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Reviews of books, articles, and poetry written by or about ssbbw/bbw

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Go Big or Go Home

Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary, gives us yet another powerful novel, body positive must-read-Dumplin'.

Dumplin portrays a fearless heroine - Willowdean Dickson - a confident plus size girl who confronts challenges to her self esteem head on.

In the small town of Texas, where she lives with her mum, she grows into herself. Her mum is obsessed with pageants which had she won once in her teenage days, and now runs. She (her mum) diets to fit into her old dress and pressures Willow to do the same. Willow is however uninterested and adamant not to.

She mourns her beloved aunt Lucy, a second parent to her who died six months before, and simmers with pleasure over a new, hot, sort-of boyfriend. However, his touch makes Willow panic with insecurities. She loses him and her best friend, but goes on to find joy amid Dolly Parton music, drag queens, breaking pageant rules, and repairing broken relationships.

This book refreshingly asserts that thinness is no requirement for doing and deserving good things, that weight loss isn't a cure-all, and that dieting doesn't work anyway. The plot avoids the all-too-common pitfall of having its plus size heroine lose weight. It is refreshingly liberating with bits of humor and a jubilant pageant takeover by the beauty rebels.


Last month (December 2018), Netflix released a movie, also named 'Dumplin' based on the book. The film stars Danielle Macdonald as Willowdean "Dumplin'" Dickson, Jennifer Aniston as her mother, Rosie Dickson, and Odeya Rush as her best friend, Ellen Dryver. Dolly Parton performs on every song on the album and wrote six of the twelve tracks exclusively for the film, with the remaining six being re-recordings of some of Parton's earlier hits, including a string version of "Jolene". See the trailer below:

In conclusion, here's a short interview with Julie Murphy by Brit+Co magazine (Click here). As we start 2019, it is right that we face it head on, like Willowdean did. Have a memorable 2019, everyone!

Submitted by: Kelechi

"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
~Mark Twain
"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

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