Author: Brittany Gibbons
My Copy: ARC courtesy of HarperCollins
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Told through a series of larger-than-life snapshots, a hilarious memoir in essays about love, sex, marriage, motherhood, bikinis, and loving your body, no matter what size you are from the acclaimed blogger and body image advocate.
Brittany Gibbons has been a plus size her whole life. But instead of hiding herself in the shadows of thinner women, Brittany became a wildly popular blogger and national spokesmodel—known for stripping on stage at TedX and standing in Times Square in a bikini on national television, and making skinny people everywhere uncomfortable.
Talking honestly about size and body image on her popular blog, brittanyherself.com, she has ignited a national conversation. Now in her first book, she shares hilarious and painfully true stories about her life as a weird overweight girl growing up in rural Ohio, struggling with dating and relationships, giving the middle finger to dieting, finding love with a man smaller than her, accidentally having three kids, and figuring out the secret to loving her curves and becoming a nationally recognized body image advocate. And there’s sex, lots of it!
Fat Girl Walking isn’t a diet book. It isn’t one of those former fat people memoirs about how someone battled, and won, in the fight against fat. Brittany doesn’t lose all the weight and reveal the happy, skinny girl that’s been hiding inside her. Instead, she reminds us that being chubby doesn’t mean you’ll end up alone, unhappy, or the subject of a cable medical show. What’s important is learning to love your shape. With her infectious humor and soul-baring honesty, Fat Girl Walking reveals a life full of the same heartbreak, joy, oddity, awkwardness, and wonder as anyone else’s. Just with better snacks.
I’m always unsure about memoirs because they can be life inspiring and can challenge us, but others fall short. When the opportunity came to review Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking, I couldn’t say no especially when I saw it was a book for women and how to accept their bodies. I’ll admit, I had no idea who Gibbons was nor the internet ruckus she stirred up, but after reading Fat Girl Walking, I have a real appreciation for Gibbons and what she’s trying to accomplish.
Fat Girl Walking begins by telling the reader about Gibbon’s childhood and from there we join her journey into adulthood. The writing is humorous and Gibbons isn’t afraid to go into painful details that most of us would rather forget about our childhood. I cringed, cried, and cheered along her journey. If I find any fault with her writing style it’s that at times the humor was a bit over the top. I’m not familiar with Gibbons and her writing style so I’m not sure if this is the norm especially with regards to her storytelling. If it is, then fine, but for those of who aren’t used to it, at times it felt as if she was telling tall tales. She flat out tells us that she was involved in theatre in high school and so perhaps the storytelling is part of her on stage persona. That being said, she does come off as genuine and a person who isn’t afraid to put you in your place.
To be truthful, I debated with the rating between a three and four and in the end decided on a four. My main reason or leaning towards a three has to do with the subtitle: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It; I would have liked for Gibbons to have spent time on exactly that: how to be comfortable in your own skin. Instead this is her journey and while there’s nothing wrong with that (after all it’s a memoir and hers at that), I feel the subtitle is a bit misleading. As I read, I could associate with Gibbons and various experiences here and there, but I wanted more perhaps a section that could have been a self help type of section. We don’t that get and therefore, as a book that might help a reader with their body image, this clearly isn’t one. As a book about someone’s personal journey, it’s a great read.
Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking probably won’t change your life, but at least you’ll walk away knowing you aren’t alone in your body image struggle. Personally for me, I liked her storytelling and several times laughed out loud. Like I said earlier, I just wish it had been more geared towards helping a person come to terms with body image, but I understand the message Gibbons is saying. At one point in the book she talks about how she thought she’d be happier if she was thinner and that being curvy didn’t make her miserable, it was the thought that if she was thinner that made her so. I had to take a moment and think about my own struggle with weight and what Gibbons was saying. It spoke volumes to me. In another section she talks about watching supermodels such as Tyra Banks discuss how thin they were and how they weren’t beautiful growing up. Gibbons says she could associate with them and their descriptions and I too had to agree with what Gibbons was saying.
If you walk with only one thing from the book, it’s that you’re not alone and once you change your line of thinking, so does your perception about what would make you happy.
There are two giveaways. I have a copy of Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking up for grabs. US only. Any incomplete task will be disqualified (therefore don’t say you completed a section when you didn’t. 🙂 ) Giveaway ends on Saturday, June 06th at Midnight MDT (2 am EDT). Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Dey Street is giving five winners the opportunity to win a copy of Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway