#FridayReads: The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life by Wendy Shanker

Fat Girl's Guide to Life by Wendy ShankerIf you are a woman and you have ever felt bad about your body, you need to read this book.

In it, Wendy Shanker takes a hard look at body image, stereotypes, negative connotations, outright judgement, dieting, and more. The most powerful thing she’s suggested so far is this: If you have tried many, many diets, and none of them work, perhaps the problem is with the diets, not with you.

Shanker does not make excuses for her size. She takes responsibility for her health, and concludes that she would rather eat real food, have good cholesterol levels and a healthy heart than be skinny and unhealthy.

She points out the flaws in the BMI system (George Clooney is overweight according to the BMI chart) and challenges us to re-think our self-images and our relationships with our bodies.

Many of us struggle with how we look, spending hours of our lives fretting over whether or not our butts look too big in a particular pair of jeans. I’ve been there, and I tired of it quickly. But every now and then I’ll backslide and start thinking, “Maybe I should go on a diet” before I come to my senses.

This is not a topic women talk about openly*, so it’s great to know someone else has gone through all the same things and come to the same conclusion: This dieting and negative body image bullshit is wack.

*Sure, some women do talk about weight issues openly. But for most, saying, “I’m so fat” or “I’m on a diet” is about as far as the conversation goes. There’s rarely any discussion of how difficult dieting is, and how unsustainable and discouraging it is. The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life contains those discussions and beyond.

What do you think?