I’ve Written a Book.

It was sometime around early 2021 and I was on the phone to my best friend of 17 years, reminiscing about the absolutely chaotic online shenanigans and situations we’d get into as teenagers back in the day. Back when MSN Messenger ruled supreme, and the only social media platforms available were the ‘Myspaces’ and ‘Hi-Fives’ of the world. A simpler time, really.

I’d just finished retelling one of our wild stories of a particular incident that involved myself and a “random guy from America” and how unbelievably unhinged that situation was, and after ending the call, I thought to myself ‘Man…this would make a great story or TV show tbh.” I make a note of this in my Notes app, reminding myself to come back to it at some point in the year.

Cut to a few months later, I’m in Soho House writing up a prospective synopsis to send to my literary agent. And now a year later, we’ve arrived at the point where I can announce the acquisition of my first fiction novel ‘BIG CHAOTIC ENERGY‘. Exciting stuff!

It’s important for me to clarify that the book is not based on a real-life event but rather, it’s a fictionalised story with elements that are based on real-life experiences. More importantly, it was crucial for me to make the main protagonist a gorgeously confident, fat, dark-skinned Black woman.

For many years now, the representation of fat people – and by extension, fat women in the media – has been piss poor. We’ve been constantly shown to be lazy, gluttonous, unintelligent and lacking in sex appeal when it comes to Hollywood. We are reduced to mere caricatures, which can also further stigmatize the traditionally marginalised groups within that demographic, such as those who are LGBTQIA+, people of colour, and Black people.

In the rare circumstance where we are included in a movie, TV show or book, we are relegated to being the following: ‘fat, sassy best friend’, the ‘fat villain’, the ‘depressed, insecure fat woman who thinks weight loss will solve all her problems’, ‘the fat character filled with trauma over her fatness’, or the secondary character who helps the thin, attractive main character feel good about herself. It’s rare for fat characters to be centred in storylines involving love, dating and romance due to the fatphobic idea that one needs to conform to a standard of beauty that glorifies thinness in order to be seen as desirable and thus liked or loved.

Of course, we know that’s not true, however, representation is a powerful thing, and showing fat women as successful, happy, secure and being loved loudly and unapologetically is incredibly important, as it helps with normalising fat bodies and deeming them worthy of respect, basic decent human decency and love. Of late, we’ve seen progress in representation when it comes to fat characters. From Bethany Rutter’s fantastic series of books centring fat women in romantic relationships to Michelle Buteau’s amazing show ‘Survival of the Thickest’ currently streaming on Netflix, which in my opinion is *very excellent*.

So! When it came time for me to start thinking about my book and how I envisioned my characters, I absolutely knew I wanted my main character Artemis to be a fat, dark-skinned woman. And what a woman she is! I have always tried to strive to be the change I needed to see in society, and being able to be in a position where I could create a well-rounded, successful, bad-ass, desirable character has been an absolute dream. My hope is for people to see themselves in the character – through her ups and downs and successes and failures throughout the story.

This is such a dream come true, and hopefully the beginning of an increase in seeing more fat characters being centred and HUMANISED within media. We deserve to be the heroes and heroines in our own stories.

BIG, CHAOTIC ENERGY will be coming out in February 2025!

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