[Available in print at BN and Amazon / Also available for Kindle]
5 out of 5 lattes
As a full-figured woman who constantly struggles with her weight and with societal beliefs about weight, about being fat, I was intrigued to read Dr. Lonie McMichael’s Talking Fat: Health vs Persuasion in the War on Our Bodies. There is a prejudice against fat that runs rampant throughout the country. McMichael states early in her book that this prejudice is “based on two faulty premises: that fat people are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little, and that fat in and of itself is unhealthy.” From here, McMichael argues that the war with fat people in America is not about health. What is it about? To name a few, prejudice, money, and scapegoats. This book is personal, it’s critical, and it’s expansive. It’s about a scholar adept in rhetoric and communication looking from the outside in to understand how America talks about fat, how people are persuaded to think about fat and related terms, and what consequences arise when people believe the rhetoric and do not question it and its purposes. Personally, reading this book was liberating. It helped to unshackle rigid thoughts and beliefs I held and gave me a new vocabulary to discuss this topic. This is definitely the type of book we need to be reading so that we can have some real, authentic conversations about fat acceptance and weight issues in America.