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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  7,438 ratings  ·  1,067 reviews
From celebrity gossip expert and BuzzFeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an "acceptable" woman.

You know the type: the woman who won't shut up, who's too brazen, too opinionated--too much. It's not that she's an outcast (she might even be your friend or your wife
Published (first published June 20th 2017)
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Mian It does include a few chapters on WOC, but the Lena Dunham chapter is bad. I think unfortunately she does ignore the fact that criticism of Dunham is …moreIt does include a few chapters on WOC, but the Lena Dunham chapter is bad. I think unfortunately she does ignore the fact that criticism of Dunham is multifaceted and isn't just about her body/looks, as most of her chapters tend to narrow a person down to one issue. (less)
Bonnie G. I legitimately do not understand this question, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that this display of your command of English makes me prett…moreI legitimately do not understand this question, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that this display of your command of English makes me pretty certain you won't appreciate these essays.(less)
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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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Whoa, you know a book is **edgy** when you lose a few friends every time you post a status update for it.

TOO FAT, TOO SLUTTY, TOO LOUD; THE RISE AND REIGN OF THE UNRULY WOMAN is written by a BuzzFeed writer who also published another work of nonfiction about the scandals of Golden Age Hollywood. TOO FAT also focuses on Hollywood, but Hollywood in the present day: in particular, it is a rather scathing and critical look at how various wo
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud is divided into ten chapters, each examining unruly female celebrities “who occupy all different corners of the mainstream, from the literary world to Hollywood, from HBO to the tennis court. It includes several women of color, but the prevalence of straight white women serves to highlight an ugly truth: that the difference between cute, acceptable unruliness and unruliness that results in ire is often as simple as the color of a woman’s skin, whom she prefers to sl ...more
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
"Women can consider themselves free, feminist, and liberated in so many ways-yet still be controlled by the notion of an ideal body of which their own continually falls short"

That quote is my favourite within this book, and I completely agree with it. Many women do still feel like they have to change how they look to maybe feel like they fit in, and this is usually due to pressure from others, and the media. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been at both ends of the spectrum. I deliberately
Julie Ehlers
Buzzfeed, to me, has always been a crappy website dominated by dumb gif-filled listicles. When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately interested in the topic; when I saw it was written by a Buzzfeed "culture writer," I became less interested. But I had the opportunity to be first on the library holds list for Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, so I decided to take a chance on it and I'm glad I did. What with gossip sites, social networking, and endless cable "reality" shows, celebrity is wo ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen Culture Writer at Buzzfeed is an examination and celebration of woman who refuse to stay in their place. While I didn't agree with all of her picks or her opinions of them. Madonna isn't picked apart because she's as the author thinks Too Old, in my opinion its because she's trying to hard to be cool. Trying too hard is pathetic at any age just ask Katy Perry. I didn't feel bad for Kim Kardashian-West being fat shamed while pregnant because sh ...more

I have to wonder whether the person who wrote this book’s summary actually read the book. Yes, each chapter revolves around a different celebrity, but in essence this book isn’t about celebrities or celebrity culture. It’s about specific kinds of feminist rebellion (“unruliness,” as Petersen dubbed it) in modern culture. Famous figures, by virtue of being in the public eye, can be pioneers, and this is why Anne Helen Petersen highlighted different celebrities.

Petersen scrutinize
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I’m just going to go ahead and name Anne Helen Petersen as an unruly woman. Her tenacity and ability to collect and assemble the data needed to make her point is pretty impressive. And her point she does make (over and over) in a way that makes her seem like she’d be hard to argue with at a party. Regardless of how you feel about the women she has has chosen to spotlight, there is something to be taken from each superlative essay and I’d guess that everyone’s takeaway is a little different. I’m ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The stunning backlash against powerful outspoken women was clearly apparent with the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the November 8th 2016 Presidential Election. The unpopularity of Clinton echoed at rallies with Trump supporters chanting “lock her up!” and others wore colorful shirts reading: “Monica Sucks, Hillary Swallows.” In: “Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman” NYC journalist Anne Helen Petersen explores widespread negative American cultural attitudes agains ...more
Taylor Reid
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I've been a fan of AHP for a long time so I will admit I went into this book ready to love it. But it really exceeded my expectations. Every chapter offered me an insight into the way we scrutinize women that went deeper than my previous understanding.

(It also made me realize just how in love with Serena Williams I've always been but never knew.)

If you're a fan of Jennifer Weiner or a female author yourself, I highly recommend this book if only for the chapter about JW. What Weiner has done to s
Another commute listen this month. Basically about how exhausting it is to be a woman, especially one who has put herself up for public judgment in any way (...which is all of us the second we step out of the house, really). And ESPECIALLY for one who breaks old fashioned rules that are supposed to be over and no one can say out loud anymore.... but they really really want to because the systems that create those biases are still in place, and we absorb a lot of the implied things from them and ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fat. Slutty. Loud. Old. Gross. These are just a few of the labels that are often slapped on to women who live unconventional lives in the public eye, who dare to act or speak or dress in ways that push the limits of societal standards of femininity.

This book calls out the ways in which ten different women’s careers and industries have been influenced by sexist prejudices, giving an interesting and informative analysis of deeply ingrained biases that often go unnoticed.

Peterson’s writing is comp
Book Riot Community
An in-depth discussion on women in pop culture who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman, like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, and why society loves to hate them (and love them) (and hate them again). A great look at feminism and empowerment in the 21st century, told with wit and a sharp eye.

Backlist bump: Shrill by Lindy West

Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books:
Jess | thegreeneyedreader
My rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟. I finally picked up this book again and finished it. I love the overall pro-feminist message. I’m not a huge fan of all of the celebrities covered by the various chapters, but I do understand why they were chosen for the particular chapters. I enjoyed this book a lot, and I wholeheartedly share Petersen’s “hope that someday, the only rules a woman will have to abide by are those she sets for herself.” #JPBookReview
Laura Noggle
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
~Famous women and how they rebel against the patriarchy: Bold & Buzzy~

“In the end, matriarchy isn’t the fear. Rather, it’s the idea that women will define their own value, and their own futures, on their own terms instead of by terms men have laid out—put differently, that each gender, and each individual, will have the power to determine their own destiny.”

The chapters in order:

Too Strong: Serena Williams
Too Fat: Melissa McCarthy
Too Gross: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer
Too Slutty: Nikki Minaj
Britta Böhler
Excellent analysis of the female image in the public sphere.
4.5 stars rounded up.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I like the idea of this book: an exploration of the ways in which women step out of bounds and are sanctioned for it. But unfortunately the best I can say about it is that it's a perfect illustration of why the rise of feminism in the public consciousness doesn't actually equate to meaningful activism. I mean, do we actually a need a white woman telling us about how revolutionary Hillary Clinton, Lena Dunham, Kim Kardashian, and Caitlyn Jenner are?

Petersen's writing is competent: clear, smart, w
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
NetGalley ARC

While the idea behind this book is interesting, it reads more like a college thesis than a serious book. Petersen uses contemporary celebrities as examples of how women are judged by society. Serena Williams is too strong, Lena Dunham is too naked, Hillary Clinton is too shrill. For the most part she picks good examples. I wasn't a fan of the Caitlyn Jenner chapter, I think she could have picked a better trans/queer person. I think the Jennifer Weiner and Lena Dunham chapters illust
Krista Regester
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anne Helen Petersen has proved herself to be informative, well researched, well spoken and thorough - yet this book fell short for me. Sometimes I couldn't tell when the statistical facts had stopped and her opinion started.

I understand that this book was very specifically focused on celebrities and their unruliness, but some of the chosen women didn't make sense to me. Celebrities like Kim K, Nikki M, and Caitlyn J, have made waves for women in their time of stardom, but do not identify themse
Carlene Inspired
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Women have grown up with an expectation that they must be a certain way, but as they age they challenge those societal norms, embracing who they are loudly and proudly. Anne Helen Petersen challenges the preconceived notion of how women must be with ten analytical essays that breakdown how women are perceived, specifically in the media. The celebrities featured in each essay come from different background, their careers vary, and their type of unruly
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Petersen profiles ten celebrity women in order to highlight certain hardships women face. Each chapter features one celebrity whose life or work has been criticized for a specific reason. So, for example, Melissa McCarthy is often told she's too fat, and her chapter discusses the impossible physical standards placed on women. Kim Kardashian was told she was an ugly pregnant woman, so her chapter discusses society's obsession with sweet and neat pregnancies ...more
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc

I first found Anne Helen Petersen through her Buzzfeed articles. Then I followed her on Facebook and she always shared such interesting and insightful things. When I saw she had a book out and then what it was about I knew I needed it.

This book was so well done and so interesting. I loved that each chapter focused on a different celebrity and their "unruliness" - like Serena Williams is Too Strong or Kim Kardashian was Too Pregnant. But she also talks how these unrulinesses are found in the ever
Rachel León
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, read-in-2017
(3.5 stars, rounded up)

I'm not someone who cares about celebrities so I didn't really even know much about some of the women profiled her. Despite my ignorance I really enjoyed this book. It is a smart look at women who don't conform to societal expectations. Petersen's analysis is thoughtful, razor sharp, and refreshing. A good solid feminist read.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.

I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is a non-fiction, feminist book based around women in the public eye and the status quos they have kicked down and made their own.

This was a really great read and I think it’s one that everyone will be able to identify with, young or old, gay or straight, black or white etc. It covers sports stars like Serena Will
Dec 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a read!!!
Very insightful & highly relatable..
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. This is another hard one to rate. There were some things I liked, some things I didn't, and some things were thoroughly discussed that I thought were very important.
I thought this book had a pretty strong beginning; there were many aspects of her argument that I agreed with, and Petersen seemed to grab my attention outright. There were many times where I was thinking "yasss! Women are badass!" like with her chapters on Melissa McCarthy and Nikki Minaj.
However, halfway through, I felt that i
I received this as an ARC from Penguin. Thank You.

I didn't give this book a ranking because I am not familiar with many of the woman profiled in this book. I am not a big TV watcher and I don't follow that much pop culture.

Aside from that it was well written, and would greatly appeal to people who are interested in learning a bit about the women profiled.
Erica Scoville
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has an amazing concept but unfortunately very poor execution. It pains me to give this book such a low rating but the essays are extremely redundant and each chapter could easily be twenty pages shorter. I love and respect the women analyzed throughout this book but the writing just wasn’t for me.
Julie Harding
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5-4 stars.
Petersen's premise is spot on: women in the media are held to a different and higher standard than men, and it is sometimes those very women who stand in their own judgment. These "unruly" women, whether they like it or not, threaten the dominance of the male gaze and male power in the media, a predictable and reliable repository of masculine norms and feminine otherness.

I don't agree with everything Petersen has to say. I didn't particularly embrace her chapters on Lena Dunham or
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really good. I don't know what I was expecting from it, but I was pleased with what I ended up getting. I think the author did an especially good job with the Nicki Minaj chapter; I think I got the most from it. That's not to take away from most of the other chapters, though, because I got a lot out of the book in general. (Take this review with a grain of salt, though, because I too am an unruly woman! That may be why I liked it so much.)

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although Petersen would most likely call me a woman-basher for this review, it was so, so boring and repetitive. The concepts were on point (and for the most part rang true), but her examples were just off. Two members of the Kardashian family as "victims" of a misogynistic world? Don't think so.

The only chapter I fully agreed with was on Clinton.
Also, any negativity attributed to Nathaniel Hawthorne is tough for me.
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Anne Helen Petersen has an actual Ph.D. in celebrity gossip and writes longform pieces for BuzzFeed.

Articles featuring this book

Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
118 likes · 17 comments
“She should be assertive but not bossy, feminine but not prissy, experienced but not condescending, fashionable but not superficial, forceful but not shrill. Put simply: she should be masculine, but not too masculine; feminine, but not too feminine. She should be everything, which means she should be nothing. That” 15 likes
“It’s one thing to be young, cherub-faced, straight woman doing and saying things that make people uncomfortable. It’s quite another – and far riskier – to do those same things in a body that is not white, straight, not slender, not young, or not American.” 7 likes
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