Faith Herbert is normalizing plus-size characters in the entertainment industry. (Image via The Mary Sue)
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Faith Herbert is normalizing plus-size characters in the entertainment industry. (Image via The Mary Sue)

All they have to do now is cast her.

A new superhero, Faith Herbert, is flying toward the silver screen — she’s blonde, dimpled, a total sci-fi nerd and plus-sized. Fans of Valiant Comics will be thrilled to know that Sony Pictures just announced their plans to make a live action adaptation of “Faith,” the comic series based on the superhero of the same name.

Sony signed on for the collaboration with Valiant Comics back in 2015, and Faith will be the latest character to receive the motion picture treatment. Although no release date or cast members have been announced, “American Gods” writer, Maria Melnik, has been designated  to work on the screenplay.

“Faith” is going to be a movie starring a woman, written by a woman and partly created by a woman.

The most recent incarnation of the comic books centering around Faith was penned by Jody Houser, who began authoring the series in 2016, becoming the first woman to take the heroine’s story into her own hands.

In a 2015 interview with People that occurred prior to her takeover, Houser said Faith’s body is “definitely not something that she has a problem with.

“She’s very comfortable with herself,” Houser said. “I’m not going to ignore her size, but I don’t want it to be a big issue or a big plot line with her, and I think it would be out of character to make it that.”

Women have taken to Twitter to appeal to the casting team, adding their names in the running to audition for the role of Faith.

A plus-size superhero is long overdue and a terrific step forward for the film industry. Not only does “Faith” hint that Hollywood is headed in the inclusive, body positive direction, but the movie also provides many women with a strong, resilient, superhero who looks the same as them.

“I’ve been hearing from women who are in their 20s and 30s and 40s who have been reading comics for decades who have never seen a woman on the cover of a comic that looks like them,” Houser said.

“And I think that makes people feel like they’re welcome in comics, and that this medium is for them, when, maybe they’ve always loved comics but they haven’t felt welcome before is a huge thing.”

Historically, female characters in superhero comics and films have been pin-thin and absurdly proportioned, an ideal that is basically impossible to meet in real life.

All the Slender Ladies: Body Diversity in Video Games

Images of women in comic books and video games are oftentimes reminiscent of porn stars, featuring characters with 15-inch waists and H-cup breasts while simultaneously projecting damaging expectations on girls who aspire to have similar bodies.

Even in live action movies, the women cast, although extremely talented and fit for their roles, generally have noticeably thin, athletic bodies and wear costumes that accentuate their figures.

A character such as Faith is essential to show women of all ages that you can be just as powerful, smart and desirable as other women without adhering to the unrealistic expectations of the entertainment industry. Faith will show women that fat can be beautiful and strong.

Writer Profile

Cameron Andersen

New York University
Cultural Anthropology and Gender & Sexuality

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