PDF Fat Shame: PDF

by Amy Erdman Farrell

I really disliked the majority of this book, from about 20% to 80% in. Why? There were way too many detailed descriptions of comics, cartoons, and photos that after the 20th one or so, I stopped reading about them. The same point is made—a fat person is made fun of, or implicitly thought of as lazy or incompetent, or some other point in which fat=inferior. I get it. I honestly do not need 1000 examples of every single cartoon that supports those claims to be described. That would be raw research. I understand that in describing the photos, the author perpetuates her ideas through the phrasing of words and even describing what she sees, but honestly, I'd rather see the original photos as well as hearing you describe them so I could see how differently, the author's description of the photo was from how I saw the photo. Her analysis of cartoons made me think of art critiques: "the ombre orange symbolizes her aching hunger, while the smudge on the painting indicates an uncertainty in our future" about an orange dot or something. I think in total, under 10 images she described were displayed in the book. All I'm saying is maybe she could've summarized the point in less than 10 pages, and instead of describing every single one, could've described a couple to make her point, and had footnotes for the rest.

BESIDES that, I generally disliked her tone. It's clearly anti-anti-fat, but never describes why (perhaps this book was only meant to be read by those who are anti-anti-fat). The underlying assumption in this book is that fat people are in any way inferior to less-fat, "healthy" people. (Another thing: any time the word "healthy" is used, it's in quotations. Yet no scientific evidence is given to support her claim that society's "healthy" standard shouldn't be a standard—in fact she cites that fat people are more likely to die—but attributes that to fat stigma because fat people are more scared to go to the Drs thanks to our culture, so they get less care, and of course will die more. Nothing to dismiss the fact that overall health of a fat person is worse than that of a healthy one, though.) Which, quite frankly, I don't exactly understand. Why would you not counter your opponents' ideas that fat people are lazy, gluttonous, and (in the past) power-hungry? If fat people didn't get fat from eating too much (gluttonous, lack of self-control) and exercising too little (little conviction, lazy), then what did they do to get fat? Or are those things not indicative of the qualities that are so closely associated with them? Why?

The thing that would've brought a stronger writing is if the author didn't assume everything and did her research with a clean slate. Or at least have some counter-counter arguments in her book.

Overall, I did gain some insight into the history of fat stigma and its parallels in race and gender equality (which were interesting until the nth cartoon), but I fail to see the main argument that should've been made: how being fat through not enough exercise or too much eating is parallel to being black and mistreated purely because of your skin color. After all, usually weight is controllable, and your gender or race isn't. There is a counter-argument to be made there, but she didn't. AKA Why there shouldn't be a stigma against fat people. I think she missed the mark. Big time.

I can't stop talking about what I found annoying: Another thing, she mentions herself. Quite a lot. I don't trust books where the author says "I think..." Don't tell me what you think, present me with the facts and your analysis WITHOUT EXPLICITLY USING "I". We're not in third grade. Also, this material was clearly too dear to her heart because of her own weight and struggles to where I didn't trust her content analyses. I'm not anti-fat or anti-anti-fat, but after this book I'm anti-Amy Farrell's writing.

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File info

Book Title
Book Author
PublisherNew York University Press
GanreNon Fiction
Release date 01.05.2011
Pages count219
eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
File size7.2 Mb
Book rating4.48 (95 votes)
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