22/08/2018

Review - You Have The Right To Remain Fat

As a smaller fat woman, I often find myself in the position where non-fat people feel I am a safe audience for all of their thoughts about fatness. The good, the bad and the downright fricking terrible. Every time this happens, I bite my tongue, recall that that *I* have a responsibility to my larger sisters and brothers, to set people straight and to educate on a few basics. 

Only sometimes it's hard (Albeit not as hard as being abused on a daily basis..), sometimes I forget all the things I know, all the big words, the politics of it all. I just want to stop and shout BUT YOU ARE WRONG HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THIS WHY ARE YOU NOT GETTING IT PLEASE?


When this happens I look up to the brilliant women who put people right every single damn day, the same women who really should have run out of patience by now but they haven't because They Want To See Change. They have had enough. Fuelled by their knowledge and the discrimination they witness over and over again, they are activists, leading a revolution against the anti-fat rhetoric. 

One of these women is Virgie Tovar; Brilliant, bright, inspirational and utterly hilarious. Virgie has always been at the forefront of fat activism for me. She is bold, fat and out there living an incredible life. SHE HAS BEEN IN GRAZIA (A small life goal of mine) And now she has written a book. An incredible book. A MASTERPIECE OF A BOOK. 

I want to start by saying that "You Have The Right To Remain Fat" should be circulated as far and wide as Gideons Bible. It should be in every hotel, on every train,  scattered around doctors surgeries with wild abandon and thrust into the hand of ever single woman who starts a sentence with "I used to be a big girl myself but..."


It's not hyperbole to say that Virgie Tovar has changed my life with this book. I have immersed myself in fat politics for years, which gave me cause to assume there would be no shocks in this book. I KNOW diet culture is bullish*t, I KNOW it's routed in misogyny, I KNOW that fatphobia kills. What else could there be? 

By the end of chapter one I had used ever swear word I know, my mouth was stuck in a permanent O shape. My friends, I had begun to see the light. 

The themes of You Have The Right To Remain Fat move between Virgie's own experiences; from a "self-assured...theatrical little fat girl" to peeing in a swimming pool (My hero) and the politics she has is known for imparting during her mass attended lectures. Switching from heartache to complete and utter joy. In more place than one I found myself thinking "OH I thought that was just me!!". It's incredible how many internalised hatreds we can have for ourselves - Sometimes just recognising them can enhance your life tenfold. As I've said before; Being fat doesn't stop you being fatphobic, just as being a woman doesn't make you a feminist.

One of the most incredible things about this book is that it unites fat readers in the knowledge that we are not alone, many of our experiences are shared. Yet Virgie's writing remains just palatable enough for you to share with non-fats. There are so many statements that will stay with me for life, that I will be able to confidently use in discussions with my fat friends and fatphobics alike. 

I don't want to share too much because I WANT YOU TO READ THIS MANIFESTO and I WANT YOU TO GET ANGRY. It is a dazzling piece of writing and I am a different woman for reading it. Thank you Virgie Tovar, thank you.

Em x

I was gifted You Have The Right To Remain Fat to review - All thoughts are entirely my own because I read it with my eyes and processed it with my big juicy brain.

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