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From the creator of Your Fat Friend, an explosive indictment of the systemic and cultural bias facing plus-size people that will move us toward creating an agenda for fat justice. Anti-fatness is everywhere. In What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs be From the creator of Your Fat Friend, an explosive indictment of the systemic and cultural bias facing plus-size people that will move us toward creating an agenda for fat justice. Anti-fatness is everywhere. In What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs because they are fat and calls for social justice movements to be inclusive of plus-sized people's experiences. Unlike the recent wave of memoirs and quasi self-help books that encourage readers to love and accept themselves, Gordon pushes the discussion further towards authentic fat activism, which includes ending legal weight discrimination, giving equal access to health care for large people, increased access to public spaces, and ending anti-fat violence. As she argues, I did not come to body positivity for self-esteem. I came to it for social justice. By sharing her experiences as well as those of others--from smaller fat to very fat people--she concludes that to be fat in our society is to be seen as an undeniable failure, unlovable, unforgivable, and morally condemnable. Fatness is an open invitation for others to express disgust, fear, and insidious concern. To be fat is to be denied humanity and empathy. Studies show that fat survivors of sexual assault are less likely to be believed and less likely than their thin counterparts to report various crimes; 27% of very fat women and 13% of very fat men attempt suicide; over 50% of doctors describe their fat patients as awkward, unattractive, ugly and noncompliant; and in 48 states, it's legal--even routine--to deny employment because of an applicant's size. Advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures and attitudes will require work from all people. What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat is a crucial tool to create a tectonic shift in the way we see, talk about, and treat our bodies, fat and thin alike.


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From the creator of Your Fat Friend, an explosive indictment of the systemic and cultural bias facing plus-size people that will move us toward creating an agenda for fat justice. Anti-fatness is everywhere. In What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs be From the creator of Your Fat Friend, an explosive indictment of the systemic and cultural bias facing plus-size people that will move us toward creating an agenda for fat justice. Anti-fatness is everywhere. In What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs because they are fat and calls for social justice movements to be inclusive of plus-sized people's experiences. Unlike the recent wave of memoirs and quasi self-help books that encourage readers to love and accept themselves, Gordon pushes the discussion further towards authentic fat activism, which includes ending legal weight discrimination, giving equal access to health care for large people, increased access to public spaces, and ending anti-fat violence. As she argues, I did not come to body positivity for self-esteem. I came to it for social justice. By sharing her experiences as well as those of others--from smaller fat to very fat people--she concludes that to be fat in our society is to be seen as an undeniable failure, unlovable, unforgivable, and morally condemnable. Fatness is an open invitation for others to express disgust, fear, and insidious concern. To be fat is to be denied humanity and empathy. Studies show that fat survivors of sexual assault are less likely to be believed and less likely than their thin counterparts to report various crimes; 27% of very fat women and 13% of very fat men attempt suicide; over 50% of doctors describe their fat patients as awkward, unattractive, ugly and noncompliant; and in 48 states, it's legal--even routine--to deny employment because of an applicant's size. Advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures and attitudes will require work from all people. What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat is a crucial tool to create a tectonic shift in the way we see, talk about, and treat our bodies, fat and thin alike.

30 review for What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    Few writers approach the realities of living in a fat body, the pernicious nature of fatphobia, and what it would take for our culture to radically re-imagine our relationships to our bodies than Aubrey Gordon, who you may know online as Your Fat Friend. In her debut essay collection, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Gordon has crafted a manifesto on unapologetic fatness and fat justice. Her cultural criticism about bodies is timely, elegant, searing. This book is required readin Few writers approach the realities of living in a fat body, the pernicious nature of fatphobia, and what it would take for our culture to radically re-imagine our relationships to our bodies than Aubrey Gordon, who you may know online as Your Fat Friend. In her debut essay collection, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Gordon has crafted a manifesto on unapologetic fatness and fat justice. Her cultural criticism about bodies is timely, elegant, searing. This book is required reading for absolutely everyone. The wisdom Gordon offers in these pages is going to irrevocably change fat discourse and it comes not a moment too soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cari

    I follow Aubrey Gordon / Your Fat Friend on Twitter, and I have always been grateful for the insights posted there. So when I saw this ARC available on Edelweiss, I immediately downloaded it. I found myself being educated thoroughly on the world of fat-shaming and anti-fatness. I couldn't believe the lack of empathy towards Gordon and other fat people, who are our fellow human beings. I now know where to spot fat-shaming when I see it, and I know how to call it out in support of my fat friends. I follow Aubrey Gordon / Your Fat Friend on Twitter, and I have always been grateful for the insights posted there. So when I saw this ARC available on Edelweiss, I immediately downloaded it. I found myself being educated thoroughly on the world of fat-shaming and anti-fatness. I couldn't believe the lack of empathy towards Gordon and other fat people, who are our fellow human beings. I now know where to spot fat-shaming when I see it, and I know how to call it out in support of my fat friends. This is a quick and thorough read, well-researched and intersectional. I learned a lot and highly recommend this book to those who want to learn more about this topic.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    A well researched overview of what it means to be fat in the U.S. Accentuated with personal anecdotes that illustrate the discrimination that fat people face while offering hope and a very reasonable manifesto at the end for change. As a straight sized person I learned a lot- I suggest others do the same.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    This is a necessary perspective and I totally agree with the author that as a society, we "discriminate" against fat people and we equate fat with unhealthy and skinny with healthy. There were parts of the book that I bristled at--I don't think fat discrimination belongs in the same category as race or gender or sexual orientation discrimination. I think we need to stop all these kinds of discrimination and there are certainly similarities, but I worry that the differences ended up washing away This is a necessary perspective and I totally agree with the author that as a society, we "discriminate" against fat people and we equate fat with unhealthy and skinny with healthy. There were parts of the book that I bristled at--I don't think fat discrimination belongs in the same category as race or gender or sexual orientation discrimination. I think we need to stop all these kinds of discrimination and there are certainly similarities, but I worry that the differences ended up washing away the problems of racial discrimination too much. The history of racial and gender and other types of discrimination are filled with violence and legal sanctions and explicit prohibitions. Discrimination again fat people is terrible and must be stopped and is harmful to them, but it does not share that history. The author is right to point out, however, that fat-phobia is prevalent and somewhat accepted. The book definitely made me rethink a lot of the harmful depictions of fat bodies you see in the media and the jokes at their expense. A lot of Gordon's examples of her mistreatment were just horrible and I have no doubt plenty of people have to deal with terrible behavior. I wonder if we are all just a bit meaner as a culture--why do people think it's ok to ever say something mean to a person about their body? Or even tell them what to eat?

  5. 5 out of 5

    El

    I would urge everyone to read this book and if you don't do so yourself at least press it into the hands of your closest friend-or-family-member-who-is-also-a-healthcare-professional. It's a great (and short!) book packed with information on anti-fat discrimination, which (spoilers!) is not the same as thin/straight-sized people being insecure about our bodies - a fact I was distinctly aware of but this book really hammered home. The book describes how anti-fat bias is centred around thin people I would urge everyone to read this book and if you don't do so yourself at least press it into the hands of your closest friend-or-family-member-who-is-also-a-healthcare-professional. It's a great (and short!) book packed with information on anti-fat discrimination, which (spoilers!) is not the same as thin/straight-sized people being insecure about our bodies - a fact I was distinctly aware of but this book really hammered home. The book describes how anti-fat bias is centred around thin people's insecurity of becoming fat, and really has nothing to do with facts about fat people and their health at all (in fact anti-fat stigma, mostly stress and healthcare discrimination, contributes to ill health far more than fatness, fatness does not inherently equal poor health and thinness does not inherently equal good health!). As a system of oppression I was reminded of how white supremacy upholds racism in a similar, though not directly comparable, way. The book is very US-centric but I recognised a lot of similar structures in the UK. Topics covered include: airlines and literal structural anti-fatness, the history of the introduction of the "obesity epidemic", diet culture, discourse around thin people being 'concerned for fat peoples health', desirability of fat people, harassment, bias in healthcare and what we can do to tackle anti-fat bias. I, as a thin person who grew up swimming in anti-fat bias and has learnt about diet culture primarily through the mainstreamed body positive movement, learnt a hell of a lot. PS. Aubrey Gordon is fantastic in general and so is her podcast Maintenance Phase so listen to that too!

  6. 4 out of 5

    jacqueline

    this book was fantastic in so many ways. for starters, i’ve never read a book that has resonated so much with my own experiences being fat, especially growing up as a fat child. it was really validating to read about another 11 year old who was forced to do weight watchers and experiences related to activities and the body. (a lot of it literally felt like pages from my life! like i was also only cast in theater productions as maids or lunch-ladies too before focusing on music instead!) secondly this book was fantastic in so many ways. for starters, i’ve never read a book that has resonated so much with my own experiences being fat, especially growing up as a fat child. it was really validating to read about another 11 year old who was forced to do weight watchers and experiences related to activities and the body. (a lot of it literally felt like pages from my life! like i was also only cast in theater productions as maids or lunch-ladies too before focusing on music instead!) secondly, every single page was packed full of so much important information and experiences that examine the relationship of embodiment and fatphobia in such nuanced ways. this manifesto is so powerful and crafted in a way that illuminates the atrocities of our anti-fat society and the underlying threads that contribute to it while also presenting impactful policies to strive to live by and advocate for fat people with! i think everyone should read this book! all-around brilliant and well-done!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    You need to read this book. Everyone needs to read this book. If I had any money I’d buy a zillion copies of this book and hand them out. I’d give them to loved ones, doctors, strangers on the street. I’d leave them in little free libraries and on cafe tables, in laundromats and on park benches. You really need to read this book. If we are truly interested in building a world of justice and care for all human beings, this book will help.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Letícia

    A great non-fiction book about how fatphobia seeps into so much of our culture, society and ourselves, and a manifesto of sorts about how to create fat justice and go beyond body positivity. This book does a great job of mixing memoir, essay-writing and research. It's insightful, thorough, well-written and extremely powerful. It puts forth some ideas I'll be thinking about for quite some time. A great non-fiction book about how fatphobia seeps into so much of our culture, society and ourselves, and a manifesto of sorts about how to create fat justice and go beyond body positivity. This book does a great job of mixing memoir, essay-writing and research. It's insightful, thorough, well-written and extremely powerful. It puts forth some ideas I'll be thinking about for quite some time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alanna Why

    “Anti-fatness is not the result of an active choice to wield it, like some biological weapon. No, anti-fatness is a passive default. We are all its carriers. We breathe it in every day.” Part memoir, part meticulously researched thesis, the book explores how systemic anti-fat bias roots itself in the world, as well as the social, economic and psychological toll it takes on fat people. The chapters cover anti-fat bias on American airlines and in the health care system, as well as the widespread my “Anti-fatness is not the result of an active choice to wield it, like some biological weapon. No, anti-fatness is a passive default. We are all its carriers. We breathe it in every day.” Part memoir, part meticulously researched thesis, the book explores how systemic anti-fat bias roots itself in the world, as well as the social, economic and psychological toll it takes on fat people. The chapters cover anti-fat bias on American airlines and in the health care system, as well as the widespread myths of the obesity “epidemic,” fatness as a personal “choice” and that thinness automatically equals health. I found Gordon’s deconstruction of the mainstream body positivity movement particularly well-done, as well as her explanation of the various tiers of availability for plus-size clothing. There’s a blurb from Roxane Gay on the back that says, “This book is required reading for absolutely everyone,” and I am more than inclined to agree.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Required reading for anyone who is invested in creating a more just world. This book made me both furious and sad, ultimately ending on a note of hopefulness: imagining a radically different future in which fat people are not regularly treated as second-class citizens or denied basic civil rights. My only critique is that it got a bit repetitive, with the themes of the essays sometimes blending together. Small critique for an overall brilliant, deeply engaging book. Dismantling fatphobia must be Required reading for anyone who is invested in creating a more just world. This book made me both furious and sad, ultimately ending on a note of hopefulness: imagining a radically different future in which fat people are not regularly treated as second-class citizens or denied basic civil rights. My only critique is that it got a bit repetitive, with the themes of the essays sometimes blending together. Small critique for an overall brilliant, deeply engaging book. Dismantling fatphobia must become a core tenet of justice work.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Baab

    I had no idea. Those words kept coming to mind as I learned from Aubrey Gordon about how people who fall into the categories she calls “superfat” (women’s sizes 26-32) and “infinifat” (women’s size 34 and up) can get thrown off planes with no warning. They often cannot get medical care because they are told to lose weight before they will be treated. They experience severe job discrimination and receive much lower pay. They get publically shamed by friends and strangers, and shamed on the media, I had no idea. Those words kept coming to mind as I learned from Aubrey Gordon about how people who fall into the categories she calls “superfat” (women’s sizes 26-32) and “infinifat” (women’s size 34 and up) can get thrown off planes with no warning. They often cannot get medical care because they are told to lose weight before they will be treated. They experience severe job discrimination and receive much lower pay. They get publically shamed by friends and strangers, and shamed on the media, in ways that cause the kind of deep stress that results in health issues. Very fat men experience just as much shame as women. She also has some powerful things to say about the effect of fat shaming on children. I thought I understood fat shaming because I experienced it constantly from my mother, and I internalized her messages. My mother fat-shamed me before I was fat. At 13, I had a rounded build, inherited from my father, while my mother was very slim. She began to micromanage what I ate, and in response, I turned to binge eating. Gordon reflects my own experience when she says that people who feel shamed often eat more in order to comfort themselves, and they often engage in binge eating. I spent my late teens and young adult life a “small fat” person, what Gordon calls women who wear size 16-18. From age 30 to the present, I have been what she calls “mid-fat,” wearing sizes 20 to 24. I’m at the bottom of that range now, but spent several years at the top of that range, and I experienced a difference within that range – the higher weight resulted in more criticism from strangers. As a mid-fat person, I have also experienced many instructions from doctors to lose weight. But my greatest source of fat-shaming is my own inner voices, telling me the “truths” that Gordon says so many people believe: “(1) Becoming thin is a life accomplishment and the only way to start living a real, full, human life. (2) All fatness is a shameful moral failing. (3) Thinness is a naturally superior way of being. (3) Fat people who stay fat deserve to be mocked.” Those of us who experience internal fat-shaming messages – but very few external barriers to a full life – have no idea the extent to which very fat people are stigmatized, criticized, and discriminated against. Gordon says that many comments she receives are cloaked with the language of “health” and “concern.” She has brilliant section on what true concern looks like, beginning with this: “Concern is curious, tender, loving. Concern is direct and heartfelt. Concern does its work delicately, with great care.” She writes that concern does not include paternalism or open contempt. And she describes the many, many times fat people receive paternalistic advice and vicious contempt. People, she says, “push aside the hard work of empathy and opt for the ease and satisfaction of judgment.” I know I have tried just about everything in order to weigh less than I do. Why would I – or anyone else – need to assume that very fat people haven’t tried or aren’t trying? Gordon points out that people can be fat for many reasons beyond their control, including heredity, medications, and the financial inability to buy anything other than cheap food. She also points out that fat people can be healthy metabolically and in other measurable ways. Gordon’s personal stories are vivid and made me want to weep. I applaud her courage in telling them. She draws on research data very well, too. Her writing is clear and easy to read. I read the book in two evenings in a row because I found it so absorbing. Gordon is co-host of a great podcast, “Maintenance Phase.” She and her co-host Michael Hobbes (who also co-hosts the “You’re Wrong About” podcast) look at things we believe about health in analytical, humorous, and helpful way. I commend both the podcast and this powerful book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    elise (the petite punk)

    Well written, thoroughly researched, and incredibly thought provoking. This should be required reading. I highly recommend the audiobook.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I was fairly certain going into this that I would love it, as I've been following the author's instagram, @yrfatfriend, for a long time now and have an enormous amount of respect for the work they're doing. And the book did not disappoint! I think this should be required reading, particularly for anybody who isn't currently, or has never been, considered fat. As somebody who's spent the majority of my life in the mid-super fat category (a breakdown that's in the book if you've not encountered it I was fairly certain going into this that I would love it, as I've been following the author's instagram, @yrfatfriend, for a long time now and have an enormous amount of respect for the work they're doing. And the book did not disappoint! I think this should be required reading, particularly for anybody who isn't currently, or has never been, considered fat. As somebody who's spent the majority of my life in the mid-super fat category (a breakdown that's in the book if you've not encountered it before) there were a lot of parts in this book that really hit home for me in a way that was both validating and deeply sad. Well researched and well written, insightful, meaningful, and it concludes with concrete ways we can all contribute to working towards fat justice. This isn't about fat people learning to love themselves, it's about making the world see fat people as human beings worthy of fair and equal rights, and yes, worthy of love, too.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Taylor Stone

    If you spent 2020 being challenged by your own racial, sexual and gender bias, perhaps spend 2021 working on dismantling your anti-fat bias. They are all linked together. This book is incredible and accessible, and will challenge you in so many ways. Actually the next time someone tells me they are "just concerned about my health", I am going to buy another copy from an indie book store. If you spent 2020 being challenged by your own racial, sexual and gender bias, perhaps spend 2021 working on dismantling your anti-fat bias. They are all linked together. This book is incredible and accessible, and will challenge you in so many ways. Actually the next time someone tells me they are "just concerned about my health", I am going to buy another copy from an indie book store.

  15. 5 out of 5

    scarlett victoria

    incredible research-based writing, the same that i’ve come to love from her podcast maintenance phase. the simultaneous use of researched information, personal stories, and stories gathered from those who follow her on her yrfatfriend account made me wish there was more in this little book ❤️

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I want everyone I know to read this. It’s all the things I’ve wanted to say to my grandmother when she’s nasty about my weight, but Gordon lays it out elegantly & clearly & backs it all up with impeccable research. I underlined most of the book and filled the margins with notes because I was so amped up by how GOOD this book is.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charlott

    4,5 Review follows

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shruti Ramanujam

    Could I have given this book anything less than five stars? I’ve been following Your Fat Friend for a while now and I love her essays. Of course I had to immediately download the ARC when I saw it up on Edelweiss. This book is a collection of well-researched essays about fat activism and fat justice. It talks about completely legal weight-based discrimination in the workplace, airlines, healthcare, and other public spaces and raises a rallying cry against systemic fat discrimination and towards a Could I have given this book anything less than five stars? I’ve been following Your Fat Friend for a while now and I love her essays. Of course I had to immediately download the ARC when I saw it up on Edelweiss. This book is a collection of well-researched essays about fat activism and fat justice. It talks about completely legal weight-based discrimination in the workplace, airlines, healthcare, and other public spaces and raises a rallying cry against systemic fat discrimination and towards advancing fat justice. I personally think this book should be made required reading for everyone. It’s definitely one of my favorite 2020 releases.

  19. 4 out of 5

    annie

    "Anti-fatness is like air pollution. Some days we may see it; others, we may not. But it always surrounds us, and whether we mean to or not, we are always breathing it in." elegant and insightful. this book was full of fascinating research that portrays the breadth of anti-fat biases in modern society alongside insights into the actual causes of fatness and where we can go from here, with regards to making all aspects of life equal for fat and thin people alike. the personal stories that aubrey g "Anti-fatness is like air pollution. Some days we may see it; others, we may not. But it always surrounds us, and whether we mean to or not, we are always breathing it in." elegant and insightful. this book was full of fascinating research that portrays the breadth of anti-fat biases in modern society alongside insights into the actual causes of fatness and where we can go from here, with regards to making all aspects of life equal for fat and thin people alike. the personal stories that aubrey gordon weaved into this book along with the outside stories helped make the research come to life, and i thought this was a fantastic read overall. i'd recommend it to pretty much anyone; it's informative but not too dense and very well-written

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ula

    Pandemic brain for me has been a stark inability to read books. I was finally able to break my many-months of not reading books with this outstanding one. It’s an empathy-growing educational and devastating look at anti-fat bias and how destructive it is. Her podcast Maintenance Phase is one of my favorites and I look forward to everything Aubrey does in the future.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liz ✊

    Absolutely outstanding. A crucial book for everyone to read and will help shape many minds.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth Anne

    This book reads like a collection of blogs. Gordon helped me understand the experiences of fat people in the USA in a different way than I understood them before reading this book. I was shocked and saddened to read the hideous comments people felt comfortable saying to her face and the systematic discrimination she faced. That being said, the book left a lot to be desired both in terms of content and structure. The chapters do little to organize the book’s content, which ranges widely from the This book reads like a collection of blogs. Gordon helped me understand the experiences of fat people in the USA in a different way than I understood them before reading this book. I was shocked and saddened to read the hideous comments people felt comfortable saying to her face and the systematic discrimination she faced. That being said, the book left a lot to be desired both in terms of content and structure. The chapters do little to organize the book’s content, which ranges widely from the federal regulation of airplane seat size to tweets from Gordon’s followers to her personal love life to peer-reviewed medical journals to more personal anecdotes to Oprah Winfrey, etc. The author spends a significant amount of time convincing readers how healthy being fat is and the lack of health risks. I understand that she is trying to help readers see the unacceptable discrimination she’s faced in the healthcare industry but she fails to address the significant amount of research that suggests being 400 pounds creates health problems that would not be present if the person was 150 pounds. My other big issue with this book is the variety of false equivalencies that emerge from comparing being fat to being part of other communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    I initially found out about this book listening to Maintenance Phase, a podcast that the author co-hosts. The book is a blend of her personal experience, made vivid and moving, with statistics and cultural analysis. I wish this book was longer and more in-depth, contributing others' experiences and academic work in more detail. What is in there is confrontational, clear-sighted, and insightful. There should be more like it. I initially found out about this book listening to Maintenance Phase, a podcast that the author co-hosts. The book is a blend of her personal experience, made vivid and moving, with statistics and cultural analysis. I wish this book was longer and more in-depth, contributing others' experiences and academic work in more detail. What is in there is confrontational, clear-sighted, and insightful. There should be more like it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rosa

    Brilliant and paradigm shifting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This book was hard to listen to, because as a fat person, I have gone through so much that Aubrey has talked about. I won't be getting into those stories because that isn't something I am willing to share, but just know that this book is absolutely brilliant, and when I am off my book buying ban, it will definitely be an auto-buy for myself. These types of books need to be written, and these types of books need to be read/listened to by straight sized people and their privilege. 5/5 stars. This book was hard to listen to, because as a fat person, I have gone through so much that Aubrey has talked about. I won't be getting into those stories because that isn't something I am willing to share, but just know that this book is absolutely brilliant, and when I am off my book buying ban, it will definitely be an auto-buy for myself. These types of books need to be written, and these types of books need to be read/listened to by straight sized people and their privilege. 5/5 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Irene Mcgee

    A fan of yrfatfriend, this is the first book I pre-ordered since the 7th HP. I tore through it almost as quickly. Meticulous, thorough, earnest, and compassionate in every way, this book feels like a tipping point.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin Bagley

    I have to give this 5 stars because it is chock-full of well-researched information and should be required reading for everyone. Just know that if you are fat and already know this stuff, it’s not exactly a warm and fuzzy read. However, the last chapter does offer a beacon of hope.

  28. 5 out of 5

    vrenzy goel

    This book is so brutally honest. it made me cry as I started reading it and remembering all the items I have been fat-shamed. being fat, different sizes of fat, yes obese people have to face much more struggle in life than I have but I wish it stopped. more than men I feel if women became acceptable of all bodies and stopped objectifying female bodies and fitting them into a thin standard of appeal, it would change the way we perceive bodies. fat people are shamed because of their genes, things This book is so brutally honest. it made me cry as I started reading it and remembering all the items I have been fat-shamed. being fat, different sizes of fat, yes obese people have to face much more struggle in life than I have but I wish it stopped. more than men I feel if women became acceptable of all bodies and stopped objectifying female bodies and fitting them into a thin standard of appeal, it would change the way we perceive bodies. fat people are shamed because of their genes, things they cannot and should not control or worry about. being thin and fat is in our DNA, yes we can exert ourselves, starve ourselves, but at the end of the day why should we do that? yes, fitter bodies are healthier but if we chose not to be fit, does anyone have any right to make us feel bad about it? you do not shame people for their hair colour that they are born with, the ears, the nose, our body is the same, some people get fat genes, others get thin genes, shaming them for who they are and how they are is so awful. privilege makes us entitled and entitlement makes us smug which then we use to look down on people and bully them with. I wish we lived in a society that made this criminal and a society that did not victim shame the fat person but outcasted the fatphobic bully. This book is well researched. I could identify with so many things. we could be 200 pounds and yet be fit and healthy and we could be 100 pounds and yet be anorexic and weak. I wish people accepted their bodies and everyone else's', ate and enjoyed the food and simply lived instead of weight is a topic that everyone participates in one form or another every day. Gordon has done insane research for this book and it does light up a lot of problem areas, brings forth a lot of truth into these endorsements and celebrity pushes in the diet culture. I feel really sad for everything the author has endured and everything that obese people endure, anti fatness is everywhere and as women, we once again get the shorter end of the stick but America is much thinner obsessed than India. I do think Gordon needs better friends and more loving people around her. Her friends seem like really crappy people. I felt so disheartened reading this. the world is only cruel and bad for fat women. men are not nice, women are not nice, nobody is nice to them only because they do not fit into their vision of what and who is desirable. there is so much that needs to be changed but will it, will humans, all humans ever only be kind and not entitled. thin people only look down on fat people because they are smug about their bodies, if sizes stop mattering will their smugness remain? will body size ever stop being a topic of discussion? I doubt it.. not if the weight loss industry and the beauty industry continue to be worth hundreds of billions. I had to push myself to finish this book since it triggered and upset me so much. it is honest and well researched, it is relatable and yet I wish it was not true, I wish it was not relatable, I wish we lived in a different world where all bodies were acceptable and women were not objectified.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What we don’t talk about when we talk about fat, by Aubrey Gordon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a wonderful book which reads as a collection of interconnected essays, on various facets of the fat experience. In it, Aubrey Gordon explores the prevalence and insidiousness of fat-phobia and anti-fatness. I particularly loved the final section of the book, in which Gordon explores a ‘utopia’ where all people are respected, and then outlines the specific ways this could be achieved. The very fact that this is a uto What we don’t talk about when we talk about fat, by Aubrey Gordon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a wonderful book which reads as a collection of interconnected essays, on various facets of the fat experience. In it, Aubrey Gordon explores the prevalence and insidiousness of fat-phobia and anti-fatness. I particularly loved the final section of the book, in which Gordon explores a ‘utopia’ where all people are respected, and then outlines the specific ways this could be achieved. The very fact that this is a utopian vision serves as an indictment on our societies’ prejudice and systemic abuse of fat bodies. A really great read, only losing a star as it focuses a lot on the US healthcare system, and I would have loved to hear some interviews of people with more intersectional identities, as opposed to just Gordon’s own white, queer experience. But a fantastic read nonetheless.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    I don't read a lot of self help books. I DO read a lot of social justice books. And that's what appeals to me about this title. Aubrey Gordon is writing about a universally despised minority class. Fat people are the least protected, and the ones for whom it is largely socially and legally acceptable to discriminate against and socially ostracize. Here's how she describes the book: "This book diverges from the well-trod path when it comes to fatness and fat people. In it, you'll finding a mix of m I don't read a lot of self help books. I DO read a lot of social justice books. And that's what appeals to me about this title. Aubrey Gordon is writing about a universally despised minority class. Fat people are the least protected, and the ones for whom it is largely socially and legally acceptable to discriminate against and socially ostracize. Here's how she describes the book: "This book diverges from the well-trod path when it comes to fatness and fat people. In it, you'll finding a mix of memoir, research and cultural criticism, all focused on unearthing our social and cultural attitudes toward fat people, along with the impacts those attitudes can have on fat people, ourselves. Where our cultural conversation focuses relentlessly on personal responsibility and the perceived failures of fat people, this book seeks to zoom out, offering personal stories, while simultaneously identifying the macro-level social, institutional, and political forces that powerfully shape the way each of us thinks of fat people, both in general, and in particular." Okay. Clearly this lady ain't messing around. And aside from the quote above, her book is written in engaging and accessible language. Many of the stories she tells are very personal, as she has embodied--literally--this issue her entire life. There are stories she shares from her own life and others that are shocking in their cruelty, though I don't think anyone will be shocked. But hurt feelings aside, there's a broader social context. If you are fat, you are more likely to: face housing discrimination, earn less money, be convicted of a crime, receive poor medical care... The list goes on and on. Plus, there are very real issues of misogyny and racism baked into this prejudice. This is the book you wish skinny people would read en masse, though I doubt many will. Gordon classifies me as "small fat," and my mild experiences have nothing in common with what truly large people experience on a daily basis. But just as I care about the experiences of people of color, I see and care about this injustice. Just as I will continue to educate myself and work on my attitudes towards race, I will do so with my attitudes towards fatness, because I am a part of this culture, and I'm guilty of the same inherent biases as everyone else. Reading a book like this, educating myself on the issues and injustices, exploring my own attitudes, and determining if I've been a victim of--or been guilty of--the things Gordon describes, has been eye opening indeed.

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