how to write a fat character
by: your local fat writer
media seems to do such a terrible job at representing people like me and same goes for many fic writers who try to base their characters on these characters shown in media. Here are some basic do’s and and don’t’s to writing fat characters!
- make your character in love with food- they’re allowed to eat like everyone else, but not every real fat person has an obsession over food. The rule can get iffy if your fat character is a cook.*
- make your character the center of jokes- everyone has something “funny” about them, but don’t make your fat character constantly make jokes about their own weight. Fat people get enough bullshit from skinny people about their weight already.
- make your character incredibly unfit- there are real fat people who are incredibly athletic! their weight may be from genetics or from proper muscle building (not the muscle building we’re groomed to think is right in society). The choices your character makes is what affects their athleticism, not their weight
- make your character the Depressed One- yes, fat people do get upset over their body. Many go through horrible diets to try and get slim. It takes years for real fat people to get over it and realize their body is horrible gross. Their weight can simply be because of genetics, not because of how much they eat.
- make your character’s arc about things involving their weight- unless your fat character ABSOLUTELY needs to involve food, don’t make this their entire character arc. There are so many cooler things you can do with your character; sexuality, friends/family, simplifying the heroes journey, etc. make your character exciting! make them relatable!
- make your character the token fat character- the real world has many types of people, the fantasy world should not be too different from this fact. Your characters should always show diversity, and sometimes repetition is good when its the right character type.
*making your fat character a chef can be a risky move. think about why your fat character is a chef. was it because they’re the fat character? or is there something that influenced them to become a chef? choose your answer carefully
- make your character’s interests diverse- I like food! but i also like many other things! video games, bike riding, painting, singing, give your character varying interests! maybe your character has that one thing they love above all else. the game Fire Emblem: Awakening has always been my go-to favorite thing, what’s your character’s?
- make your character an individual- develop their personality! how would your character react to seeing the ASPCA commercials? What’s their reaction when a family member dies? When their favorite artist is performing in town? Are there songs that make them emotional? What do they do to de-stress? Do they stim? There’s PLENTY you can say about your character that isn’t just “I love food.”
- make your character as realistic as possible- just as skinny people are diverse, so are fat people. When you’re describing a fat character, don’t default to “pear shaped.” there are proportionate and disproportionate fat people. maybe they have fatter thighs than they do calves, their stomach pops out but they don’t have “bingo wings,” maybe their chin does that weird thing or maybe it doesn’t (this happens to skinny people, too!). and don’t forget stretch marks. they are real and they are not “taboo.”
- write your character as if they’re like any other- it all boils down to one thing: the similarities and differences. I’m an XL and my friend is an XS, we both enjoy oversized hoodies! She would wear hoodies in the summer but I would rather walk around shirtless (if society didn’t tell us boobs are bad.) I would never wear short shorts when exercising because they ride up my thighs. Your fat character can act just the same as your skinny one(s).