Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'd Like My Book Covers with Plus-Size Models, Please!

Steph Su wrote a post just a couple days ago about how she wants to see more Asians on the cover of books. I highly enjoyed her post and even read some of the wonderful comments she recieved. One of them mentioned seeing a post about books with plus-size characters but not plus-size models on the cover.

Unfortunately, I did not see this particular post...but I do remember that in a copy of Entertainment Weekly they showed off some Chick-Lit covers that had much smaller models on the cover than in the inside of the pages (and I'm sure you'll see some of the ones they mentioned below). I think readers are more mature than this too...and I would personally like to see more covers with plus-size models. They exist in the world. Not all girls (and guys) are thin and beautiful looking. Just like there should be more covers with Asians and African-Americans and any other race that is written about, there should be covers where the models depict realistic girls. I'm not saying all books, but if the book has a plus-size character, then please show one on the cover!

If somebody won't buy a book because of the cover, then that's their problem. There are still going to be plenty of people that might stop and purchase the book BECAUSE publishing companies are showing real people on the cover...whether they are of a different race or just so happen to not be a size 2.

I mean, look at the cover of Big Boned by Meg Cabot. Yes, she has some slight curves...and no, her dress won't zip up! They are showing that she is meant to be a bit bigger...but honestly, the model still doesn't seem like she's plus-size to me. I think it's the dress and the fact that she has hips that give that impression more than anything. And why can't we see her face? Is it because she'd seem much smaller from the front? Who knows? But I have a feeling it might be part of the case...

Photo Source

Then you have another novel by Meg Cabot called Size 14 is Not Fat Either (the sequel to Size 12 is Not Fat) which is great! I applaud Meg for stating this, because it's true! These are much more normal sizes for women than what models are. But the cover you see over there on the right? I'm not so sure I would believe that the woman is a size 14. Okay, you see only her shirt and arms basically...but when I look at this, I think small, skinny model again that is simply hiding their  actual size with a shirt. I wouldn't believe that I'd see this woman's whole body with curves and a little meat to her bones! Maybe some of these are just me...but wouldn't you like to see a "regular" person on a book cover for once? Everyone seems to be thin and pretty. So yes, I understand the look thing...their models, but can you at least use plus-size models and make more of us average folk feel a bit better?

                                                                                                                                              Photo Source

Now one book that I would see in stores or online and think "this is an average-looking girl" is The Duff by Kody Keplinger, which isn't even out yet. The Duff, as you can see from the photo, is "The Designated Ugly Fat Friend." I haven't read this book so I can't say for sure...but I'm betting that you don't always have to be bigger or considered "fat" to feel like the Duff or even be one. However, the girl on the front is cute and seems like your average teen to me. Yes, I realize she's blowing a bubble and that could be the cause of her cheeks seeming fuller and more rounded...but I'll take it, even if that's not always what the model looks like. She definitely gives off the plus-size look better than others and with the added freckles, it makes her seem less like some book cover model and more like a normal girl that represents all of us out there.

Now this last picture isn't a book cover...but I wanted to post it so that you all can see an example of someone that I would look at and consider to be a plus-size model. To me, she's beautiful, but she's also not stick-thin like a ballerina. She looks realistic and I love that the outfit shows off her legs and her hips. She has doesn't mean she shouldn't flaunt them! And I don't see plus-size as just curvy. It means you might be a bigger size, but you're healthy and you're being yourself. It's a new type of model that I hope to see more of on book covers. It would mean a lot to me and show we are improving in time, and I hope it would mean a lot to other people as well.

So thanks to Steph for writing her post and inspiring this one. Feel free to discuss in the comments or make your own post featuring different covers. I'd love to hear more on the topic of book covers.



Blueicegal ♥ said...

i saw that post and i completely agree! what people don't understand is, since us book lovers are so serious about our books, the cover makes a big impression on us, so true the girl pulling her shirt of looks stick thin,im just worried its sending the wrong impression to younger girls, PS im emailing you now :)

Steph Su said...

First off, thanks for linking back to me, and I'm so glad I inspired you to post about this! I've been reading a lot of historical romances recently, and it irks me to no end that, many times, the heroine is described as curvy, lacking the fragile, willowy body types that the ton apparently likes to prefer... and then they go and slap a gorgeous SKINNY woman on the cover. Come on now! Readers are not idiots and WILL notice these sorts of discrepancies. Yes, we're all aware that models are not representative of the norm, and yet they become the image to which the norm aspires, but I'd like to see the media slowly realize they don't have to tell blatant lies in order to sell things.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Blue: I agree. I wouldn't want younger readers to have a book that says the person is plus-size or curvy but have the cover totally misrepresent that. It could confuse them. Thanks for your thoughts!

Steph: You're very welcome, thanks for the thoughtful post!

Exactly! They need to be more honest about the products they are portraying and show that they understand their audience. We should be treated with intelligence. Otherwise, it's like you're "talking down to us."


Liviania said...

Check out PLUS - plus-sized model (smaller than an actual plus-sized woman), but a normal looking face.

Great post!

Book Monster said...

Interesting post and completely agreed.
Well if book reviewers could reboot two covers (Ex; Liar) , then we could probably change the size of model on a cover.

Alessandra @Out of the Blue said...

I agree with you 100% on this topic.

bermudaonion said...

Great post! I agree with you - we come in different sizes and shapes and cover models should too.

Jennee said...

I've always noticed that Meg Cabot's covers don't seem to fit with the title. Some people view being bigger as real beauty. It's a shame that beauty isn't always rightfully promoted.

Kate said...

Great post! I completely agree! And Meg Cabot's covers really don't seem to fit the title.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Despite the fact that I have read both of those Meg Cabot books, I have never paid attention to the models on books covers - aside from the Gossip Girl novels. Now, I think I might. :)

Lisa_Gibson said...

I absolutely agree with you! The MC in my work in progress is an overweight girl in a relationship with a thin girl. I definitely would want my curvy main character on the cover if I ever fortunate enough to get it published. :) Great post!
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover