Weighty Matters

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Dangerous Curves Ahead

on September 1, 2013

I don’t use this blog to promote books and I know that this post is going to break that guideline, but I can’t help it. I just read a novel that really speaks to every insecurity I’ve ever had or continue to have about my body, how I’m perceived, and how it all relates to guys and relationships. The book is a romance novel called Dangerous Curves Ahead by author Sugar Jamison. I might not ever have heard of it, except that one of my BFFs, Beth Ciotta, talked about it on her FB page. I’m so glad that I did!

The lead character of the book, Ellis, is fat. She refers to herself as fat throughout the book. In most areas of her life, she embraces that she’s overweight and it doesn’t get in her way. She’s given up her career as a lawyer to open a clothing store for hard-to-fit women, whether they’re overweight, taller-than-average, or whatever.

I love Ellis. She broke off a two year relationship with a man she’d fallen in love with because she realized that that in everything he said and did, he tore her down. He mocked her, belittled her for her weight. he tried to make her feel fortunate that he was with her because what other man would love her at her size? She hears this from him and from his creepy aunt and she knows that it’s bullshit. She refuses to accept it and dumps him.

However, it still affects her or, rather, the perception and treatment of overweight women affects her. It infuses her with a deep, powerful insecurity when she is faced with the reality of a relationship with a handsome, sexy, detective. She works hard to keep Mike, the detective, at a safe space apart from her. She resists getting involved with him physically and battles like a warrior to protect her heart. She’s positive that he will eventually dump her because great, attractive guys don’t really fall in love with fat women.

She’s nervous inside about a hundred things – like sitting on his lap, or being in the superior position in bed. On some level she is surprised every time he treats her with genuine affection and attraction. Throughout the book you experience how deeply she’s impacted by her weight insecurity, even when she’s a champ in all other areas.

I wanted to cheer her on throughout the story. I wanted to hug Mike every time he told her not to degrade herself because of her weight. I wanted to pulverize the ex-boyfriend and his aunt, Ellis’s bratty sister, and this bitchy random woman for all of their anti-fat bias, meanness and cruelty.

I haven’t talked a lot about my dating or relationship history here on the blog. It’s pretty dismal. At some point in this journey, I’m either going to seek out or run across an opportunity to date. I need to not be wrapped up in the past when that happens. I guess I should drag it out and examine it here. Not today, but someday.

Clearly, based on my own experiences, I emotionally invested in Ellis overcoming her insecurities and other, external struggles, to win her happily every after with Mike. She deserved it. We all do.

I applaud the author Sugar Jamison for this book. In addition to the heroine’s internal conflicts touching me, I also loved the book for the voice, all of the characterizations and Ellis in particular with her wit and humor. I’ll definitely read more by this author.

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6 responses to “Dangerous Curves Ahead

  1. Hope says:

    Sounds like a good read! I’ll add it to the list. 🙂

  2. Rebecca (Another One) says:

    I also like the Size 12 is not Fat books by Meg Cabot. But those aren’t so much about a fat woman as an average sized woman dealing with the negative media issues, and finding love over the course of several books. (It’s a mystery series.) I’ll have to check out Jamison.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So I read this earlier today based on your recommendation and loved it. Thanks for turning me onto a new author!

  4. Skye says:

    Wow, that sounds like an awesome book! I sometimes get a little uncomfortable reading books where the lead character has body issues (usually because she is overweight to some extent), partly because I never had body issues growing up, and partly because even though I’ve been overweight for 20 years, the extent of it hasn’t really shown that much do to my body type, so I haven’t been subjected to the kinds of abuse that most overweight and obese women face every day. It’s uncomfortable to read about that abuse and it’s kind of like reading books by and about African American characters: I feel that since I haven’t had to live with what they’ve had to live with, I feel I am invading a foreign culture. Also, I probably feel uncomfortable living with what they have to live through, even though it’s vicariously through a book.

    I do hear you on the dismal dating front. I’ve “dated” quite a few men, but really, only one of them was a good choice and he was only 18 when we finally broke up. Too young to be dealing with my crap. Once I hit my mid-30s, it was virtually over. Even when I used a matchmaking service in Seattle, the guys only really wanted to date young, pretty women, and I am neither. Plus, i wasn’t skinny: I had put on the majority of my weight at the time. I’m not sure a man has even looked at me in lust or attraction since then. Well, maybe 2, but that’s it. And nothing much came of those.

    I applaud your thinking about thinking about the dating scene! I think with your confidence and presence, you will have good fortune.

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