This was a cute story with a good message to all. While this is a young adult book, this book’s message can and will resonate with people of all ages. Who hasn’t been insecure about their appearance at one point or another in their life? To be one hundred percent comfortable in your own skin would be a wonderful way to live. Time, age, and maturity certainly help with those feelings, but feeling out of place and insecure is something that I believe everyone has experienced. If you say that you can’t relate, then you’re either one of the lucky ones or you’re lying to yourself.
Willowdean (Dumplin’) has always been a big girl. Her mother, a former beauty pageant winner, was heavy in her younger years, and her beloved aunt Lucy died young at almost five hundred pounds. Willowdean comes across as comfortable in her skin. She knows that she’s fat. She knows that people stare at her. She also knows that some people make fun of her. But Willowdean carries herself with an air of confidence. She has never let her size hold her back from doing what she’s wanted to do, however, when she starts to develop feelings for her co-worker, she realizes that, with him, she’s not the confident fat girl that she always thought she was.
Dumplin’ is an underdog story. A group of girls who wouldn’t normally compete in a beauty pageant get together to shake things up in the town’s most revered event. Between weight issues, buck teeth, and uneven appendages, this group of young ladies didn’t fit the mold of your typical beauty pageant contestants, but, yes, I was rooting for them!
As mentioned, Dumplin’ has a good message. Body positivity is an issue, especially with all of the images of “universal beauty” that we are inundated with on a daily basis. It’s also a story of friendship, family, acceptance, and living your life to the fullest…and Dolly Parton! I can’t forget about Dolly!
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