If the photo shoot the other day proved anything, it is that I am not a director.
This wasn’t surprising. It was the part of the shoot that caused me the most anxiety. We were shooting the cover for my third book, An Offsuited Pair, and possibly the fourth, which will be titled Riding It Out. I was going to be working with a renowned photographer and a gorgeous model. The mixture of excitement and nerves was pretty even.
I wanted to get across a certain feeling, but not be locked into a single idea. I knew there were more options than what I was picturing in my own head, and because I am not a predominantly visual person, I knew the best idea was likely one I hadn’t even considered.
There was one aspect that I was not willing to compromise on, however. And that was the size of the model.
In the books, my lead female character is supposed to look more or less like me. And that includes her weight. She’s very upfront about it, and though she struggles with body acceptance at times, she is mostly content.
I needed that to be reflected in the covers.
The cover for the second book, Aces and Spaces, was perfect. I was proud it included a woman who was not a size two. It was a trend I needed to continue.
For me, the covers are not just a representation of a character. It’s bigger than that. I want to be part of a movement for body positivity. I want women of size to be able to see themselves as sensual and sexual. It’s not enough for me to say she’s a bigger girl. People need to see it. We need to be represented and be reminded that we too are beautiful.
Because we are. Brain hamsters and internet trolls be damned.
Being a size 12 or a size 20 isn’t better or worse than being a size 2. It is different. It is its own kind of beauty, and should be highlighted equally.