Thursday, November 1, 2007

Not This Fat Girl's Life

I just finished The Fat Girl's Guide to Life by Wendy Shanker. I expected to love it, to be inspired by it. Sadly, I just wasn't. I give Ms. Shanker props for her encouraging us to exercise, eat well, be our own advocate, and claim our power. On those matters I agree with her. Most of the rest didn't resonate with me.

I think a more accurate title would have been The Big City, Single, Fat Girl's Guide to a Pre-Middle Age Life. It has very Sex in the City flavor to me (a show I don't like). It was too much out of sync with my reality. I'm far from a sleek, hip, and savvy New Yorker. The thought of buying something "cheap" at H&M, wearing it twice, and throwing it out is absurd to me. In fact, I'm not a retail therapy type of girl as the author says she is. Just schlepping around stores, spending time and money to try to boost my mood or ego isn't something I get. Don't get me wrong, I like dressing well but I don't love the whole shopping thing. I generally prefer to order things online when possible.

Then there was the two chapters on dating and casual sex. I've been very blessed with a husband who loves and delights in me regardless of my size. I've been with him since we were both nineteen. I just can't relate to being in bed with a man I just met, looking forward to the morning so I can get him out of my house. And then the abundance of swearing in the book. In my opinion only Chris Rock does swearing well, with everyone else it just diminishes what they are trying to say.

Ms. Shanker seemed to insinuate most fat people engage or have engaged in binge eating. I have no idea what everyone else does, and my guess is it would be difficult to get reliable stats on that. However, I really never have engaged in any binge eating as an adult, especially when I haven't been on a diet. There may have been a couple of weak, starving moments on a diet I ate more than a "normal" amount when I gave in to temptation. Even then it wasn't anything too crazy.

She also seems to think most of us were carrying around our fat as some sort of barrier, a buffer. Again, I can't vouch for all of us but I'm just not. I don't fear attention or intimacy, I'm not recovering from or stuffing a deep pain. I'm just fat, no major baggage to check.

No comments: