|Princesses Don't Get Fat by Aya Ling|
Princesses Don't Get Fat, by Aya Ling, addresses that question. I can't remember the last time I read a story where the book cover housed a less-than-perfect heroine. The cover is a telling supplement that sets the tone for the rest of the book.
The story cements its unique approach by changing the stereotypical, helpless princess-in-waiting. Every princess is allowed to find her own way in the world, including fighting off dragons and seeking indelible adventure. The food obsessed, plump Princess Valeria has become a great consternation to her mother, the Queen of Amaranta; who is distressed at Valeria's lack of self-restraint and burgeoning waist-line. In order to circumvent further weight gain and find the Princess a husband, the Queen decides to send her off to the Royal Riviera Academy of Fighting Arts.
Though Valeria has the option of changing herself to fit worldly aesthetics, she chooses not to. She chooses desserts over finding a handsome prince, and decides to forego the life of an estimable royal marriage. Regardless of where she find herself, Princess Valeria is always true to her own wants and needs. She doesn't mask them into a ball of shame, or find the need to hide her deepest desires. Perhaps that is the reason that love does not elude her completely; as she encounters Prince Ralph, who becomes drawn to Valeria's nightly jaunts to the palace kitchens.
Aya Ling has created a fun, uplifting story that encourages young women to find their own paths in life. It's okay to go against the grain, to decide your own fate regardless of social pressures. We are also reminded that as parents and responsible members of society, we should motivate and support the decisions of our youths.