“You Just Need To Lose Weight”: And 19 Other Myths About Fat People

Beacon. Jan. 2023. 232p. ISBN 9780807006474. pap. $15.95. SOC SCI
As the cohost of the Maintenance Phase podcast and a columnist for Self magazine, Gordon (What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat) has established herself as one of the loudest and most influential voices working to dismantle anti-fatness structures. Her second book will appeal to anyone interested in discrimination based on body size and other similar forms of systemic oppression. It’s a valuable tool to navigate the space one’s body occupies and to understand what that means for oneself and for others. The book is structured around prevalent myths, all debunked by the author, about people with obesity. This is not a series of rants. Instead, chapters are infused with calls for social justice and personal anecdotes, all of which achieve Gordon’s goal for the book, which is to inspire readers to dig and think more deeply about this topic. The book includes a clear overview of terminology (e.g., anti-fatness, diet culture, and straight-sized clothing), documentation from sources ranging from popular magazines to scientific journals, and Gordon’s signature voice, which moves seamlessly from caustic wit and sarcasm to erudition and emotion.
VERDICT This book may not always be easy to digest, but it is powerful, necessary reading.
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