Review: The Fat Girl by Andre Dubus
The Fat Girl is a short, contemporary story that examines themes of self-acceptance versus the need to be accepted by those around us. The protagonist, Louise, is chubby and is accepted by few (her father is a notable exception,) until with the help of her friend Carrie, she loses weight. After the birth of her first child, she gains weight again, much to the disapproval of her husband who seems to understand little about her.
Utterly depressing, this story highlights the conflicting nature between what is good for the self versus what will allow a person to be accepted by others. Louise is happy with her weight, and is unhappy while she is thin, though she gains acceptance and approval at this time. The story ends with her deciding that she will do what makes her happy, and stay true to who she is, even if it means losing her husband and the approval of others.
I cannot say that I enjoyed this one, so much as I was intrigued by it.