Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Khloé Kardashian Wants to Help You Get Bodysuit-Ready: 'No Muffin Top!!!'
- Read the Cover Story: Steve Harvey: From Homeless to Having It All
- WATCH: James Franco's Trailer for the "Revamped" Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? Is Here
- Photo Proof That Jennifer Lopez Is the Ultimate KarJenner Style Muse
- Your Memorial Day Weekend Makeup Inspiration, Courtesy of Anne Hathaway
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 03, 2000
- Vol. 54
- No. 1
The Heck with Fat-Free Romance—novelist Joanne Morse's Plus-Size Heroines Demand Beefcake and Dessert
Not quite the stuff of the Bard, perhaps, but so goes the plot of "Stuck," a short story from one of 13 hot and very heavy titles published by Rubenesque Romances, an imprint begun by 60-year-old grandmother of three Joanne Morse of Hampton, Va. "I got sick of reading romances with these perfect, blonde, skinny heroines," says Morse, a Hampton University pharmacology professor who, at 5'6", weighs in at just over 200 lbs. "How am I supposed to identify with that?"
So in 1994, Morse, who professes a love for "fried chicken, biscuits and whipped cream on anything," began churning out her steamy escapist fare for plus-size women. The books follow simple guidelines:
(1) The heroine must be significantly overweight.
(2) Her weight must be an obstacle to the romance, even if only in the woman's mind.
(3) The book must end happily, but not because the heroine has lost weight. Bound by hand with the help of Morse's daughter Laurie Mitchell, 37, and two of Mitchell's three daughters, the books have proven a modest hit online (they're sold at www.rubenesqueromances.com and at Amazon.com). Says Rubenesque editor Cynthia MacGregor: "Joanne fills a niche for the plus-size woman who wants to know where her Prince Charming is."
And while the twice-divorced Morse has been unlucky in real-life romance so far, she hasn't given up on finding her prince yet. "Lots of fat women really do find true love," she says. "People need to know they can be loved for who they are, not just what they look like."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!