…or so it used to be.
Now the princess is usually an unsuspecting doctor, victim, or dump truck driver. She can be pretty or she can be plain. She can be blond or she can be brunette.What they rarely are–and only have been in two books that I can quickly recall–is fat.
Their men can be scarred and emotionally wounded, but the women are usually 5’4, 110 pounds with flawless skin and hair that reflects gold flakes in the sunlight even when it’s dark outside.
Okay, one was covered in body tattoos with more baggage than an airport, so she gets a pass. But she was still freakin’ skinny.
Maybe some authors don’t write larger-than-life leading women because they’re unsure of the rules. I don’t know the rules either, but being a typical romance-novel fat (U.S. size 1o-14) heroine–here’s a few what-to-dos to get you started:
1. Don’t squeeze her into something she can’t fit in and try to make it sexy
Never has it been, nor will it ever be hot to strut a muffin top. Maybe put her in a form fitting dress when she usually wears muu-muus and give her Spanx for confidence.
2. It’s okay to let her eat
Most fat heroines didn’t get fat while on the couch throwing back carrot sticks. You want to make her a size XX? At least let her eat her way there with chocolate. Or, at a minimum, pasta.
3. Any size double digits can be fat
No, I’m not calling a size 10, 12, 14 or anything else fat. But these sizes are the ones likely to view themselves as less than perfect. And it’s hard to describe the “curvaceous figure” of a size 4 without laughing.
4. Fat heroines can be happy–or sad
5. Bad things happen to fat people
6. Fat women can be secondary characters
Let’s face it. Readers expect romance about a perfectly imperfect people. Write your Barbie and Ken story and let Skipper be overweight. Then as your series progresses readers will bombard you with emails requesting you write her happily ever after.
7. Fat heroines can lose weight for healthy purposes, but not artificial ones
8. Fat women are sexy and drop dead gorgeous