Thursday 1 July 2010

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Discussion: Characters and Covers

Back in 2007, Luisa posted on Chicklish about the new covers created for Carolyn Mackler's novels, and implied that the cover for The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things didn't reflect the character well enough.

The first image is the one she was referring to, the second is a similar cover - I believe more of a close up of the pocket? Can't really be considered "a big round thing".

the earth, my butt and other big round things by carolyn macker the earth, my butt and other big round things by carolyn macker

So that got me thinking about other models on covers. Riley in Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell is a pretty big girl two. Yet in neither of these covers does she appear anywhere near big.

everything beautiful by simmone howell everything beautiful by simmone howell

I don't understand why characters are getting so represented on covers. What do you think about this? Do you know of any other covers that do this? Not white-washing covers, that's a different topic. But covers that have models of a different size, or where there is clearly no disfigurement, disability when there should be. Have you seen any? If so, please link to the covers!

EDIT: Brilliant news! Mollie commented directing to a post on review blog Stacked, with news about how there is now a larger lady on the cover for the remarketed Huge by Sasha Paley. And how fantastic does she look? Although it's not exactly the same subject, the post also links to other posts where books about larger girls have covers that either have no models on or body parts of thin models. Check them out, they're very interesting! But it's great to see this break through!


  1. I've noticed that on both of those covers before. And it actually bothers me a little.

    I couldld only think of Beth Fantaskey's Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side to add. There don't seem to be many books around with bigger girls.

  2. Is Jessica supposed to be a big girl then? I didn't know that, not yet read the book. It's interesting, though. And annoying! I think it's demeaning not to have characters properly represented/not to have bigger models on covers. I don't see why we can't have curvy girls on the covers! And why no-one has kicked up a fuss about it. Surely this is just as damaging as having slimmer models in the media?!

  3. Check out this blog. This post links to all of their posts on this topic (at the bottom)!

    There are a TON of examples, unfortunately!

  4. I pretty much ignore covers in general unless they're to my very particular taste, but it does really annoy me when the book or the character is so misrepresented. It would have been so easy to do it right! They could have even just used a bigger tree on the UK Everything Beautiful cover.

    I'm particularly annoyed about the new photo covers for the Ruby Oliver books. Here's a post that talks about them and why they're so wrong for the series - - but I have to disagree with that blogger in that I'm actually really disappointed about the fact that model-Ruby isn't *wearing* glasses in any of them. It would have meant a lot to me, as a glasses-wearing teen, if one of my favourite book characters had been a glasses-wearer, and if I could have "seen" her on the cover looking all fabulous in her frames. The right glasses would look amazing with those clothes too. Grrr.

  5. Mollie - Thank you so much for linking to that post! I've now edited my post with a link to it. I LOVE the Huge cover! It's fantastic!

    Julianne - Check out the new link! Larger girl on a cover! It's brilliant!
    It is a shame about the character not wearing glasses. It makes no sense, why not just put the glasses on her head, and keep them for the rest of the covers too? What's so wrong with glasses? It really makes no sense!

  6. Thanks for linking to my post! This is an issue I cannot, CANNOT stand. I am SO GLAD that I am not alone in this feeling, and I think the more we push for fair representation, the more we'll see it actually happen. The change for HUGE was, well, HUGE. I am thrilled.

  7. No problem, Kelly! I'm actually with you. To be honest, before I started planning this month, I hadn't read any books about larger girls, simply because they hadn't been on my radar (you don't want to know what lengths I had to go to to get some of these books for this month - my library is rubbish!). But since reading them, it's annoyed me a little that they weren't represented properly. Why not? And why wasn't - so it seemed - anyone making any fuss over it? The white washing of covers was everywhere in the blogosphere, but not size? How is that fair? I absolutely love the new cover for Huge, it's just fantastic! And the lady on the cover looks amazing, which just goes to show.

  8. I haven't tended to notice these covers much in the past, simply because I didn't used to read a lot of YA - but now that I have, I'm annoyed, too! Covers that misrepresent characters for any reason bother me, not the least of all because of misrepresentations of weight.

  9. It's just so wrong! I'm really not a fan of it!