YA Heroines Don’t Get Fat (Or Tall)

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The action heroine archetype is enjoying something of a golden age with blockbuster young adult novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent series starring strong female leads. But Julianne Ross over at The Atlantic has noticed a disturbing trend: all of these women are petite.

Being skinny isn’t a bad thing, but it becomes an issue when so many of the strongest female characters around conform to a single body type—especially one long associated with a narrow definition of what it means to be feminine.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →