Friday, March 22, 2013

Such A Pretty Fat - A Book Review

I heard about this book when I was a junior in college. I was taking a public speaking class, and we each had to select an autobiography and read a portion of it out loud. I don't even remember what I read in hindsight, but I do remember this moment.

 This stick-thin, blonde sorority girl stood up in front of the class, said the title of the book, and started explaining how hilarious it was. This horrified me. I am not entirely sure why, but I think it was the juxtaposition of a girl who was no bigger than a size 6 reading a book written by a woman who is a size 22. I am the same size as Mrs. Lancaster, and so it almost felt like a personal affront to both myself and the author: this girl was little-bitty, and she's reading an excerpt from a book about how hard it is to squeeze into some seats in some restaurants?

 I forgot all about this atrocity until later, when I was browsing Goodreads and saw the familiar cover. "Wait a minute," I remember thinking, "I know that purple lingerie. Isn't this that book that jerk read out loud in class?" And lo, it was. I put it on hold at the library and picked it up a few days later.

 We live in a world full of people who are "plus-sized models" and are, in actuality, size 10 at the most. Meg Cabot touched on this in her book series starting with the titular Size 12 Is Not Fat, and as much as the truth shall set you free, apparently the media doesn't agree. So what we have here in this book is the self-deprecating humor that I feel I can appreciate as someone who is the same size as the author. When she struggles with Atkins, I laugh, because so have I.

Jen Lancaster's struggles with weight loss have helped to inspire me along on my own weight loss journey, and made me realize that I can make a change, even if it's just a little one. I extra-appreciated the ending because she doesn't tie it up in a pretty package and slap a bow on it - she's still fat in the end, and isn't ending the book with a fast-forward through time where she's a supermodel. She's still overweight, but has lost 30 pounds, and is content and happy with herself.

I think that this is a message that not nearly enough people are receiving these days: you can be fat and happy as long as you are healthy. I really enjoyed this book, and am picking up Bitter Is the New Black very soon, having just gotten over my own unemployment binge.

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