The book Dumplin’ was written to address the issue of size and body discrimination. Main character, Willowdean, has been overweight and larger than average her whole life, but up until now, she’s always been fairly comfortable in her own body due to her loving aunt Lucy’s advice and guidance. But now that she’s kissed a boy far out of her league, she’s become more aware of her size and shape.
The whole issue involving socially acceptable body weight and size began not long ago. The word “fat” became an insult fairly recently, whereas it used to be the equivalent of showing off your wealth and your high-and-mighty position/social status. It meant that you were rich enough to pay others to do the work for you, and you had time to sit around and gain weight because of the abundance of food you could afford. But then obesity was discovered to be a health risk, and in the 1940-50’s, it was decided that “thin” and “lean” were the new beauty trends and the ideal health expectation. It was also decided that “obesity is caused by gluttony”, as an article featured in the Life magazine describes it.
However, in today’s society, we have created Body Positivity movements to reduce fat-shaming and help overweight people feel more comfortable in their own skin. There have been many waves of body positivity movements as the decades have progressed and more people have found their voices among the crowd. Books, movies, motivational speakers, and many other forms of spreading the news have focused on getting rid of the concept of the “ideal body”. People such as radio host Steve Post, author Lew Louderback, model Tess Holliday, etc. have been a huge part in spreading awareness involving this particular issue. @EffYourBeautyStandards was created by Tess Holliday herself to address this world-wide issue.
Dumplin’ is a modern book that ties all of these beliefs and movements and issues into the main character and the life she lives. Will is able to introduce her own way of thinking, which includes not caring what you see in the mirror and enjoying yourself, no matter what you look like. She is like by her friends, coworkers and even some popular boys because of the confidence she retains through all circumstances of her life.
I am loving this book so far. Not long ago, I read a book called Please Stop Laughing at Me, which is a memoir based on the reality of bullying and the way it can impact the victims’ life. These kinds of books entertain you in a new way and bring to light the pain and suffering that victims endure due to people not understanding their situations and being inclusive and nonjudgmental.