we are much more than our pant size. I’ve also realized that how we women see ourselves or other women, isn’t how men see us.

      Warm hugs,
      Blakely

      • Amen to that last statement Blakely! My husband is constantly telling me that men and women’s views of body image differ greatly. He sees many women who are stick thin as unattractive, however can see women who are larger than myself as well as smaller as beautiful as well. He prefers the larger size in women and I am very lucky to have a husband that appreciates my larger shape–whether you want to call that the dreaded F word or shapely or full-figured matters not. He loves me for who I am, body, mind and spirit, and I realize I am extremely lucky to have someone who loves me in this way! I am happy and that is what ultimately matters, NOT what other people think! :)

        • Hi Suzanne,

          I totally agree with you. Someday I hope to see myself as my husband sees me. Wouldn’t that be fun?

          Warm hugs,
          Blakely

  2. Lately, when I see ‘before and after’ pics where the person has lost 50 pounds or less, I MOST often think they looked WAY BETTER ‘before’. There are two awesome kickstarter projects about body image that I think are great. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/embrace/embrace-the-documentary-that-will-create-global-ch and https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1373438121/a-beautiful-body-book-project

    Ya, I LOVE women with some meat/fat on them… curves are way better than sticks.

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