I recently read a really good post on Rainbow Rowell's blog about Eleanor being fat. That combined with seeing readers online saying, "I think it's awesome that Park loved Eleanor despite her being fat." got me thinking about Eleanor.
Several people have asked Rainbow Rowell, "Eleanor isn't really fat, is she?" and Rainbow Rowell has responded that, yes, she is. Eleanor is fat. Eleanor thinks she's fat and Eleanor is fat. But why is everyone so obsessed about this?
Most people think about what they look like somewhat. Most people want to look nice. Why else would we buy makeup or wear clothes that match or glance at ourselves in the mirror? Because we want to look nice.
But why? I suppose it feels good to look nice, but I think us wanting to look nice is more for other people's benefits than it is for our own. Why? Because we judge. Consciously or unconsciously, we judge people based on their outward appearances.
I suppose that's natural. The outward appearance is the first thing we see, the first thing we think about. Do you know somebody's personality before you talk to them? No. But we see what people look like before we talk about them. And unfortunately, I think that we dismiss spending the time to get to know people based on their appearance.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a wonderful example of that. August is a sweet, kind, thoughtful boy who just so happens to have a disfigured face. And a lot of people dismiss him for that, make fun of him even. The few that take the time to know him, though, like him and look past what's on the outside.
I recently learned a new word. Kalon. It means beauty that is more than skin deep. And I think that's an excellent word to describe August, Eleanor, and many other people, including Park who loved Eleanor because Eleanor was truly beautiful. Beauty is not about how we look. It's about who we are. Beauty is who we are and the choices we make. And I think that's much more important than what color hair we have or how thin we are.
People say that they think Park's great because he loved Eleanor despite her looks. I think he loved her even more because of her looks. Her looks made up the person she was. Nobody else in the world looked like Eleanor, and that is beautiful.
I love this quote from Eleanor & Park:
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art
wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel
And that pretty much sums it all up. Eleanor is fat. And Eleanor is beautiful.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Eleanor Is Beautiful
I am a 17-year-old homeschooler, author, daydreamer, voracious reader, introvert, feminist, klutz, fangirl, and overuser of tape. I love the impossible (which might explain my obsessions with fantasy novels and Harry Potter) but I dip into the real world . . . occasionally. I tend to get overly emotional over my OTPs and eat sushi or listen to Taylor Swift to soothe the pain. If all else fails, reruns of “Doctor Who” or “Supernatural” is sure to help. I’m a big fan of mismatched socks, Cheez-Its, and bittersweet endings. I believe anything Rainbow Rowell, Felicia Day, or Lin-Manuel Miranda touches turns to gold. If you want to win the way to my heart, help me adopt a baby elephant. Or a llama. Or both. I write to survive and will often yell at my characters if they aren’t behaving, which is always. It doesn’t usually help. I am a contributor to the "Fauxpocalypse" anthology. You can follow me on Twitter at @Magic_Violinist.