Share Your Fat Acceptance Reading!

Published May 19, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

Lightning post folks.

Discussion on Twitter about fat acceptance reference reading has got me thinking that as the librarian, I need to compile these into a handy reference list.

So, in the comments, please leave me any good fat acceptance reference books and I will compile them into a nice easy reference list with links for purchase and such.

Personally I have read or am reading:

  • Screw Inner Beauty/Lessons from the Fatosphere by Marianne Kirby and Kate Harding
  • The Fat Girls Guide to Life by Wendy Shanker
  • The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos
  • Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon

So these are all already on my list.

Go to it folks – share your FA reading!

22 comments on “Share Your Fat Acceptance Reading!

  • Probably the “OMG you should read THIS!” is Fat! So? by Marilyn Wann.

    Do you have specific interests you are looking into? Science of weight, self-esteem, fun?

    • Added!

      At this point I’m looking for any reference material (non-fiction) that pertains to a fat acceptance philosophy, so anything else you can share will be most appreciated.

  • Would you be up for lending me either fat girls guide to life or screw inner beauty?

    Which one would you recommend first?

  • Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata is great – she’s a science journalist and really gets into the studies about fat and dieting and health. There’s another more philosophical book about puritanism and consumption from the mid-90s, with lots of interesting FA-related themes, that I read recently, but I can’t remember the name, and it’s packed up in a box in preparation for moving house soon – I’ll let you know the name when I unpack!

  • You’ve reminded me that I’ve been meaning to do a reference list on my ‘resources’ page. Anyway, here’s what I can think of (I haven’t read them all, and listing is not necessarily reccommending):

    – The ‘Fat’ Female Body – Samantha Murray
    – Fat & Proud – Charlotte Cooper
    – Revolting Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity – Kathleen LeBesco
    – Bodies Out of Bounds: Fatness & Transgression – Kathleen LeBesco & Jana Evans Braziel (eds)
    – The Obesity Epidemic: Science, Morality & Ideology – Michael Gard & Jane Wright
    – Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them – Hanne Blank
    – Shadow on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression – Lisa Schoenfielder & Barb Wieser
    – Such a Pretty Face: Being Fat in America – Marcia Millman
    – Women En Large – Laury Toby Edison
    – The Fat Studies Reader – Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solovay (eds)
    – Fat Studies in the UK – Corinna Tomrley & Ann Kaloski Naylor (eds)
    – Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession – Don Kulick & Ann Meneley (eds)
    – Weighty Issues: Fatness & Thinness as Social Problems – Jeffrey Sobal & Donna Maurer (eds)
    – Interpreting Weight: The Social Management of Fatness & Thinness – Jeffrey Sobal & Donna Maurer (eds)

  • “Losing It” by Laura Fraser. It’s like the prequel to “Rethinking Thin”, with more footnotes!

    I had a problem with “Fat Girl’s Guide to Life”, because Shanker equates fatness and disordered eating. Still worth reading, I guess, for the biographical parts.

    • Oh! And then Fraser wrote “An Italian Affair”, which is a nice realistic romance about a bigger woman.

  • What really got the FA ball rolling for me was Susie Orbach’s “Bodies” and I think you’d have to add “Fat is a Feminist Issue” to the list, although I haven’t personally read that one. Also, “When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies” and “Overcoming Overeating”.


    • I haven’t read ‘Bodies’, but I loathe FIFI. It’s full of hideous infantalising and pathologising of fat women. Her argument is that it’s ok to be a little bit bigger than the idealised body, but that women who are actually fat are subconsciously hiding from adult sexuality and responsibility. Orbach popularised these increadibly damaging ideas, which remain a powerful part of how fatness is conceived of as a ‘symptom’ of some deeper disturbance.

      • Yeah, I’m not sure I’d be counting Susie Orbach as an ally; FIFI has a good title but you’re spot on about its problems. I have a vague memory of some fatties getting pissed off about Orbach being a keynote speaker at a fat studies event a while back?

  • « wake up, I’m fat!»
    « self-esteem comes in all sizes» (carol johnson)
    « Je suis ronde et j’aime ça»
    « À dix kilos du bonheur»
    « Les hommes préfèrent les rondes»
    « La tortue sur le dos» (Eating disorder)

    And other books in french (as it’s my mother language). Unfortunately there’s not a lot of fat acceptance literature in french so when it comes to spreading the word to my non-bilingual friends it’s tricky. However I read mostly in English on the topic. 🙂 You’re a genius for keeping track of all this!! I hope you’ll post a complete bibliography someday. 🙂

  • I’ve got a few in my queue, but haven’t read yet. I’ll let you know if they’re worth it. I also enjoyed “Fat Politics” by Eric Oliver. Some of the stuff he writes is covered by Gina Kolata’s book, but some was news to me.


  • I read “The Obesity Myth” and generally loved it. At the moment, I’m pecking away at “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf. It’s incredibly enlightening. Things I never knew I never knew!

  • Thanks folks! I will compile these up, with full bib records where I can, and links to purchase them and put it up over the weekend.

    HOWEVER, as a librarian, I urge you all to go to your local library and borrow any of them that are there, and if they’re not, ask the library staff if they can add them to their collections.

    Because hey – not only can we read them for free… but what a great way to outreach Fat Acceptance!

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