Okay, so I guess you’re noticing a theme here. I needed another audiobook to work alongside and this one had been on my mind. If you really want a glimpse into the world of fat bodies, get this book. The audio version is narrated by the author so poetically, as she continually recounts, “my body, my body, my body…” I admit that I fall under the category of what Gay refers to as “Lane Bryant fat” and the discrimination she faces exceeds mine own, yet so many situations she describes I heartbreakingly can relate to. Feelings of worthlessness, and judgement. The way strangers stare in judgement and offer their “health advice” which is a crock of bullshit. (Vote for universal healthcare, if you’re so concerned about everyone’s health, but also leave my fat body out of the equation.) The way doctors cannot see past the weight and treat the actual conditions and illnesses we visit for. And thank GOD! she mentioned the Weight Watchers commercials Oprah did! I’m still not ready to forgive them…”In every overweight woman, there’s a thin body trapped…” Oprah: a wildly successful woman, award winning, billionaire, cultural influencer, yet none of that matters unless she has a thin body and is sexually desirable by patriarchal standards?…
If you are not familiar with Roxane Gay, her journey of weight gain was the result of a gang rape at age 12. She wanted to be large and powerful and strong while also becoming less desirable as a deterrent to sexual assault. And yet, she recounts how this awful experience has played out in negative ways through so many of her romantic/sexual relationships with men and women.
4 comments on “Hunger”
I certainly have always had issues concerning my body. I was never athletic (I couldn’t pass the President Kennedy fitness test in high school) or as thin as “I was supposed to be.” I remember shopping with a teenage friend. She wore a size 7. She found me in the size 13 section and said, “What are you doing in the huge sizes?” There was a very narrow range of “normal.” I learned to spend most of my time in my head. I think some of my current problems with chronic pain have to do with not paying attention to my body. Even seemingly minor insults to body image can cause long lasting effects. Roxane Gay’s story is horrific. Thanks for your very personal review. I found an interview on the Daily Show that you might find interesting: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/oifn27/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-roxane-gay—fitting-into-the-world-in–hunger—-extended-interview This is a book I will definitely read.
As an aside, I was introduced to Roxane Gay when I joined this group, and it was suggested we all read Bad Feminist. I went to college in the 60’s, and it was very thought provoking to read ideas on feminism from an excellent writer from a different generation. Gay gives a great TED TALK on how she sees herself as a feminist.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Thank you, Daniela. And thank you, Barbara, for all of this good stuff to follow up on!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Guess what, Daniela? When I originally read your post, I thought the name Roxane Gay sounded familiar but I didn’t know why. This morning I got around to watching one of the programs from the PBS TV series “Breaking Big” that I had recorded on August 5. It’s about all things Roxane! Just needed to tell you. Did you see it?
By chance, I found this great 12/21 conversation featuring Roxane Gay and her partner Debbie Millman. I thought I’d share the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulcm5PoSCis