How to Be Yourself: Ideological Interpellation, Weight Control, and YA Novels
This article engages with two YA novels in order to examine how texts that appear to go against prevalent cultural messages about bodily norms participate nonetheless in the same process of ideological interpellation. Carolyn Mackler’s The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things has an overweight protagonist, whereas Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls has an anorexic one. Both novels show their characters changing how they interact with food and thereby becoming productive members of society. As the novels work to undo destructive socialization, they provide new lessons in appropriate consumption.