There aren’t many fat heroines out there, and when you do see a fat heroine, chances are she isn’t an action heroine.
Enter Stella Blunt.
Stella is a big girl, with a big presence, and a brown belt in Kung Fu. She prefers to lash out first, make apologies never, and woe betide anyone who gets in her way.
Society has very fixed ideas about what a “fit” woman looks like. When you have a bold, active type of woman in a story, she isn’t usually overweight. Overweight girls in story books are often lazy, clumsy, and unsure of themselves. They lose weight as they gain confidence and energy.
So what are we telling teen girls about how they should think about themselves? Everyone has days when they “feel fat”, which really means “feel unattractive”. When you “feel fat” you don’t want to wear revealing clothes, or go out and do active things with your body. “Feeling fat” is a feeling of body shame.
I wanted to show someone different – someone who doesn’t let her weight stop her, or define her. Someone who doesn’t try to change how she looks, or wish she was someone else.
That’s not to say that Stella doesn’t need to come to terms with her weight. Specifically, she needs to come to terms with how others might perceive her. Years of bullying and teasing at school has left her with a big chip on her shoulder. She expects prejudice. She expects to be hurt. She makes fat jokes about herself before others have the chance.
Stella has some things to learn before she can truly feel comfortable in her own skin. But one thing is for sure – she is going to kick a lot of zombie ass along the way.