Hey, Fat Girl

Last year I posted about my writing journey and how an overweight Filipino teenager dreamed about writing her own young adult novels about being young, Filipino, and overweight:

Ever since I attempted to write novels in seventh grade, I was driven to write stories about people that I rarely find in the shelves of many bookstores and libraries. In my case, it was always about an overweight Filipino girl (sound familiar?) beating the odds and falling in love in the process–not quite Sweet Valley High, but not tragic or confusing either. 


And as for the heroine of my seventh-grade novels…well, my Dad’s been wondering when I’ll write about her again. Someday I might have the time to sit down and draft her book. But that’s another story for another time.


One of the reasons why I’m glad that novel didn’t get published was because I actually hated being fat. I think about the drafts I wrote and I kept using the term “curvy” all the time, like that was going to make a difference. Add to the fact that I once went on the record mocking the fashion sense of fat women (I’m thinking it’s in the archives of Ka Leo O Hawai`i; I’m afraid to check) and you get someone carrying a load of self-loathing for not being thin and healthy enough.

But the fat twelve-year-old in me was still in the back of my mind. And she did come up pretty recently, when the discussion about fatphobia in romance came to a head. And I ended up writing this for “accountability”:

Yeah, I know, I still haven’t published the whole Hideaway Trilogy yet. But it’s on my mind. She is on my mind. 

It’s weird, though, because now I’m waking up in the morning and I’m thinking that I can’t do it justice. Maybe I’m not fat enough; maybe I haven’t reconciled myself with the reality of how my body is, especially now that I’m on medication for diabetes and high cholesterol. Or maybe I’ll never get it right at all?

Still, the voice is there: Write the story YOU want to read. 

And so be it. I’ll do the research. I’ll talk to my friends. I’ll read the books that are around, and figure it out step by step. 

I can’t guarantee anything more than this, but I will write it. And I’ll figure out the rest later. 

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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