I found the incredibly funny Sophie Hagen through her podcasts, Made of Human and Secret Dinosaur Cult. She is a lovely Danish standup comedian that now lives in London and she is very, very funny. She is also fat, and has been for most of her life. As most of us who are on the heavier side probably know, this means she has had certain experiences in life that are less than ideal. She decided it was time to really look into the ideas that Western society’s fat phobia is based on and first, find out if the ideas are even based on actual fact, and second, try to figure out what fat people can do about it to make their own lives happier and better on all levels. Then from there, how do we change our society so everyone can be viewed as human beings first, rather than their size (or other physical attribute) first?
This is a great book, Sophie is a very talented writer and her style of humor is perfect here. She is able to take on very serious topics with a level of light hardheartedness that neither negates or trivializes what she is trying to say. As for what she is trying to say: Sophie has done her homework here. I was originally going to use this as my memoir square for Bingo, but I’m going to put it as Science instead because I want to give credit to the amount of work Sophie has done here. While nowhere near an expert, I have tried to keep myself informed about the realities of obesity research, especially since I have realized how often main stream media will skew study results if it means a better sounding headline, but I learned a lot from this book. It goes into detail on a lot of the most current and prominent studies and break down what they really say, which is mainly: overall heath and activity are far more important than the actual size that a body comes in. Then, on top of that, why is your personal health anyone else’s business anyway?
She also spends a lot of time going into who has paid for certain studies and lobbying campaigns, which is very interesting and also very enlightening. There are also several interviews with various people in the fat activist community in order to expand the conversation and bring in a lot of intersectionality, such as fatness and sexual orientation, fatness and race, and how life is different for someone who is “super fat” verses obese. There is a lot brought to the table here, and I sincerely appreciate the effort and I do feel it adds a very positive element to the book.
Above all, this book is a good read, I pretty much flew through it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. there are a lot of personal anecdotes and side stories included along the way, most of which made me laugh out loud. Then I gave my body a cuddle, because it deserves it.
Right now the book is technically only available in the UK, so you can’t get a paper copy in the US until Jan 2020, but I was able to purchase the UK eBook version on Kindle no problem.
This is my Science! Square on my Bingo Card.