For as long as I've been part of the size acceptance movement (oh, excuse me, it's "body positive" now!), I've read surprisingly few books about it orFor as long as I've been part of the size acceptance movement (oh, excuse me, it's "body positive" now!), I've read surprisingly few books about it or by its leaders. I consider Lindy West one of those leaders. Just by being "loud," happy, feminist, and unapologetically fat, she is a role model.
While parts of this book are about gut-wrenchingly sad times in her life, this is overall a very upbeat book. Lindy is funny even when she's talking about terrible things. I caught a couple of minor "oopsies" as far as the narration goes, but that just made her more real as a person to me.
Another thing that I encountered in this book as a first: she's been subjected to even more online harassment, stalking, and threats than I have, which is rare. She became a target by being a fat journalist, and then really gathered the ire of the neckbeards living in their parents' basements by standing up against rape jokes. I hate that she's experiencing it, but it felt good to commiserate with her, so to speak.
**spoiler alert** I just finished this book, which I listened to while driving. I find myself wishing that I'd read it on my Kindle, instead, in order**spoiler alert** I just finished this book, which I listened to while driving. I find myself wishing that I'd read it on my Kindle, instead, in order to be able to take some notes. It's a rich read, full of mentions of people and studies that I'd like to have been able to look up.
I don't know that I completely agree with Hari, who posits that the vast majority of people are depressed without any sort of biological cause, but instead due to various types of disconnection. I can see that each of the connections he points out are important, and improving them could certainly help depression. However, I'm fairly certain that we've got a chicken and egg issue here. From what I understand, even if you don't initially become depressed due to a lack of certain neurotransmitters or what have you, being depressed can lead to the biological differences that can be treated with antidepressants. That's why those medications do work for a fair number of people who try them. He does talk about neuroplasticity, so maybe my quibbles are semantic.
The seven ways we are disconnected, according to Hari, are from: 1) meaningful work; 2) other people; 3) meaningful values; 4) childhood trauma; 5) status and respect; 6) the natural world; 7) a hopeful or secure future.
He does address how to reconnect on each of these issues later in the book. He also acknowledges that some (most?) of these issues are due to societal rather than individual failings. The fixes are beyond many people because of that, but the more we become aware of them the more we can work on fixing our society.
I found the book very good, and certainly thought-provoking. It isn't an easy read, but it is put together quite well. I recommend it!...more