Like many books I read over the summer, I opened One to Watch with the sole expectation of being entertained. The story follows plus-size fashion blogger, Bea Schumacher, as she is chosen as the next Bachelorette (or in this case the fictional equivalent). Bea swears not to fall in love. Although, she agrees to do the show so “someone like her” can be cast as a leading lady in a world that typically highlights size zero women only.
Based on the plot summary, I figured this book would satisfy my reality TV craving. It did so much more than that!
During a year where our country is fighting for change and challenging the status quo, I think Bea’s story, in a much more light-hearted way, kind of aligns with the perspective shift a lot of us have been working on. Let me explain.
The book’s premise is that Bea is a plus-size blogger and reality TV doesn’t feature women that “look like her.” This going to sound really bad. But before reading One to Watch, I hadn’t thought about what it might feel like to have spent my life not seeing myself or someone who looked like me represented in mainstream media. The book was eye-opening for me in that way.
I’m not the thinnest person; but for all intents and purposes, my size has never been something I’ve considered when facing rejection. Bea’s story changed the way I think about how women of other shapes, sizes and backgrounds must feel when compared to the “typical” women we see represented as the definition of beauty. There are a lot of things our society should do better, and celebrating ALL women needs to be added to that list.
Ok getting off my soapbox and into the fun stuff.
Behind the Scenes
I’m dying to know how Kate Stayman-London did her research for the book. There is so much detail around the behind-the-scenes world of reality TV! If she didn’t work in reality TV in a former life, she must have a best friend who did. I could totally see how this would play out in real life.
I get that sometimes, editors select small fragments of a person’s “character,” which may portray them in a way that doesn’t align with their IRL personality. But I never considered the producers might be the master puppeteers behind most of the drama. I was so naïve until now! This new perspective will either ruin reality TV for me, or intrigue me more by what goes on behind-the-scenes. Guess I’ll find out during this new season of The Bachelorette!
Has anyone else read One to Watch? If so, what did you think? If not, add this fun book to your TBR list.