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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  ·  Rating Details  ·  844 Ratings  ·  86 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

(showing 1-30 of 1,842)
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Emily
Apr 03, 2009 Emily rated it liked it
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
Jenny
Mar 02, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing
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
...more
dianne
Oct 15, 2015 dianne rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ciara
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
...more
Snarky's
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
...more
Jonathan-David Jackson
Dec 16, 2014 Jonathan-David Jackson rated it really liked it
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
...more
Bree
Apr 05, 2014 Bree rated it it was ok
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
...more
Stacey
Apr 23, 2013 Stacey rated it it was amazing
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
Charlotte Weaver
Nov 09, 2015 Charlotte Weaver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fat-sass
Fat! So? is an incredible introduction to the world of radical body acceptance or, more specifically, that of fat acceptance. It's interesting and informative, not to mention full of hilarious anecdotes and fun body acceptance exercises (including a Venus of Willendorf paper doll and a hilarious chart comparing fatness with left-handedness).

Anyone interested in radical body positivity with an emphasis on fat acceptance should read this book at least once. Ditto any fat person who's sick of bein
...more
Ian Wood
Sep 20, 2015 Ian Wood rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
...more
Halesbells38
May 19, 2013 Halesbells38 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Though it is dated to the 90s I still recommend it. This book has given me hope to love and embrace myself for who I am. I use what I learned in this book daily!
Jessica Smith
Apr 05, 2015 Jessica Smith rated it it was amazing
Hands down my favorite book of all time. It, without exaggeration, changed my life. Too many of us live our lives afraid of taking up space, afraid of BEing. The book was the push that I needed to embrace the F word and start living my life unapologetically.

I recommend this book to literally everyone but especially to fat people, and then especially to women. Yes, it's dated, so take all technology references with a grain of salt and read it anyway for Wann's incredible encouragement and humor.
...more
Ezekiel
Content Notes: fatphobia discussed in text

Here are the bad things about this book: it's dated. It focuses a lot on health, and is definitely a HAES (Health at Every Size) book (see: comment about how it's dated... the field has moved ON from one where we need to talk about how healthy we are to be taken seriously). There are parts (not a lot, but definitely more than a few!) that make it very clear that the author is a white woman who doesn't particularly understand intersectionality and how bla
...more
Susan
Dec 14, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it
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
...more
HeavyReader
Jun 09, 2008 HeavyReader rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Angela
Oct 08, 2014 Angela rated it really liked it
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.
...more
AJ
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
...more
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
...more
Ulrich
Aug 07, 2015 Ulrich rated it it was amazing
Sure this was written in 1998, but I think it is still a great read today.

Rebellious, intelligent and doesn't give ground for a moment.

Packed with facts, advice and "flabulousness". It's funny, informative and engaging.
Cassie
Jan 02, 2014 Cassie rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 09, 2012 Jill Collins rated it liked it
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
...more
Lacey Losh
Dec 08, 2015 Lacey Losh rated it really liked it
I borrowed this from an awesome friend, and it was a delight to read! Pages and pages of body positivity, and it reads like one big zine! It's filled with activities, contributions from several authors, trivia, anecdotes and information.
Sara Michael
Nov 06, 2015 Sara Michael rated it it was amazing
This book has changed my life. I recommend this book to everyone. Thank you Marilyn Wann!
Rhianna
Feb 13, 2015 Rhianna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Written in the 90s, reads like it was written today.
Lisa
Jul 18, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
marilyn Wann is my New body love Guru!
ONTD Feminism
Nov 16, 2010 ONTD Feminism rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Emma
Oct 06, 2014 Emma rated it really liked it
Great book for those new to the body positive movement. Lots of interesting facts about fat, BMI and diets. Nice general message :)
Becca
Nov 16, 2007 Becca rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 13, 2012 Megan Kirby rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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.
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  • Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession
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  • Body Outlaws: Rewriting the Rules of Beauty and Body Image
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Creator of the zine Fat!So? and author of the book of the same name, Maryilyn can be found on her site www.fatso.com 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...

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