Will “Bigger Chick Lit” Novels Win A Plus-Sized Audience?

Hey, Frisky book lovers, have you heard about “bigger chick lit”? Pissiness over a poochy tummy is a sub-plot in plenty of books, most notably Bridget Jones’s Diary, but the Guardian says “bigger chick lit” novels feature a “young woman who is seriously overweight—and doesn’t care.” And apparently, they’re all the rage. Julia Llewellyn, author of Love Nest, in which one of the characters is fat, explained to the Guardian:

“It’s classic wish-fulfillment: readers want to read about women learning to love themselves whatever their weight, because then they don’t have to go through that pesky world of dieting themselves. There’s a big market of people who want to hear that message.”

I understand that reading is about entertainment, wish fulfillment, relating to characters, and all those other things. But that quote about people wanting to hear they don’t have to deal with that “pesky world of dieting” makes me think maybe “bigger chick lit” is a not entirely healthy marketing ploy thought up by a desperate publishing industry.

I’ve actually never heard of “bigger chick lit” and I’m not at all sure what to make of it. I’m a supporter of the self-love/”Don’t let Photoshopped fashion models get to you!” message within the fat acceptance movement. But I also think there’s a difference between healthy people whose bodies are naturally bigger and unhealthy people who primarily eat processed, fatty foods, drink heavily/smoke, and hardly get any exercise. I confess I haven’t read a “bigger chick lit” book yet (although I would personally recommend BJD or Elegance if you think you might like this genre); still, I can’t really get behind books saying it’s cool to stick with an unhealthy status quo. Bridget Jones was normal-sized and fretted about her weight, but throughout the whole book, she was vowing to smoke/drink less and stop dating “emotional f***wits” for her own health.

Then again, maybe “bigger chick lit” books are just a breath of fresh air for women who’ll never fit into the sample-size dresses name-dropped in Confessions Of A Shopaholic. And everyone deserves to read books they can relate to!

This is an interesting topic—what do you peeps think? And if you have read a “bigger chick lit” book, can you tell us what you thought about it? [UK Guardian]