Told through a series of larger-than-life snapshots, a hilarious memoir in essays about love, sex, marriage, motherhood, bikinis, and loving your body, no matter what size you are from the acclaimed blogger and body image advocate.
Brittany Gibbons has been a plus size her whole life. But instead of hiding herself in the shadows of thinner women, Brittany became a wildly popular blogger and national spokesmodel—known for stripping on stage at TedX and standing in Times Square in a bikini on national television, and making skinny people everywhere uncomfortable.
Talking honestly about size and body image on her popular blog, brittanyherself.com, she has ignited a national conversation. Now in her first book, she shares hilarious and painfully true stories about her life as a weird overweight girl growing up in rural Ohio, struggling with dating and relationships, giving the middle finger to dieting, finding love with a man smaller than her, accidentally having three kids, and figuring out the secret to loving her curves and becoming a nationally recognized body image advocate. And there’s sex, lots of it!
Fat Girl Walking isn’t a diet book. It isn’t one of those former fat people memoirs about how someone battled, and won, in the fight against fat. Brittany doesn’t lose all the weight and reveal the happy, skinny girl that’s been hiding inside her. Instead, she reminds us that being chubby doesn’t mean you’ll end up alone, unhappy, or the subject of a cable medical show. What’s important is learning to love your shape. With her infectious humor and soul-baring honesty, Fat Girl Walking reveals a life full of the same heartbreak, joy, oddity, awkwardness, and wonder as anyone else’s. Just with better snacks.
BEST BOOK EVER
I love how raw and open she is. Hilarious. Strong. Inspiring. Couldn't put it down!
Loved this book and it made me laugh!
Brittany wrote from the heart and I read her book like we were having a phone conversation. I definitely feel empowered!
Brittany Doth Protest Too Much
I thought this book was hilarious and fun, although it got tiresome after a while that Brittany kept beating herself up with shame and self-loathing. She seems to exaggerate the alleged defects of her various body parts. She's a beautiful woman, which made this live-and-don't-learn self-abuse act grow tiresome toward the end. She looks great, and size 18 is not obese. I thought, okay, that's just her schtick.
Then she got super preachy at the very end about fat-shaming, which was an odd turn after she spent most of the book shaming herself. I also take issue with her riff that if you're not a doctor, you can't say that obesity generally is unhealthy; although it's true that you can't evaluate a stranger's current health just based upon their weight. A disease process takes time. The fact is that obesity does over-tax the cardiovascular system and causes diabetes; and estrogen in fat makes cancer more likely. I may not be a doctor, but my doctor at the Mayo Clinic told me that. It's on every reputable health web site you can think of. She takes no responsibility for eating too much, or eating really disgusting foods like Chicken McNuggets, which were at the center of a recent health controversy. She blames fat-shamers for her binges on fattening, nutrition free foods. Her bulimia is a disorder, as is her body dysmorphia. And nobody made her take diet pills until she got sick and keeled over. That was her decision.
I agree with her that popular culture generally is too wrapped up in women being young, sexy, and a size 2. That standard excludes just about everybody. But "fat shaming" is just one particular form of rudeness, which is not exclusive to obesity. Women who are older get it. Women who deviate from uniform concepts of attractiveness get it.
So, overall, this was a pretty fun, funny, and honest book, right up until the end, treating obesity like a civil rights issue, when in most cases it is a self-control issue. Which still does not give people carte blanche to be rude to strangers.
If you're happy being fat, stop hating yourself and enjoy. If you're not happy about it, take action. But assessing blame for your obesity on others' reactions to it well into adulthood is just buck passing.