You Have the Right To Remain Fat

Feminist. Aug. 2018. 136p. ISBN 9781936932313. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781936932320. SOC SCI
Tovar (editor, Hot & Heavy) analyzes the marriage between fat phobia and diet culture, and how women are trained to blame themselves, not society, for body shame. The author recalls her childhood, when she was called fat before she knew what the word meant. Being fat is political, she states, as demonstrated by continued societal efforts to police women's bodies. Exploring the emerging discipline of fat studies, Tovar expands on the differences between fat feminism and fat activism, and how body size connects to class, race, and gender. She excels at critiquing diet culture; describing how it matches the American narrative of failure and success as personal endeavors and how dieting and fatphobia are ideologies that rely upon inducing inferiority. Women should stop being socially rewarded for weight loss and punished for weight gain especially since either could be health related, she concludes, while admitting that ideologies of oppression are impossible to legislate; even if you regulate the behavior, the ideology remains intact.
VERDICT Combining aspects of feminism and women's health, Tovar's impassioned call to action challenges Western beauty norms and how women (and girls) develop self-esteem. Ideal for YA crossover.

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