Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fat Girl: A True Story by Judith Moore (Book Review)

I picked this book up at the Goodwill store last year as something to put on my shelf for a spur-of-the-moment read. The title caught my attention for obvious reasons.

Fat Girl
is Judith Moore's experience of what it's like to be fat. In the preface she immediately lays down her point of view: she is fat but not a fat advocate, nor does she have an eating disorder or explain how she conquered fat with diets and what not. Instead she recounts several stories from her childhood and adult life; some humorous, some painful. Few were embarrassing to tell if they were my own, like how she broke in to the homes of people she knew to hang out and eat their food, or the encounter with the pedophile in the dark movie theater. However one story that sticks in my mind is when her chubby Dachshund, Lily, attacked some random skinny chick's KFC dinner. Still embarrassing, but it was an amusing story.

She also details the people that affected her "fat" life. Her beautiful, slim mother was hateful and disgusted with her daughter, told her she was ugly, and eventually wanted be called by her name and not by "Mama." Her absent father, who was also fat, had an obsession with food which eventually lead to the divorce of her parents when Moore was only 4. She always dreamed of being the pretty skinny child so that her parents would love her and have the perfect family relationship.

Moore never wants the reader to feel sorry for her, however I couldn't help but feel sad for most of her past experiences. Mostly because I can relate to them myself (and I can be a walking self-pity-party RAH RAH RAH!). Although, thankfully, I have never had to endure monthly weigh-ins at school where my poundage was embarrassingly announced in front of all my classmates. NIGHTMARE! And thankfully my mother never beat me just because I put on 10 extra pounds either. But the anxiety attacks, the negative/non-existent attention from peers, and how she grew a hatred for people yet yearned for their love and attention hit really close to home.

I started and finished reading it right before I left for Edmonton. Overall, I liked it and will keep it in my permanent library. And it gave me inspiration to keep moving on my elliptical while I was reading.

"The child might threaten the adult she had become." --Anita Brooker, quoted in Fat Girl: A True Story.

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