the ask@AAR: Is Romance body positive?

In some ways, it seems as if it’s never been better to be fat. Body shaming is frowned upon–publicly at least–, Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue has plus sized models, Hollywood loves Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, and Lizzo is still ruling the world. This year, several best-selling romances featured curvy leads.


Glowing social media posts full of Rebel Wilson‘s and Adele’s weight loss are everywhere. Women on TV and in film remain, in the vast majority, very thin, even as the average woman’s weight has risen. Weight discrimination is so strong that several governments have added weight as a protected category in discrimination law. The pressure on women to be thin is so strong that it’s a problem beginning in elementary school. Eating disorders are on the rise.

And, we all wonder, will Penelope ever be treated as though she is as sexy as Daphne?

What do you think? Is society embracing curvaceous heroines? Is romance? How do you feel about how weight is handled in the novels you read?

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