So, I'm watching my "Bridget Jones' Diary" DVD, and I notice for the first time that the weight issue that is so socially/emotionally exasperating to the protagonist is that she's 131 pounds.
Let's think about this.
At 131 pounds, she's probably a women's size small.
So, the catastrophie is...that she's not an extra small?
Why do I even own this DVD? Because it was otherwise cute, the story of a plucky underdog... Forget it. That's pretty much a fatal flaw.
And really, though I'm finger-pointing at Hollywood, this is culture-wide problem and it has been for a loooooooong time.
When I was a teenager, I didn't eat on Fridays. At all. Because they were game days, and I had to.... I don't know. Look good for the football team?
Three of my close friends had eating disorders. Two were anorexic. One was bulimic and diabetic. All three were intelligent and staggeringly gorgeous. It's a wonder they all survived to adulthood.
Two good related reads are: the Printz honor book FAT KID RULES THE WORLD by K.L. Going and ALT ED by Catherine Atkins. Of course these are both about heroes on the overweight end of the spectrum.
(Have you ever noticed, by the way, that there is almost never an overweight figure depicted on the cover of a children's or teen novel--even when it's an issue in the book? Sometimes, the protagonist is even portrayed inconsistently with the way he or she is described by the author. Would it be that bad for sales? I wonder. Maybe.).
There is probably some excellent book related to eating disorders that I don't know about. Write and tell me about it.
Yes, yes, I know. Time to stop overexaming everything and get back to work. Well, almost. I have just a few things to take care of first.