Book Review: The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce

Finally, a book for all the teens of a specific size out there. Big ones. An anthology, but more importantly a primer of sorts of how to navigate this fat-phobic world. For too long life as an overweight teen was very don’t ask, don’t tell:

  • Don’t talk about finding stylish clothes, because it’s your fault you aren’t thinner.
  • Don’t eat sweets in front of anyone, because that’s how you gain weight.
  • Don’t accept the body you have. Being thin is the only good size.

Fat or thin, everyone deserves to feel comfortable in the body they own. These essays go a long way towards normalizing what actually already is normal. We have a weird twisted society sometimes. Can you imagine if suddenly it was shameful to have blonde hair? You’d be at the Doctor for a sore throat, and they’d wonder aloud, What are you doing to prevent your hair from getting lighter? When really you just want some antibiotics. This anthology is essential reading for fat teens and the people who love them just the way they are.

My favorite essays included are:

“For the Love of Ursula’s Revenge Body” by Julie Murphy

“Chubby City Indian” by Jana Schmeiding

“How To Be the Star of Your Own Fat Rom-Com” by Lily Anderson

“Elephant, Hippo, and Other Nicknames I Love” by Jes Baker

“Losing My Religion” by Jess Walton

All that said, I’m not sure if I’d hand this book to the lower end of the YA crowd. In many ways, it seems more like Adult non-fiction, although even young teens already know all of what is included with being fat. Maybe I’m just being a protective helicopter Mom, but with my own 14-year-old, I’m marking only specific essays for him to read. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)

I have one copy to give away!
Find my review on Twitter and re-tweet it.
I’ll draw a winner on Sunday, September 29, 2019.


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