Atypical Body Types in Fantasy?

discussion

#1

I’ve been challenged by my English Proffesor from last year along with the rest of my class to write a story about a main character who has an ‘atypical body type’ in a fantasy setting since in fantasy you get a lot of the same conventionally attractive people (unless they’re evil). I was thinking of a plot already that is something short and probably romantic, with a male character that is sort of ‘fat/chubby’ and I wanted to ask about people’s genuine opinion since a lot of what we see on wattpad is fairly standard in ideas of beauty. Please feel free to say what you feel!


#2

I once read a story about when pigs fly. The chubby and pampered daughter of the town “mistress” got kicked out when her mother died. She and her pet pig took off on adventures, and as she got active and ate less, not only trimmed up, but discovered herself as a person.

I read another story once with a twist on dwarf stature, where a group lived underground, and the dwarves rode the tall people.

Atypical body types can lead to wonderful story twists. This isn’t to say a character can’t just be that, with nothing “special” happening beyond what would happen to any character. You just have to decide if you want him self-confident or unsure of himself.


#3

I think I’m going to go with a mix os self confidant but occaissional periods of doubt. Personally I like diversity wherever I can find it, but I know some people aren’t as welcoming. Thank you so much for the input by the way! I feel a little more confident now :):blush:


#4

Your professor is a hero.


#5

He’s pretty great ^^ I really like the idea of the challenge :slight_smile:


#6

And this idea is especially brilliant. I’m overweight myself and I find that the situation with such characters in fiction is dismal. The character has to be hot to be relevant and if there’s a chubby character, they’re usually only a comical relief. I’d kill for a book with a fat/chubby/dorky MC who actually drives the story forward, something Neville Longbottom-ish.


#7

I have to agree! The positive (the non-mocking) portrayals are very rare and even more so for main characters. My character is going to be a bit more dark than dorkish, but that would also be a really cool portrayal ^^


#8

My MC’s cousin is… stout, lol. The guy that took an interest in her was blown away with how she handled a gun during a confrontation. It’s her personality that provokes his interest. He doesn’t give a hoot about what she looks like. His interest in her surprises him, because he never saw himself as getting serious with anyone.

I found this old black and white that hit me as- that’s her! I doctored it up with PicsArt to add color.

image


#9

I love the idea! That’s super nice! I would love to read a story like that!

Be it in a world where a chubby hero is unusual or in a world where all chubby people are badasses, I think any twist could be interesting!

Just one thing! In movies I really don’t like it when the dorky/geeky/chubby male character ends up going out with the blond bombshell: totally breaks the purpose of the body positivity message!
In case of romance twist, I would prefer if the love interest is a lady/guy who also has an atypical or a normal bodytype! Gives a wayyy better feel :smile:


#10

Good idea!
You could put in some extra diversity as well…


#11

That’s really cool! And I’m so surprised characters like these are common than I originally thought, love it!


#12

Well as it turns out, I had the same idea and I was going to make the romantic interest princess mixed race between African and Caucasian with some help from some of my friends on here who are black :slight_smile:


#13

Thanks! I thought it was a good idea too ^^

I think what’s different is that chubby is somewhat common in the story universe amongst nobles, but that his attitude is intimidating.

And… I sort of agree wth you to be honest?? Like appearances don’t matter except for when it’s the love interests girl. I think In this case I’m going to go with the stereotypical female body type (maybe like an average body type, not something model/bimbshell like) because I don’t often to average sized women in stories. The main female character in my other novel was actually super strong and she could pass for a man on occasion. :slight_smile:


#14

I totally dig the concept :smiley:


#15

I love the idea. My short story “Home is Where the Heart Is” is all about two atypical people - he’s broad and stocky (as opposed to the slim waist / wide shoulders) and fairly ordinary and she’s chubby. You could also work with a physical issue, like a club foot or twisted arm. Even use something like Cerebral Palsy.


#16

I just remembered that Nina from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo has an atypical body type and a love interest, and the character is adored in the fandom. Just thought to mention it in case you needed some inspiration or possible ideas etc. :blush:


#17

It seems there’s a lot of tall people, male or female, in the Fantasy genre.

What about short or average height people? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#18

That’s an excellent one, I was thinking the girl could be a little shorter ^^


#19

Perhaps I don’t ring with the same definition. Originally, I thought you meant something around “purple skin and tentacle for limbs” when I read “atypical body types,” and now I feel a bit daft for admitting it xD

I don’t tend to mind what lead character looks like so long as I can portray them in my head. I do think stories with atypical body types tend to be more interesting. They force me to reflect, realise and sympathise on things I wouldn’t have thought about, and then hum, “Ooh, that was smart!” when their body causes a wee dilemma. (Eg. How a handless person resolves holding a cup and brushing his teeth.)

I don’t know, but I find when people choose “atypical” bodies for MCs, I often see chubby/fat and short in any genre. Ain’t nothing wrong with either and I’m not saying go change it, but there are more than that.

What about them pasty, uneven, chicken legs? A fixed broken neck, unable to rotate? An utterly normal but hirsute lady with attached earlobes? Eh, maybe it’s just me.


#20

Personally I’ve just seen very few men be fat and still be portrayed as an attractive person. It’s something I personally have never seen in any books I’ve read :slight_smile:

I do like what you’ve mentioned so far though! I definitely agree more differences could be used, something more than crooked noses and superficial scars.