Let’s be honest… I want to be a Disney Princess! I’m not sure where a fat, 40-something fits into the canon, but a girl can dream, can’t she. For years, Plus Sized characters have been relegated to the Villain and Comedic Side Character categories. Well, hold on to your hats, friends, because Disney’s first Plus Sized Princess has arrived!
Disney Enterprises’ has started a new book series, Meant to Be. The collection will feature Adult Fiction Rom-Coms, reimagining Disney classics in contemporary settings. The first book in the series, If The Shoe Fits, hit shelves last week (August ’21) and I could not be more thrilled.
If The Shoe Fits, was written by one of my favorite authors, Julie Murphy. (Dumplin’ and Puddin’) Murphy is a master at telling stories of empowered and wonderful Plus Sized characters. Those characters are richly layered and always front and center, never a sidekick. I knew with her pen, Murphy would create a Disney Princess I could see myself in.
In the story, Cindy is a shoe obsessed, recent graduate of the Parsons School of Design. (Sigh… giving me warm Tim Gunn feels.) Upon graduation, she feels a bit stuck and doesn’t know how to get her career in design started. She decides to move back to LA, helping her stepmother as a nanny while she gets her feet back on the ground. On the plane from New York, Cindy has an adorable meet-cute with a handsome stranger that makes the six hour journey much more enjoyable. Sadly, they lose each other somewhere in LAX. And so, Cindy begins her new life with her stepmother, two step-sisters, and triplet half-siblings.
Cindy’s stepmother just happens to be the producer of the country’s most popular reality TV dating show, Before Midnight. Right before the new season begins, a spot opens on the show that needs to be filled immediately. Despite the reservations of her stepmother, Cindy volunteers to be on the show, becoming the first-ever Plus Sized contestant. She hopes being on the show will give her a bit of exposure to boost her career in the fashion industry.
So much happens that Cindy never expected from the experience. She quickly becomes a fan favorite, inspiring viewers with her confidence and her killer shoe collection. And the suitor… well, she never expected to fall for him, but that all changes when he turns out to be a ghost of the past. In the process of learning who she can trust and who her real allies are, Cindy learns to advocate for herself and follow her heart. Things may not turn out exactly as you would expect, but in the end… all the characters get their happily ever after.
If The Shoe Fits is a perfect summer read, filled with romance, twists and turns, and just enough cheese to make it light and fun. I know that Julie Murphy likely won’t be the author of the entire Meant To Be series, but I hope she gets to take a crack at other princesses. Plus Sized Rapunzel, perhaps? (I totally want to see the big girl get Flynn Rider!)