Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Where Are The Fat Children In Picture Books? - Ashlie Swicker Asks Over at BookRiot

6 year olds giggling - in a laughing at others way - when Ashlie read them the word "fat" in Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar sparked the piece in BookRiot. 

Where are the Fat Children in Picture Books? is important reading - Ashlie shares not just the impact of fat-shaming culture, but also the need for joyful inclusion. Here's an excerpt:

“Many people honestly do not believe fat children deserve representation. They believe fat kids need to be FIXED. We live in a time where there is a War on Childhood Obesity. And for all the shaming and warnings about how large children are unhealthy, nothing is changing in the data. It’s almost as if humiliation and mockery will not change outcomes. To anyone who wants to fight that fat kids can’t be in books because they need to be healthy, I am here to tell you that thin does not equal healthy. We could get into the ickier questions about our national obsession with health as an inherent moral value, but this isn’t even the moment. If we want to teach kids to treat their bodies well, we must first teach them to love and appreciate their bodies, no matter how they look.” 


“There need to be more fat children in picture books. There need to be fat children celebrated in picture books. There need to be fat children dancing, eating, running, and playing, and they need to be prominently and warmly featured in picture books.”

As creators of children's literature, we should pay attention - the full article is well-worth reading.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

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