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FAT!SO? : Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size
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FAT!SO? : Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  741 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear�worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons�our fear of fat.Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has wor ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published December 1st 1998 by Ten Speed Press
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Community Reviews

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I was conflicted over 2 or 3 stars here, but as a fellow zine-writer, I'll go with 3 (I love how Wann describes writing zines as a hobby that can change your life-- it's pretty true). Anyway, I think this is a valuable book for anyone who thinks dieting is a lifelong necessity just to achieve some "ideal" weight (which is lots of folks). I did come away with some new information about the diet industry and how diets work (not very well, apparently). The issue I had with Fat!So? was that it spent ...more
I picked this book off my shelf for a re-read, and coming to GoodReads to check out other readers' reviews has been part of the process -- my review is in part a response to other reviews.

For some reason, the Fat Acceptance movement has a tendency to ignore its roots and forebearers. Many of its leaders also have the bad habit of ignoring collective work and community input into the construction of its core ideas and principles. The current Big Names in the online-centric FA community really don
we read this book for feminist book club. it was pretty awesome! i expected it to be good, but it exceeded my expectations. the only reason i'm not boosting it up to five stars is because a lot of the info, references, & issues in it were super 90s-centric. the book was published in the 90s & i bet that shit seemed timely & relevant then, but there are 25-year-olds in my book club who were totally baffled by some of it. (i liked the 90s shit though, because i am old.)

this is kind of
dianne budd
Fantastic. Flabulous. Funny.
When someone reveals something that, in retrospect, is obvious - but had been unseen before said revelation - i have an "ahhhh" feeling, and wish it had been me that revealed it. That happens repeatedly throughout this book. On page 82 under "Beating a Horse of a Different Color" she begins "You'll often hear someone say. 'It's my fault that I'm fat.' Well, you know what? It's my fault I'm white. It really is." What follows is nothing short of genius (IMHO). "If I car
Jonathan-David Jackson
While it was something I'd thought about a little before, this book is the first place I've seen it written down that you don't have to hate your body - that life can be enjoyable and healthy whether you're thin or fat, and really it's not something to obsess over either way.

Many people are afraid to be fat, and that's not surprising when you consider the way that fat people are portrayed in media and treated in life. This book examines some of the reasons for the hate towards fat, with interest
This book was suggested to me, which i suppose is okay, except it's doubtful even the most size accepting diva (and I am certainly not she) would probably have some kind of resistence to being offered this book. Either because she could write it herself or because she's still hasn't gotten "there" yet.

Nevertheless, I think the book, despite this rather creative use of stats, medical journal entries and such is really interesting. I realize it was started as zine and so the writing is not as refi
I. Love. This. Book. I do. I'd heard about it years ago, and I figured it would be some silly self-help thing with secret you-should-diet messages in the back somewhere. However, I was more than excited to find out I was wrong. Not only does Ms. Wann (and her contributors) suggest that fat = beautiful, but they back it up with, yes, cheerleadery stuff, AND facts and figures. NO, being fat DOESN'T cause diabetes and other health problems. Dieting? Only works about 90% of the time. Did you know - ...more
A "just ok" introduction to fat acceptance. Try to keep in mind that it was written over 15 years ago, when fat acceptance and fat studies basically didn't really exist yet. Back then, this would have inspired the crap out of me. Reading it now, there are some definite issues.

Wann tends to completely ignore intersectionality. One one page it says "hey remember that other groups get oppressed to, maybe fight for them as well!" There might be two other quick references to how healthy food is kept
Are you tired of fatphobic misogynists harassing you? Tired of being told to go on a diet? Were you continually bullied and socially ostracized throughout your childhood because of your appearance? Still traumatized by this childhood bullying?

The eye-opening book Fat! So? will empower you to feel better about your size and shape and help you realize that fatphobia is a form of bigotry, like homophobia, misogyny, and racism. In this toxic society, we are constantly barraged with the message that
Jun 09, 2008 HeavyReader rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks fat people are unhealthy and disgusting
This is fat liberation 101. This is a must read for anyone living in our fat phobic world, and that means you!

I wrote the following review for the Summer 1999 issue of the Minnesota Social Responsibility Round Table Newsletter:

There is no weight minimum required to delight in this book; fatsos of all sizes will find it a pleasure.

Based on a zine started in 1993, Fat!So? is fun and informative. Its history as a zine is apparent in its bold graphics, enlightening sidebars, and cool extras such as
Oct 08, 2014 Angela rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Just about everyone
Shelves: diet-etc
Fat!So? is now a decade-old book created from even older 'zines. But, the age of the book and its content has little to nothing to do with its very real approach to the issue of being fat in a BMI-obsessed world.

I would have given it five stars save for the obvious (to me) skewing of statistics, percentages, and Random Scientific Facts (tm) to turn the book more to the persuasive-writing side of things rather than just getting out there what needs to be out there about being a modern day fatso.
Before there was Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body there was FAT!SO? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size. This was a fun, lighthearted read covering the basics of fat acceptance. The author wrote a zine back in the 90s, but the book doesn't say if all entries are from the zine or if they were written new for the book. Either way, I still enjoyed it.

The one thing that I was annoyed about was that the copy I borrowed from the library had se
Sunshine Jeremiah
This book has excellent information, is fun to read, and offers a new way to think about our current culture around Fat issues. Marilyn knows her stuff. I encourage everyone to read this, but especially those who struggle with their fatness and need to discover the truly flabulous beings that they are.

Learn the problems with medical concerns about weight.
Learn about the health dangers of diets and other weight intervention measures.
Learn to end thigh hatred.
End suicides, mutilation, and other se
Jan 02, 2014 Cassie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: body positive people
Recommended to Cassie by: library shelves
This is a fantastic book dedicated to body image and embracing your curves. I think this needs to be on the shelf of every voluptuous woman It has fashion advice, historical figures, support groups, personal stories and more. I read this cover to cover in one day when I brought it back from the public library so many years ago. If you find it and you are a plus-sized lady or fella, pick it up and keep it for a while.
Jill Collins
Recommended by a friend, a little cheesy and moralizing but also entertaining. As a fat lady it's hard to believe you're beautiful in a society that is constantly selling you based on your low sense of self worth. This is what I wished the book would have focused on, less silly self-aggrandizing and moreso on the advertising industry's brutal assault to sell you a better version of yourself.

Clever title and beautiful presentation. I love the flip book in the corner, a cute fattie doing burlesqu
Written in the 90s, reads like it was written today.
marilyn Wann is my New body love Guru!
ONTD Feminism
LJ user cecilia_weasley says, "It's a book written by Marilyn Wann and it's a collection of experiences with being fat and the society's perception of fatness. It talks about HAES, and about the reports which scare people about obesity and such. It's a really good book, and it's a good book for beginner feminists because it shows how women's bodies are policed constantly, whether we realize it or not.

Also I liked how in the book, the author didn't spend all her time saying that skinny people sh
Great book for those new to the body positive movement. Lots of interesting facts about fat, BMI and diets. Nice general message :)
Nov 16, 2007 Becca rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a body
This should be required reading--for everyone, everywhere. I already knew this stuff--you can be *gasp* fat and healthy, smart and attractive--but this was a humorous and hip celebration of the full range of bodies God (or nature, or whatever you're comfortable with) intended people to have. It also has some hilarious tips on how to deal with people who think fat is a moral failing. I was disappointed that Wann hasn't written any other books. Then I stumbled upon Big Fat Blog and Joy Nash's Fat ...more
Megan Kirby
I've been vaguely working on a zine about female body image this summer, so it seemed fated that I'd find this zine compilation at the local used book store. I really enjoyed this book, both for its place in zine history and the body positivity movement Plus, it really did make me question certain standards and feel better about myself-- awww, cheesy. I left it out on our coffee table for a few days and caught people constantly leafing through it, including some of the scrawny boys I live with.
Lisa B
May 11, 2008 Lisa B rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: girls of every size
Recommended to Lisa by: CLP
Shelves: nonfic
I'll be the first to admit the only way I've had to apologize for my size was to all the girls who said they hated my skinny ass. I still loved this book. I loved hearing from all of the people who don't obsess over their weight, their diet, etc, all the time. People who love their strong, beautiful selves despite the temptation to hate the fat. It's totally inspiring. Every woman of any size-- and hell, why not, men too-- should look this over at least once.
Rachel Anita ♥
Well written and smart. If you support adipositivity, then you're going to want to read this book. Empowering and the message of acceptance is great. :)
J. d'Artagnan
I am very stingy with my use of 5-star ratings. Books that receive a 5-star rating typically need to have a "life changing" quality. In the experience of reading them, I feel different afterwards, changed, more connected to life and myself. Marilyn Wann's book Fat! So? is one of those books I gladly give a 5-star rating. To read the rest of my review, click below.
Jan 24, 2012 Chiara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone especially dieters
Loved it! Based on the Fat!So? zine which explains it's fun zine reading experience. Super encouraging for accepting yourself as you are. Surprising information about health studies and research, ways to find your normal weight, and the huge fat bias in our country. Wann gets you comfortable with using the word fat and me comfortable with the idea that dieting doesn't usually work--which is a huge accomplishment!
Amy Brokus
This was such an awesome book!!! I am a big fan of just being healthy and happy regardless of weight. If all my test come back fine (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol ect... ) and I am eating healthy and getting enough exercise and sleep then why should I worry about being overweight??? So many people don't see that in this day and age!!! I am so glad I have read this book!!!!!!
This is a cute book, with funny little anecdotes and phrases encouraging people to accept their bodies and stop dieting (don't miss the dancing fat lady in the corner.) It's probably an okay introduction to fat acceptance, but it's definitely aimed at a white, middle-class, able-bodied audience, and there are a few flinch-worthy comparisons made with other social justice struggles.
Very positive book, a good read for someone just starting with fat acceptance.
My gripes are how often she compared fat discrimination to race discrimination, which is quite ignorant, while not even discussing how it's even harder for people of color to be fat. Also pushing exercise and eating right was a bit much since that comes from a place of privilege.
Good look at fat acceptance, size discrimination and health myths that say fat people are unhealthy. Told in a tone of brutal honesty and attitude, I like how the author outlined her book and connected themes down to how people treat people in society as a whole. Highly suggest this for people in health care and women's groups like body image programs.
This book is great!! Fat positive rhetoric to combat the ramant fatphobia in our society. I was startled by some of the things I learned in this book.... but perhaps the most important lesson was that fat does not equal unhealthy. It reads more like a collection of zines than a book, so its a nice reference or coffee table book.

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  • Bodies out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression
  • The Obesity Myth: Why America's Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health
  • Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight
  • Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion
  • Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture
  • The Fat Girl's Guide to Life
  • Wake Up, I'm Fat!
  • Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body
  • Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss--And the Myths and Realities of Dieting
  • Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex for People of Size and Those Who Love Them
  • Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body
  • Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession
  • Fat Is a Feminist Issue
  • Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image
  • Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic
  • Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology
  • BITCHfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine
Creator of the zine Fat!So? and author of the book of the same name, Maryilyn can be found on her site along with a wonderful support community for the entire fat acceptance movement. Full of humor,resources and a positive chat space, Maryiln has created a flabulous place for all of us delightful fatties.
More about Marilyn Wann...
The Fat Studies Reader Fat!So? #5 Fat!So? #6 Burn! Baby! Burn!: The Revolutionary Issue The Fat Studies Reader

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