I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW IMPORTANT THIS BOOK AND TV SERIES WAS FOR ME.
One of the Instagram accounts I follow that is an integral part of the body positive movement posted about this show and how she had never related more to a character as she did Plum. Luckily the series had just started and the pilot was available on my cable’s On Demand feature. I was instantly hooked even though it seemed for others that it would be a slow build up. I tried convincing my bestie to watch and he was like “eh” after the first episode, “I’m not sure I’ll stick with it.” after the second episode, and by the time he watched the third episode he asked me if I was secretly one of the writers on the show. (I WISH!) It depicted so much of the fat experience living in a diet-obsessed thin culture. Thin privilege is a REAL phenomena and I am so grateful that these conversations are FINALLY happening.
Now I know this is a blog about reading, so you might be asking why I’m talking about a tv show. After a few episodes, I was so enamored with this story that I borrowed the audio book from the library (digitally, see my previous post about library confrontations). I began listening to the book and watching the series side by side making sure to save the end of the book for day of the finale on television. This is the first time I had done something like this, digest two versions of a story in tandem. That in and of itself was an interesting experience. And of course they were different! What moves a story in each medium differs and there were valid and important aspects to both!
This story isn’t just about a fat woman finding her voice to tell the rest of the world to f*ck off. There is a concurrent story line of a vigilante extremist feminist group that goes by the name JENNIFER. We are first introduced to Jennifer (anonymous group of women) after a series of kidnappings-They rounded up what was referred to as the “Dirty Dozen”-twelve men suspected rapists (almost assuredly guilty), murdered them and then literally dropped them from the skies. ((I’m not condoning this violence, but just want to point out how many male vigilante/superhero stories have we had to hear, so if this makes you uneasy just think about your gender-bias.)) Plum’s (the main character) relationship to Jennifer unfolds differently in each rendition which was surprising and interesting.
I recommend this story to you if you are fat, a feminist, tired of patriarchal bullshit, want a story who’s female protagonist isn’t doing it all for a male love interest, not looking for a happily ever after, are raging against the beauty industry, fed up, your name is Jennifer, or all of the above!