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Fat! So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size

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Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear—worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons—our fear of fat.Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has wor Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear—worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons—our fear of fat.Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has worried about their appearance. FAT!SO? weighs in with a more attractive alternative: feeling good about yourself at any weight—and having the style and attitude to back it up. Internationally recognized as a fat-positive spokesperson, Wann has learned that you can be absolutely happy, healthy, and successful...and fat. With its hilarious and insightful blend of essays, quizzes, facts, and reporting, FAT!SO? proves that you can be out-and-out fabulous at any size.


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Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear—worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons—our fear of fat.Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has wor Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear—worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons—our fear of fat.Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has worried about their appearance. FAT!SO? weighs in with a more attractive alternative: feeling good about yourself at any weight—and having the style and attitude to back it up. Internationally recognized as a fat-positive spokesperson, Wann has learned that you can be absolutely happy, healthy, and successful...and fat. With its hilarious and insightful blend of essays, quizzes, facts, and reporting, FAT!SO? proves that you can be out-and-out fabulous at any size.

30 review for Fat! So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I was conflicted over 2 or 3 stars here, but as a fellow zine-writer, I'll go with 3 (I love how Wann describes writing zines as a hobby that can change your life-- it's pretty true). Anyway, I think this is a valuable book for anyone who thinks dieting is a lifelong necessity just to achieve some "ideal" weight (which is lots of folks). I did come away with some new information about the diet industry and how diets work (not very well, apparently). The issue I had with Fat!So? was that it spent I was conflicted over 2 or 3 stars here, but as a fellow zine-writer, I'll go with 3 (I love how Wann describes writing zines as a hobby that can change your life-- it's pretty true). Anyway, I think this is a valuable book for anyone who thinks dieting is a lifelong necessity just to achieve some "ideal" weight (which is lots of folks). I did come away with some new information about the diet industry and how diets work (not very well, apparently). The issue I had with Fat!So? was that it spent way too much time emphasizing health. Which is good and all, but this isn't an expert book on health, it's a book on self-acceptance (or so I thought). And that brings me to my other point-- why should self-acceptance end if we're unhealthy? I'm sure Wann doesn't think this, but I think it deserved a side-note. There's a good exploration of the discrimination that fat people face, but I don't want anyone to come away thinking that it's okay to mock a fat person if they happen to be fat AND unhealthy. And maybe they're unhealthy for some reason completely unrelated to their size, but if not? They would still deserve the same respect as anyone else. I'm not sure why this book ended up being so much about health, but if you ever find yourself "apologizing for your size" (as Wann says), it's worth a read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I picked this book off my shelf for a re-read, and coming to GoodReads to check out other readers' reviews has been part of the process -- my review is in part a response to other reviews. For some reason, the Fat Acceptance movement has a tendency to ignore its roots and forebearers. Many of its leaders also have the bad habit of ignoring collective work and community input into the construction of its core ideas and principles. The current Big Names in the online-centric FA community really don I picked this book off my shelf for a re-read, and coming to GoodReads to check out other readers' reviews has been part of the process -- my review is in part a response to other reviews. For some reason, the Fat Acceptance movement has a tendency to ignore its roots and forebearers. Many of its leaders also have the bad habit of ignoring collective work and community input into the construction of its core ideas and principles. The current Big Names in the online-centric FA community really don't give Marilyn Wann the props she deserves. Remember, this book came out years before Linda Bacon's central scientific tome Health At Every Size. You can't read this book, published in 1999, and expect it to meet all of the expectations you have as a member of the 2011 FA community. You can, however, enjoy it for Wann's exuberant, bright voice, with a comedic touch that doesn't preclude raw, honest stories from the people who congregated around the Fat!So? zine and website in the '90s. Yes, it's FA 101, but everyone has to start somewhere. And a lot of FA philosophy was heavily influenced by Wann and her compatriots -- they deserve a lot more respect and homage than the FA scene currently gives them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    dianne

    Fantastic. Flabulous. Funny. When someone reveals something that, in retrospect, is obvious - but had been unseen before said revelation - i have an "ahhhh" feeling, and wish it had been me that revealed it. That happens repeatedly throughout this book. On page 82 under "Beating a Horse of a Different Color" she begins "You'll often hear someone say. 'It's my fault that I'm fat.' Well, you know what? It's my fault I'm white. It really is." What follows is nothing short of genius (IMHO). "If I car Fantastic. Flabulous. Funny. When someone reveals something that, in retrospect, is obvious - but had been unseen before said revelation - i have an "ahhhh" feeling, and wish it had been me that revealed it. That happens repeatedly throughout this book. On page 82 under "Beating a Horse of a Different Color" she begins "You'll often hear someone say. 'It's my fault that I'm fat.' Well, you know what? It's my fault I'm white. It really is." What follows is nothing short of genius (IMHO). "If I cared about myself, I'd do something about this disgusting pallor..." Our weight is largely genetically determined...uh, so is skin color. The analogy will be hard to forget once you've thought of "the white loss industry". But i don't JUST love this book because it's funny or because i am quoted in it (ahem, on pp. 51*, 52, 53, 114) - i love it because it is truly brilliant. It is an important, well documented book about the one remaining, tolerated, even encouraged, bigotry. The author describes some of the pervasive problems with the medical field - a fat person with a fever and sore throat will, as often as not, be told they should lose weight before anyone puts a tongue depressor in their mouth. They're harangued about the obvious, and assigned the impossible - perhaps given a calorie deficient diet to follow. In what other case does your doctor prescribe something with a 95% failure rate? Something that has never been shown to prolong your life? Something that HAS been shown to lead to altered metabolism, decreased cognition, eating disorders, and myriad other adverse effects? It is no wonder fat people delay or even deny themselves health maintenance when accessing health care ends up being yet another episode of painful prejudice? What happened to "first do no harm"? The author has a playful and intimate relationship with language. i found myself re-reading essays because the words were so pleasurably used. This book is so much fun - there are cut and paste sections, a flipbook of a dancing beauty in the corner, trading cards ("heroes and villains of fat history") - that i can't believe it took me this long to read it cover to cover. In the same way that every American should read Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow" (critically important - but not nearly as fun) to understand institutional racism, every American should read "Fat!So?" to understand institutional (and personal)false assumptions about weight. We need to step away from inappropriate and damaging language ("overweight" --over whose weight?) and towards loving, inclusive and reality based language and actions. We are supposed to come in a variety of shapes and colors - let's celebrate that! * to the list on p. 50 i would now add - get at least 7 hours of good sleep every night, and eat a big breakfast within an hour or two of waking up

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

    we read this book for feminist book club. it was pretty awesome! i expected it to be good, but it exceeded my expectations. the only reason i'm not boosting it up to five stars is because a lot of the info, references, & issues in it were super 90s-centric. the book was published in the 90s & i bet that shit seemed timely & relevant then, but there are 25-year-olds in my book club who were totally baffled by some of it. (i liked the 90s shit though, because i am old.) this is kind of a handbook t we read this book for feminist book club. it was pretty awesome! i expected it to be good, but it exceeded my expectations. the only reason i'm not boosting it up to five stars is because a lot of the info, references, & issues in it were super 90s-centric. the book was published in the 90s & i bet that shit seemed timely & relevant then, but there are 25-year-olds in my book club who were totally baffled by some of it. (i liked the 90s shit though, because i am old.) this is kind of a handbook to health at every size, though i don't think wann ever actually uses that phrase in the book. there are tons of hilarious comebacks to insulting fatphobic things that people say, & in the corner of the book is a little flipbook of a fat lady doing a little burlesque dance--very cute. wann suggests that people "come out" to their friends & families as fat, showing that they are actually cognizant & celebratory of their size & don't have any intention to do dangerous things to change. the one quibble we had at book club was with wann's repeated references to how she takes care of her health by working out with a personal trainer three times a week. i'm sure that's awesome, but not that accessible to a lot of people, cost-wise. i also realized a few weeks after reading this that all this "love your size" stuff is really a whole lot easier said than done. there are so many people out there struggling with eating disorders of various sorts who really have a hard time separating the things you ought to be doing to take care of your health (eating healthy foods, getting some exercise) from the compulsive desire to lose weight. wann is big on encouraging healthy eating & exercise, but i guess when you are already in that "i accept my body" place, it can be really challenging to understand & empathize with people who immediately associate such concepts with compulsive dieting & working out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The

    This book was suggested to me, which i suppose is okay, except it's doubtful even the most size accepting diva (and I am certainly not she) would probably have some kind of resistence to being offered this book. Either because she could write it herself or because she's still hasn't gotten "there" yet. Nevertheless, I think the book, despite this rather creative use of stats, medical journal entries and such is really interesting. I realize it was started as zine and so the writing is not as refi This book was suggested to me, which i suppose is okay, except it's doubtful even the most size accepting diva (and I am certainly not she) would probably have some kind of resistence to being offered this book. Either because she could write it herself or because she's still hasn't gotten "there" yet. Nevertheless, I think the book, despite this rather creative use of stats, medical journal entries and such is really interesting. I realize it was started as zine and so the writing is not as refined as one might expect, but there are gems in here. I think many people who search for a means to find size acceptance might be put off by Wann's rather snotty ton and her overuse of use of the "us v them"isms. That's where the book lost me. I mean by the point in time where you are open to this book, you already know the US as a sizeist fucked up place. You already know that you can be a chunky healthy person and never be perceived that way, and your skinny, chain smoking, non sunscreen wearing, non barrier using, binge drinking whore of a best friend will always be assumed to be "healthy". Yeah, it sucks to be you. I was looking for how to actively resists sizeist training that goes beyond defacing telephone poles and walking into teeny bopper stores and demanding they carry 36DDD bras and size L panties. I wanted a meaty examination of how size privilege works and maybe even a "size priv for dummies" factsheet. The kind of thing you can use as a tool in educating others about their fucked up sizeist attitudes. Whether it's a lover, a friend or you know, a doctor.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rigg

    A little outdated by now, but a fun introduction to size acceptance.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Fat!So? is now a decade-old book created from even older 'zines. But, the age of the book and its content has little to nothing to do with its very real approach to the issue of being fat in a BMI-obsessed world. I would have given it five stars save for the obvious (to me) skewing of statistics, percentages, and Random Scientific Facts (tm) to turn the book more to the persuasive-writing side of things rather than just getting out there what needs to be out there about being a modern day fatso. Fat!So? is now a decade-old book created from even older 'zines. But, the age of the book and its content has little to nothing to do with its very real approach to the issue of being fat in a BMI-obsessed world. I would have given it five stars save for the obvious (to me) skewing of statistics, percentages, and Random Scientific Facts (tm) to turn the book more to the persuasive-writing side of things rather than just getting out there what needs to be out there about being a modern day fatso. One that springs to mind is the overwhelmingly huge percentage of overweight women who say they are happy in their relationships, sexually satisfied, and have an orgasm most of the time when they have sex as compared to the relatively low percentage of thin/"normal" weight women. This only makes me think that fat women are more easily pleased sexually because we have the factor of gratitude built into each and every encounter (a thought which only proves that I am not yet at the level of "flabulousness" that Wann has achieved). When I was in a steady relationship (granted, that was 8 years ago), I found most things to be quite satisfying... and they were ALWAYS accompanied by an opening floodgate of gratitude toward my partner... for being with the fat chick. It seems that there are a lot of caveats missing from the above and other facts that are strewn throughout the book... but then again, isn't there always an overwhelming sense of misinformation when statistics, percentages, and quotes taken out of context are involved? Overall, the book is grand. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone, but especially women... and especially especially to women of a certain size. We know who we are (though the world often thinks we don't and likes to remind us, just in case we've forgotten). It's a quick and easy read, still mostly in its original 'zine format (quick bites of prose laced with poetry, art, and naked butt pictures), and even if it doesn't motivate you to become actively pro-fatso, it might help to motivate you into becoming pro-YOU.

  8. 4 out of 5

    HeavyReader

    This is fat liberation 101. This is a must read for anyone living in our fat phobic world, and that means you! I wrote the following review for the Summer 1999 issue of the Minnesota Social Responsibility Round Table Newsletter: There is no weight minimum required to delight in this book; fatsos of all sizes will find it a pleasure. Based on a zine started in 1993, Fat!So? is fun and informative. Its history as a zine is apparent in its bold graphics, enlightening sidebars, and cool extras such as This is fat liberation 101. This is a must read for anyone living in our fat phobic world, and that means you! I wrote the following review for the Summer 1999 issue of the Minnesota Social Responsibility Round Table Newsletter: There is no weight minimum required to delight in this book; fatsos of all sizes will find it a pleasure. Based on a zine started in 1993, Fat!So? is fun and informative. Its history as a zine is apparent in its bold graphics, enlightening sidebars, and cool extras such as the "Flabulous Fat?So? Flipbook," anatomy lesson photo spreads, cut & paste projects, and a how-to-be-a-fatso tip at the bottom of each page. Marilyn Wann, who encourages use of the word "fat," rejects the idea that being fat is dangerous. She quotes from a January 1, 1998, New England Journal of Medicine editorial titled "Losing weight--an ill fated New Year's resolution" to support her suspicions that we don't know why people are fat, how to make people thin, or if being fat is debilitating. Additional sources are cited to debunk popular health myths. After explaining that there are no clear connections between being fat and being unhealthy, Wann and contributing writers and artists encourage people to be "flabulous" and accept themselves as they are. No section of the book is more than eight pages long and since they need not be read in order, this volume is great for browing in short increments. Don't be surprised, however, if the book's playful teaching sucks you in, compels you to read from cover to cover, and leaves you wishing there were more. In a fat phobic world, Fat!So? is an enjoyable burst of body positivity that will be cherished by all people who want to be judged by who they are and not by how they look.

  9. 4 out of 5

    S.

    Are you tired of fatphobic misogynists harassing you? Tired of being told to go on a diet? Were you continually bullied and socially ostracized throughout your childhood because of your appearance? Still traumatized by this childhood bullying? The eye-opening book Fat! So? will empower you to feel better about your size and shape and help you realize that fatphobia is a form of bigotry, like homophobia, misogyny, and racism. In this toxic society, we are constantly barraged with the message that Are you tired of fatphobic misogynists harassing you? Tired of being told to go on a diet? Were you continually bullied and socially ostracized throughout your childhood because of your appearance? Still traumatized by this childhood bullying? The eye-opening book Fat! So? will empower you to feel better about your size and shape and help you realize that fatphobia is a form of bigotry, like homophobia, misogyny, and racism. In this toxic society, we are constantly barraged with the message that being fat is bad and shameful, and that we should strive to be as thin as possible. The media and the people we see each day firmly believe this and constantly remind us. We are barraged with an assumption that fat is unhealthy, yet we have no evidence supporting this assumption. Most people foolishly refuse to accept the fact that we come in different sizes and shapes. It’s like refusing to accept that some of us are left-handed and that we have different skin colors. Fat! So?, compiled from the zine of the same title, is an amusing, entertaining, irreverent, and educational look at bigotry toward fat people and how we can transcend it. It includes illustrations and projects such as a Goddess of Willendorf paper doll. Fat prejudice and ridicule is directed more at women than men, but the book is also relevant to men. In fact, everyone in America should read it, not just fat people. It will change the way we all see size and shape.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I. Love. This. Book. I do. I'd heard about it years ago, and I figured it would be some silly self-help thing with secret you-should-diet messages in the back somewhere. However, I was more than excited to find out I was wrong. Not only does Ms. Wann (and her contributors) suggest that fat = beautiful, but they back it up with, yes, cheerleadery stuff, AND facts and figures. NO, being fat DOESN'T cause diabetes and other health problems. Dieting? Only works about 90% of the time. Did you know - I. Love. This. Book. I do. I'd heard about it years ago, and I figured it would be some silly self-help thing with secret you-should-diet messages in the back somewhere. However, I was more than excited to find out I was wrong. Not only does Ms. Wann (and her contributors) suggest that fat = beautiful, but they back it up with, yes, cheerleadery stuff, AND facts and figures. NO, being fat DOESN'T cause diabetes and other health problems. Dieting? Only works about 90% of the time. Did you know - Fat people don't get wrinkles? And I was really kind of ecstatic to know that I'm not the only one who gets down-talk from my doctors about my weight, and it's not at all necessary.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan-David Jackson

    While it was something I'd thought about a little before, this book is the first place I've seen it written down that you don't have to hate your body - that life can be enjoyable and healthy whether you're thin or fat, and really it's not something to obsess over either way. Many people are afraid to be fat, and that's not surprising when you consider the way that fat people are portrayed in media and treated in life. This book examines some of the reasons for the hate towards fat, with interest While it was something I'd thought about a little before, this book is the first place I've seen it written down that you don't have to hate your body - that life can be enjoyable and healthy whether you're thin or fat, and really it's not something to obsess over either way. Many people are afraid to be fat, and that's not surprising when you consider the way that fat people are portrayed in media and treated in life. This book examines some of the reasons for the hate towards fat, with interesting results. I loved the message of the book, but I would have liked more citations for the information given.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Golda Poretsky

    I would recommend this book to just about everyone, particularly people who "struggle" (or have internalized the need to struggle) with their weight. It's a great antidote to the message that there's something wrong with being who you are. I would recommend this book to just about everyone, particularly people who "struggle" (or have internalized the need to struggle) with their weight. It's a great antidote to the message that there's something wrong with being who you are.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hales

    Though it is dated to the 90s I still recommend it. This book has given me hope to love and embrace myself for who I am. I use what I learned in this book daily!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Regan

    This was a fun book. She brings up some excellent points about the difference between weight and health - and the fact that being fat doesn't mean you're unhealthy. I love her sense of humor and the "be who you actually are" focus of the piece. On the down side, she has SO much packed in in various ways (there is a flip book on the top right corner, one-liner suggestions on the bottom of each page, quotes printed in larger text in the middle of some pages, artwork, photographs, guest writers...oh This was a fun book. She brings up some excellent points about the difference between weight and health - and the fact that being fat doesn't mean you're unhealthy. I love her sense of humor and the "be who you actually are" focus of the piece. On the down side, she has SO much packed in in various ways (there is a flip book on the top right corner, one-liner suggestions on the bottom of each page, quotes printed in larger text in the middle of some pages, artwork, photographs, guest writers...oh, and the book itself) that sometimes it's hard to figure out what you've read and what you haven't and that can be really frustrating. However, as a bona fide fat person and also someone who thinks it's more important to love the you that you are NOW than the you that you might be if ONLY you could {insert bullshit waste of life here} there's a lot of good stuff in the book. And you don't need to be fat to read it, or to get a lot of good stuff from it. Plus, hey, anyone in the Wann family is OK with me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lord Beardsley

    I give this book 5 stars because at the time it was written (late 90s) it was THE radical text on the subject. That being said, I wish I read this back in 98 when I was 18. Wann's was one of the premiere voices on fat acceptance of her generation, and the principles she deals out in the book still hold true today. It's interesting to read in hindsight to see where we came from and where we still need to go in terms of fat rights. Those reading it should read it in context, knowing that this was I give this book 5 stars because at the time it was written (late 90s) it was THE radical text on the subject. That being said, I wish I read this back in 98 when I was 18. Wann's was one of the premiere voices on fat acceptance of her generation, and the principles she deals out in the book still hold true today. It's interesting to read in hindsight to see where we came from and where we still need to go in terms of fat rights. Those reading it should read it in context, knowing that this was written in the late 90s and that certain topics hadn't been raised much at the time and that perspectives in some social aspects were very different than the way they are today. It's an important book that I think everyone wanting to understand fat positivity/activism/self-love/body positivism should read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amy Elaine

    Fat!So? started as a zine written by Marilyn Wann over 20 years ago to remind folx in larger bodies that it is OK to be fat. While I am not 100% comfortable with the word fat (I know that our community is reclaiming the word as a descriptor, not a pejorative term, but it still makes me squirm) reading this book did help me move a little further to acceptance of the word. Started on a fateful day in 1993 after her boyfriend told her he was embarrassed by her body and she was unable to elect healt Fat!So? started as a zine written by Marilyn Wann over 20 years ago to remind folx in larger bodies that it is OK to be fat. While I am not 100% comfortable with the word fat (I know that our community is reclaiming the word as a descriptor, not a pejorative term, but it still makes me squirm) reading this book did help me move a little further to acceptance of the word. Started on a fateful day in 1993 after her boyfriend told her he was embarrassed by her body and she was unable to elect health insurance, the book contains a series of essays, lists and drawings that make an important point (fat is OK and not something to be fixed) in a fairly light-hearted way.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan Starr

    This book was written in the late 90s and reading it in 2018 is crazy to see how it still relates. It is eye opening in so many ways on body image. How it there are no actual facts and proof what is being told to everyone is factual. This book is encouraging and really opens the mind. There are real life stories to relate to and there is pictures. Even it's a flip book. It made me laugh at time and angry at other times. It's a great read and I will pick it up again at some point because I feel t This book was written in the late 90s and reading it in 2018 is crazy to see how it still relates. It is eye opening in so many ways on body image. How it there are no actual facts and proof what is being told to everyone is factual. This book is encouraging and really opens the mind. There are real life stories to relate to and there is pictures. Even it's a flip book. It made me laugh at time and angry at other times. It's a great read and I will pick it up again at some point because I feel that when I do I'll see new stuff I didn't see before.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matilda

    3.5- I have read many body positivist books, and although I did enjoy this one there are other ones that I have read that I preferred. I enjoyed this book as it was no nonsense and gave real examples of experiences of fat people. People of all shapes and sizes can read this book and leave feeling better about themselves and/or more aware of unjust impact that weight has on society. In saying this I did find it harder to follow at times then other books of a similar nature.

  19. 4 out of 5

    I Wilson

    Funny and affirming

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    I remember this book as well-designed but I don't think I was ready to really take in the message at the time. I remember this book as well-designed but I don't think I was ready to really take in the message at the time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    A bit dated, I just skimmed this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Absolutely loved this. Fun, zine-y, unapologetically fat

  23. 4 out of 5

    Yari

    I had to read this book for class and I enjoyed it for the most part but I didn't like that it ended up being so repetitive about health. Like I get that this is an old book and maybe if a revised and updated version were to be released, different and additional points would be made but I just felt like Wann failed to address some of the other issues that surround weight stigmatization. Other than that, it was funny and short so if you need something light to read but also mind stimulating, then I had to read this book for class and I enjoyed it for the most part but I didn't like that it ended up being so repetitive about health. Like I get that this is an old book and maybe if a revised and updated version were to be released, different and additional points would be made but I just felt like Wann failed to address some of the other issues that surround weight stigmatization. Other than that, it was funny and short so if you need something light to read but also mind stimulating, then go ahead and pick this up

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dabney

    Insightful perspective on size... it's important to embrace people for who they are instead of immediately telling them they have to change solely based on appearance. This author argued that many fat people (she also encouraged people to reclaim the term fat because being fat is only bad if that's how you view it) are healthy–they eat well and exercise. It's sometimes hard to see past stereotypes in a world where the ideal person is skinny and that fat people are lazy and see people for who the Insightful perspective on size... it's important to embrace people for who they are instead of immediately telling them they have to change solely based on appearance. This author argued that many fat people (she also encouraged people to reclaim the term fat because being fat is only bad if that's how you view it) are healthy–they eat well and exercise. It's sometimes hard to see past stereotypes in a world where the ideal person is skinny and that fat people are lazy and see people for who they really are. I also learned more about the discrimination about fat people in medical care... which led me to read a New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/18/ma...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Writer and activist Marilyn Wann gives sass back to the last permitted prejudice — the social stigma around being fat. Nearly half of the American population is classified as overweight, and fear of being fat has been documented as Americans' biggest fear—worse than public speaking, battling cancer, or even death itself. FAT! SO? takes on the topics of size as it relates to the work environment, dating, fashion, fitness, nutrition, health, family and society, and slays the stereotypes, concern t Writer and activist Marilyn Wann gives sass back to the last permitted prejudice — the social stigma around being fat. Nearly half of the American population is classified as overweight, and fear of being fat has been documented as Americans' biggest fear—worse than public speaking, battling cancer, or even death itself. FAT! SO? takes on the topics of size as it relates to the work environment, dating, fashion, fitness, nutrition, health, family and society, and slays the stereotypes, concern trolls, and microaggression demons with her humor and badass sense of self based in loving who you are — as you are, at any weight. One of the great pioneers of the body acceptance movement, advocating for fat people, Wann debunks the skewed statistics weilded by the multi-billion-dollar diet industry and brings humor, empathy, and a healthy dose of common sense to teach us that we can indeed be successful, fulfilled, happy, attractive, stylish, confident, and HEALTHY — all while being fat, and sometimes even because of being fat. A must-read for anyone struggling with body image — and if you don't struggle with body image it's a self-awareness primer for how not to behave like a jerk toward anyone who does.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    A "just ok" introduction to fat acceptance. Try to keep in mind that it was written over 15 years ago, when fat acceptance and fat studies basically didn't really exist yet. Back then, this would have inspired the crap out of me. Reading it now, there are some definite issues. Wann tends to completely ignore intersectionality. One one page it says "hey remember that other groups get oppressed to, maybe fight for them as well!" There might be two other quick references to how healthy food is kept A "just ok" introduction to fat acceptance. Try to keep in mind that it was written over 15 years ago, when fat acceptance and fat studies basically didn't really exist yet. Back then, this would have inspired the crap out of me. Reading it now, there are some definite issues. Wann tends to completely ignore intersectionality. One one page it says "hey remember that other groups get oppressed to, maybe fight for them as well!" There might be two other quick references to how healthy food is kept out of the hands of the poor (who are often POC due to systematic institutional and environmental racism) due to cost. Also, much of this book goes on about how it's totally possible to be fat and healthy (true!) but then repeatedly says BUT YOU SHOULD EXERCISE FOR YOU JUST BECAUSE JUST TRUST ME YOU SHOULD. It felt really preachy and pushy. Because it's okay to be fat and not exercise if you don't want to! That's totally fine too! But Wann seems hell-bent on us all exercising and eating broccoli. (Honestly the broccoli thing gets a little weird.) There is also one really weird page with a letter from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. Wann calls this letter "inspirational". The letter is from a guy who is fat and says that his life turned around when he started beating people up that made fun of him. Quote: "I beat them up real bad. I have been arrested three times because of it, but that is okay because I sent those people to the hospital." At the end it calls for all fat people to learn how to fight because "People that call us names need to be beaten up." If the letter is some sort of joke or has some hidden meaning then I am missing it. It is presented without comment by Wann, and overall it made me incredibly uncomfortable. All of that being said, there is some really important facts and commentary in here. The biggest and most important thing I took away from this book was the fact that I can refuse to be weighed at the doctor's office. The thought hadn't even occurred to me that I could say no! Just thinking about it made me feel really powerful.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ezekiel

    Content Notes: fatphobia discussed in text Here are the bad things about this book: it's dated. It focuses a lot on health, and is definitely a HAES (Health at Every Size) book (see: comment about how it's dated... the field has moved ON from one where we need to talk about how healthy we are to be taken seriously). There are parts (not a lot, but definitely more than a few!) that make it very clear that the author is a white woman who doesn't particularly understand intersectionality and how bla Content Notes: fatphobia discussed in text Here are the bad things about this book: it's dated. It focuses a lot on health, and is definitely a HAES (Health at Every Size) book (see: comment about how it's dated... the field has moved ON from one where we need to talk about how healthy we are to be taken seriously). There are parts (not a lot, but definitely more than a few!) that make it very clear that the author is a white woman who doesn't particularly understand intersectionality and how black folx's experiences would be changed by racism (some annoying and incorrect "everyone knows being racist is bad, if people said [X] about poc like they do about fat people it'd be a big deal" stuff, for instance). Did I mention it's dated? So then why did I give it 4 stars? Why have I shelved it under "please buy for me/to buy"? This is considered a foundational book in the field of fat acceptance for a reason. It's irreverent, fun, well put together, with science and rhetoric well paired. I (generally) loved the suggestions at the bottom of most pages on ways to be a fatso! This IS a good book for getting one's parents or friends who don't *totally* get the whole "fat acceptance" thing to understand. This is definitely a book that you can buy a copy or two of, and have them around, with their bright colors and in-your-face title, and lend them out so that later you can have a talk with whoever you lent it to. About the movement now, about how it made them feel, etc. It utilizes the other contributors to great effect. And Marilyn Wann is a good writer. She writes convincingly, and passionately. And because it was one of the earliest. Our history is important, the history of movements is important. How many people got into FA because of Fat!So? or its zine, or the people who were directly influenced by them? I have no idea. But it's a LOT. I know that the first time I heard about FA was from people who were talking about this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Fat! So? is an incredible introduction to the world of radical body acceptance or, more specifically, that of fat acceptance. It's interesting and informative, not to mention full of hilarious anecdotes and fun body acceptance exercises (including a Venus of Willendorf paper doll and a hilarious chart comparing fatness with left-handedness). Anyone interested in radical body positivity with an emphasis on fat acceptance should read this book at least once. Ditto any fat person who's sick of bein Fat! So? is an incredible introduction to the world of radical body acceptance or, more specifically, that of fat acceptance. It's interesting and informative, not to mention full of hilarious anecdotes and fun body acceptance exercises (including a Venus of Willendorf paper doll and a hilarious chart comparing fatness with left-handedness). Anyone interested in radical body positivity with an emphasis on fat acceptance should read this book at least once. Ditto any fat person who's sick of being made to feel awful about their body, even (especially) those who aren't yet card-carrying members of the Fat and Proud Club. If you're someone who likes to comment on the fact that body positive blogs don't emphasize skinny-shaming enough...maybe not. Ditto anyone who stubbornly insists that fatness is an epidemic or who thinks there's such a thing as 'too fat'. Also has anyone mentioned the fact that the cartoons on the page corners make up a flip book yet? Because that little dancing fat woman is DELIGHTFUL.

  29. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    Before there was Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body there was FAT!SO? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size. This was a fun, lighthearted read covering the basics of fat acceptance. The author wrote a zine back in the 90s, but the book doesn't say if all entries are from the zine or if they were written new for the book. Either way, I still enjoyed it. The one thing that I was annoyed about was that the copy I borrowed from the library had se Before there was Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body there was FAT!SO? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size. This was a fun, lighthearted read covering the basics of fat acceptance. The author wrote a zine back in the 90s, but the book doesn't say if all entries are from the zine or if they were written new for the book. Either way, I still enjoyed it. The one thing that I was annoyed about was that the copy I borrowed from the library had several pages ripped out. I don't know why anybody would rip pages out of a library book, and I intend to show the librarian when I return it so they can order a new copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Dentata

    I dithered between 4 and 5 stars. Part of me really wishes there was more explicitly there about gender and race and how that intersects with fatness- but I read this book years ago and re-reading it has been a really good reminder of HAES philosophy. I love the sass and the fat humour and this is absolutely a classic of body posi stuff. I guess on re-reading it felt a bit less complete than I remember it- because I've read so many other great things which complement it since then! I dithered between 4 and 5 stars. Part of me really wishes there was more explicitly there about gender and race and how that intersects with fatness- but I read this book years ago and re-reading it has been a really good reminder of HAES philosophy. I love the sass and the fat humour and this is absolutely a classic of body posi stuff. I guess on re-reading it felt a bit less complete than I remember it- because I've read so many other great things which complement it since then!

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