**This is not a debate of what's healthy.**
**Also note: Fat men have more leeway and variety in novels.**
I'm a very fat woman. It's a fact. I hate the clinical term for being overweight, nor do I like to sugarcoat things; cats and blankets are fluffy, I'm fat.
And, because I'm human, I like reading books about people like me... at times.
Most novels out there that even contain "bigger" characters, refuse to make them larger than a size eighteen. There's an unwritten rule somewhere about that magical size. Beyond it, the story might not appeal to more general audiences. Or, heaven help us all, we may have to really address the "weight issue" of the character.
And, the books with very fat protagonists (beyond size twenty-plus... in women's sizes) do address it... a lot. The hero gets bullied (true in many cases). The heroine obsesses about food and weight (possibly true for many real fat people). But the books often dissolve into pity trips, weight-loss journeys, medical scares, etc. They are also almost always literary or romance in genre.
The outcome for our very fat characters is eerily similar to one another. While a size sixteen woman may (though no guarantee) learn to love her curves, get the guy, solve the mystery... the 300-plus pound woman either ends up losing the weight or dying before age fifty. She's never happy with herself unless she's thin. She never gets the guy while she's heavy.
It's unrealistic! Every fat woman is single? Every single person beyond age fifty is that glorious, mystical size eighteen or below?
In a country where the fatter you are, the less effective dieting is long-term, where over 83% (or so) of all diets fail, where over four percent are morbidly obese (there's that lovely, clinical term meaning over 100 pounds over a person's ideal weight)... it's ludicrous to not have stories about fat people making it through as fat people instead of sick people or skinny people trapped in fat bodies.
Fat people can be healthy. Fat people can be desirable. Fat people can be happy (though many aren't because of society saying discrimination towards them is acceptable because being fat is a "choice").
I understand novels are fiction. I understand people have different tastes.
But, if authors take on very fat protagonists, they should make them less a stereotype of unhappy sickness, and more diverse. Just like every other character.
Have you read books where the main character was fat? If so, how heavy was he/she and what happened?