content by

Anya Josephs

Looking for Body Positivity and Fat Protagonists in YA Fantasy

The YA fantasy I grew up with had a paradox at its heart.

I wanted to be just like the heroes from these books, whose stories spoke to my experiences: feeling like I looked different than everyone else, like I didn’t fit in, knowing that my peers didn’t like or accept me, thinking that grown-ups couldn’t understand why I felt so isolated.

And yet I never once actually saw myself in these books. The heroes of these novels were invariably white, able-bodied, heterosexual, and cisgender. (Fortunately, this has started to change in the intervening years.)

They were also invariably thin. This has not changed very much at all.

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