Sunday, July 22, 2007

J.K. Rowling and fat acceptance

I love J.K. Rowling. Not just because she's an author of tremendous imagination, heart, and soul, but also for the fat rant that appears on her website. (Thanks to anonymous for the correct link.)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for directing us to this, Harriet. Yet another reason to be grateful to JK this weekend. She hit the nail on the head, in much more boisterous language than people usually use when discussing our horrible fat-obsessed culture. (BTW, one daughter has finished Deathly Hallows, other daughter is about one-third through, I'm about one-fifth done, and husband is about one-seventh done.)

Lindley said...

That rant is really problematic for me. It's good that she's writing about fat acceptance, but her books tell a completely different story. The Dursleys have lots of issues other than being fat, of course, but their fat is most definitely used as a symbol for greed, stupidity, and pretty much everything that's wrong with the world. That speaks much more loudly than a few buried paragraphs on her website.

Anonymous said...

After much poking around, I found a link to the fat-related stuff here:

http://www.jkrowling.com/textonly/en/extrastuff_view.cfm?id=22

Hoping to save some readers from having to navigate a hard-to-navigate site...

Anonymous said...

lindley, you make a good point about Rowling's depiction of the Dursleys. However, none of them (including skinny Aunt Petunia) comes off well in the book. To me, it's less a fat issue than an appearance issue.

Fillyjonk said...

I have to agree with Lindley... I was particularly struck by the scene in Goblet of Fire where Harry laughs at Dudley being tormented by his inability to gorge himself on his favorite snacks -- because Harry himself has candy and cake stashed in his bedroom. Of course gluttony from a fat kid is laughable and should be punished, but for a skinny kid, it's a triumph!

I'm not saying Rowling's heart isn't in the right place -- I liked the piece you linked to, and I like HP as well. But if she really believes what she writes here, she should put her money where her mouth is, instead of giving kids a perfect fat=bad=overindulgent archetype to latch onto.

Harriet Brown said...

I agree with you, and I hope this rant on Rowling's site means she is reconsidering some of her knee-jerk reactions.

We are such a fat-phobic society that it takes super consciousness to question and go against the mainstream. I like to think maybe Rowling is getting there. :-)

Harriet Brown said...

And by the way, Rowling writes some of the best food porn out there! Check out descriptions of feasts from the first several books. Food never sounded so good.