literature

'Hot' Only Characters

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Literature Text

For this complaint I only have two questions.

Is the narrator describing the characters subjectively?

It’s one thing if the story is written in first person, and the character obviously would have an opinion of the attractiveness of another character, along with several other characters, but if it’s in third person then, yes, the descriptions should be objective. He had short shaggy brown hair. She had thick thighs. He was scrawny. She had a round face that tend to make others see her more as cute than beautiful.

Is there enough description of the character’s physical looks to classify whether the characters are “hot” or not?

I ask this because most people only describe height, hair, eye, and skin color. If there are more descriptions it would be whether the character has a strong jaw, a shapely nose or any other unique features such as freckles, scars, cleft chins, etc. And even if the story mentions every single detail about a person’s physical looks, what’s to keep people from being attracted to them, even if they wouldn’t be classified as “hot” by the modeling standards of beauty ("Youthful Old Gals and Men").

I think the reason this complaint is here is because there aren’t enough “pudgy” or overweight people in a story, therefore a story automatically loses believability. No. That is certainly not true. Of course this would depend on culture, like in Japan. They have a law mandating companies to measure waistlines and those people have to diet or have six month reeducation on diet and health until their waistline is below a certain number of inches. Plus the company gets more benefits because of this. Yes, America has obese people, and a lot of it–I live in America, so I know–but it still isn’t fair to peg every story that doesn’t mention any persons that happens to have some extra weight.

Vampire Academy (Mead) focuses on vampires--moroi, dhampir, and strigoi to be more precise. The moroi are full-fledged vampires, while dhampirs are half vampires and half human. Strigoi, on the other hand, can be moroi who have sucked all of the blood of another moroi, or the moroi or dhampir was turned into a strigoi by being bitten by a strigoi and left to live. In that universe, you literally cannot afford to be out of shape, not to even mention that the moroi seem to can’t gain weight due to not having much of an appetite for cooked food. And just because the story focuses on moroi, dhampir and strigoi, doesn’t mean that there aren’t overweight people, or even overweight vamps–the story is just not in a place or time where it would be noticeably mentioned, or be important enough to mention. Do writers have to mention the one overweight moroi in a sea of stick figures just because he or she is there? Would it still be considered discriminatory even if he or she isn’t at all important to the story?

Some authors picture a character with pudge, or characters that are noticeably overweight, however there is a chance they don’t describe them that way. Clothes can hide a lot, or create an illusion to make the body shapely in an attractive way. Even curvy guys and girls can look hot in the right clothing. So when should the pudge and fat be described? When they’re in their bathing suits at the beach? How often do beach scenes come up in books? Hardly ever. Plus, do you really want authors to describe pudgy people in a way that’s merely a dismissal, or overly blunt?

Out sunbathing, Moira shows off her gut in her bikini.

Yeah. That won’t create an angry audience at all!

In addition, even in America, just like any other country, it also depends on the region where obesity can be concentrated due to a number of factors, such as genetics, education, and community habits. The middle states and a couple of eastern states–Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and West Virginia–have the highest percentage of obese people of between thirty to thirty-five percent. Surrounding those states, other states have a twenty-five to thirty percentage, and the rest–California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Utah, and Wyoming–have between twenty to twenty-five percent population of obese people. Even though we have the highest overall percentage, it’s not like we’re overflowing with fat people where it’s completely unavoidable no matter what. The media over exaggerates it.

If you really want more obese characters noticeably mentioned, write stories yourself the way you think they should be mentioned and stop complaining. I personally think that what I’ve read in my collection of fiction is fine–not that I was purposefully looking for obese characters to calculate percentages anyway.
If you haven't, please read my Mary-Sue: Who is She? Series first.

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AccessBlade's avatar
I plan on making my character beautiful- minus the curves (Because honestly not every beautiful woman/girl is busty). Her looks earn her the ire of everyone as not only is she pretty, but she is part of a prestigious family called 'Magnus' and is therefore rich. She's also a pretty accomplished twin swordsman and as a result people think that it isn't fair she 'has everything'. 

However, her status has isolated her from people and has made her jaded towards people in general, which in turn puts people off as they think she's standoffish. 

Does that make her mary-sue?