October 24, 2021

Julie Murphy’s New Novel Is A Plus Size Take On Cinderella

Scary Mommy, Christy Archibald and Disney Hyperion Avenue

My introduction to creator Julie Murphy got here within the type of the movie version of her book Dumplin’. I heard the excitement, and knew I’d have to observe it straight away. As a fat woman, any story with a plus-size primary character piques my curiosity. As a Tennessean, any film with such a strong connection to Dolly Parton excites me. Even if Dumplin’ is meant for a youthful viewers– it was written as a YA novel, and I’m in my thirties– if somebody mentioned, “I wrote the precise story you could have at all times needed to see in a film,” it will be Dumplin’.

Once I watched it, I discovered myself utterly enthralled. We even received a pet round that very same time, and I named her Willowdean Dumplin Cloyd. The story simply hit me proper in my chubby little coronary heart.

After my preliminary introduction to Julie Murphy through Netflix, I rapidly found that she has written far more than simply Dumplin’, together with two companion novels, ‘Puddin’’ and ‘Pumpkin’. Most of her books deal with plus-size protagonists, and it’s so refreshing to see glimpses of myself in these characters.

One in all Julie Murphy’s most up-to-date initiatives known as If the Shoe Matches.

It’s her first novel written for an grownup viewers. ‘If the Shoe Fits‘ is a contemporary retelling of Disney’s Cinderella story with a plus-size gal as the primary character, Cindy. On this e book, Cindy is an aspiring shoe designer, and the one plus-size lady on a actuality TV courting present. The work was commissioned by Disney, and I’ve by no means been extra excited to learn a e book in my complete life. (I devoured this e book in two days. I used to be legit unhappy when it was over as a result of I needed to observe Cindy for the remainder of her life.)

Scary Mommy received the prospect to sit down down with Julie Murphy herself to debate ‘If the Shoe Matches,’ why it’s essential to her to write down about plus-size ladies, and even to get her tackle plus-size trend. Right here’s what she needed to say.

Julie Murphy was hand-picked by Disney to reimagine certainly one of their princesses for a contemporary viewers, and this fats lady is so rattling excited to listen to it.

Courtesy of Christy Archibald

When Julie’s editor reached out to her to let her know that Disney was going to be releasing a collection of rom-coms impressed by the traditional Disney princess tales, Murphy knew straight away that her first alternative princess can be Cinderella.

“I’ve at all times needed to write down an grownup e book, and I really feel like being a YA creator and getting to write down a Disney-inspired grownup e book is the right stepping stone into the grownup world, ya know? Though Cinderella isn’t the primary Disney princess, she was my first Disney princess,” Murphy explains. “I’ve a lot of reminiscences of sitting on my grandmother’s ground, manner too near the tv, like obsessing over Cinderella’s black choker. I simply keep in mind stealing my mom’s bra straps, utilizing them as a choker, pretending to be Cinderella.”

“Earlier than I even selected which princess I would favor to work with, I knew that I used to be going to make that princess plus-size. All of my books revolve round plus-size protagonists, and ya know, the typical lady in America is over a measurement 14, so not solely does it make private sense for me, but it surely additionally makes international narrative sense for a contemporary Disney princess to mirror the fashionable lady,” she explains.

Cinderella was additionally my first Disney princess! I believe one thing about the way in which she was the least doubtless candidate to win the prince’s coronary heart, however he noticed how particular she was even when no one else may actually resonated with me as a chubby child within the nineties when plus-size position fashions in media had been few and much between. If a prince may love a maid, then possibly my prince was on the market, too.

It’s evident from the way in which Cindy discusses her measurement that an precise plus-size particular person wrote her experiences.

Disney Hyperion Avenue

It was so refreshing to observe Cindy say the issues I’ve mentioned about my very own physique, and to make use of language that assures me that Cindy is conscious of and concerned within the fats positivity/acceptance/liberation motion which means a lot to so many real-life fats ladies.

“It took me so lengthy for me to like myself sufficient to even contemplate that I might be the primary character, that now that I’ve realized that fact, I’m like a canine with a bone. Like, ‘Make ‘em all fats! We’re making all the women chubby!’” Murphy laughs.  “All the women are going to be plus-sized, they usually’re going to have nice, thrilling, enjoyable tales. It’s sort of like now that my eyes have seen the sunshine, it’s all I can take into consideration.”

“Kudos to Disney as a result of they got here to me for a motive. They knew what my targets are. I believe this line was created with a really particular intent to rewrite the princesses for them to be extra accessible to a contemporary viewers,” Murphy shares. “After all, there’s a spectrum of plus-size on the market, however I really feel like lots of people may see the quilt of ‘If the Shoe Matches’ and actually see themselves mirrored in Cindy’s physique measurement and physique shapes, so I believe it’s extra common than the world round is would lead us to imagine.”


After all, “If the Shoe Matches” isn’t the one story that exists with a plus-size protagonist, however Julie Murphy is aware of there’s at all times room for yet one more gifted, profitable fats character on the bookshelf.

“Within the romance area, there’s positively some plus-size illustration. Talia Hibbert is a superb instance of that. Olivia Dade. Additionally, ‘One to Watch‘ [by Kate Stayman-London] is one other actuality tv courting present e book that additionally has a plus-size protagonist. So, there are these folks creating these tales, however I really feel prefer it’s such a sliver,” she says, lamenting that lists for folks looking for fats optimistic fiction typically comprise the identical few books and authors.

“While you go to the shop and it’s like, ‘I really feel like I can’t select one as a result of there are such a lot of’ that’s once I’ll really feel like we’ve actually made a dent on this,” she admits.

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty

The concept of being the one fats lady on a actuality TV courting present makes me sort of queasy, however Julie Murphy knew precisely what she was doing selecting that setting for this fairytale.

I married my first boyfriend, so courting was by no means actually a factor for me, however I’ve typically watched these courting exhibits and considered how completely different my expertise can be.

“I believe the truth tv courting present was a very pure match for the stand-in for the ball and the robes and the clock placing midnight…all these Cinderella motifs. It actually made quite a lot of sense to make use of actuality TV present as a backdrop,” Murphy explains.

“After all, there’s not quite a lot of precise, actual examples of [plus-size contestants on reality TV dating shows] but it surely was simple to think about how she may really feel and what she may undergo, simply because it was very easy for me to think about how we deal with plus-size starlets, and even how I’m typically handled as a plus-size creator. You’re both vilified for what you might be and what you’re doing, otherwise you’re held as much as this unrealistic inspirational pedestal, ya know? There’s not quite a lot of in-between. So, whereas I may not see quite a lot of plus-size ladies on actuality tv courting exhibits, it wasn’t exhausting to think about how that may unfold or what that may appear to be,” Julie says.

A part of the rationale Cindy loves footwear and selected to design them as a profession is due to the often-dismal panorama of the plus-size clothes business.

I relate to that so exhausting. So does Julie Murphy.

Murphy was accepted to the Vogue Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles when she graduated highschool, however a household monetary disaster prevented her from attending. Her love for trend runs deep, and it was born within the mall the place she couldn’t discover something in her measurement, however she needed to buy and discover issues she loves.

“I grew up within the period of the mall. The mall was so particular and influential to my era. I used to be always strolling by all these shops with my associates from like Hollister, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, and there was by no means something in these shops to suit me. Whilst a young person, if there was a plus-size part or a husky lady’s part or no matter it was that was the part I shopped in from the day I used to be born,” Murphy explains.

“Whereas Cindy very seamlessly discovered footwear, I very seamlessly discovered hair equipment. That’s my ‘shoe,’” she admits. “I’m at all times on the prepared with a scarf, and that’s my iteration of Cindy’s footwear.”

For me, it was make-up. Once I was nonetheless within the mindset that my physique was less-than, I made a decision that I may make folks have a look at my face as a substitute. From the second I used to be allowed to put on it, I threw myself into make-up and practiced making my face look as contoured, shaded, and enhanced as doable. At this time, I’m rather more snug in my physique, however I nonetheless completely love that half-hour earlier than an essential day once I can sit at my make-up desk and rework myself. It’s a love that’s outlasted my insecurity.

Similar to Cindy, Julie Murphy is trendy AF. 

She is at all times sporting cute, enjoyable outfits and posting photos on Instagram. We even have the identical lovely yellow bathing swimsuit from Outdated Navy, so I assume you can say we’re positively BFF materials. Are you listening, Julie? We’d completely get alongside.

“I’ve an embarrassing quantity of riches in relation to garments,” Julie admits. “I actually love Common Normal. I like a very nice energetic firm known as Superfit Hero. They’re very size-inclusive. One other one I actually love that offers in a lot of linens and stuff known as Nettle Studios. Torrid was my very first job out of highschool, so Torrid will at all times maintain a particular place in my coronary heart. I nonetheless get tons of my fundamentals there. One other favourite of mine is a very small indie designer out of Portland, and her firm known as Copper Union.”

“It would sound useless, it’d sound foolish for clothes to such a factor to be so keen about, however clothes is such an entry level. It’s actually exhausting to do the job you may’t gown for. I keep in mind once I wasn’t writing full-time and going to interviews. It was extremely painful to have to enter the one Lane Bryant and attempt to duke it out for the one blazer that wasn’t hideous, ya know? It’s one thing I’m actually keen about, and I believe that giving folks the chance to decorate for the careers they need and the issues they need simply offers folks extra alternatives normally,” Julie shares.

Insert one zillion heart-eye emojis right here. This lady completely and utterly will get it.

Julie Murphy ended her dialog with Scary Mommy by teasing us with this pleasant little tidbit:

“I can’t formally share who the subsequent authors are who’re going to be taking over the subsequent two princesses, however I can let you know that you simply’ll be very excited.”

We already are!

‘If the Shoe Matches’ is accessible now wherever books are bought, and you’ll sit up for extra books in Disney’s Meant to Be Collection from different gifted authors quickly.

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