You Have The Right To Remain Fat: A Manifesto - By Virgie Tovar - Review


What a title! 6 words, so simple yet as a statement it packs such a punch, especially in this judgemental world we live in.  Author; Virgie Tovar hit the nail on the head with this book.

Virgie is an American author, activist and an expert on fat discrimination and body image. She started the hashtag #LoseHateNotWeight which is such an important message to convey. A philosophy to live by if you will.  Virgie stated; "Dieting and obsessive thinking around food and exercise create stress, and stress worsens your mental health as well as your physical, sexual, and spiritual health"  I could not agree more, Society is way too judgemental and we have allowed people to share their negative opinions each other hidden behind a veil of false concern for others health and well-being. The never-ending reminders that FAT is BAD and the constant pressure to conform to societies warped standards have become commonplace and Virgie is here to eradicate that bogus thought process and prove that there is more to life than just dieting to achieve happiness.

The whole book is laden with examples of times when Virgie has been subjected to Fatphobic behaviours.  She tells of her fears and feelings surrounding those circumstances and some of those examples hit all too close to home.  She elaborates on and highlights how detrimental the oppressive pressure of diet culture has altered women's perception of how they view themselves in today's society.  

Virgie considers Fatphobia to be a new language of classism and racism.  She's right; just think of the modern day portrayals of fat folk in films.  Just think about how characters are portrayed for a second, I'll give you an example; Princess Fiona in Shrek, why is the Fiona in her Ogre state portrayed as hideous, fat and grotesque.  Whilst ogres are commonly depicted as hideous creatures, why must they be fat?  Because that is what some people actually feel we look like.  Fat people are undesirable, unloved and not worthy of respect or happiness in life.  We are so often portrayed as clumsy and slow characters on TV or in film and more often than not we are given the funny role, the role that can only be accepted because it brings the "lol's" to the show!  If this is so easily portrayed and so easily visible is it any wonder that children growing up are brainwashed to believe exactly what they are being shown.  Children are sponges. My niece who has grown up around people of all shapes and sizes has started primary school. She came home recently after associating with her peers with new names for people and has now started to associate the word "fat" in a derogatory sense. We tried so hard to raise her to understand that the way people look does not define them and that all bodies are good bodies, but all that hard work has been scuppered by other children who have obviously not been taught the same and their pre-conditioned negative opinions of the word "fat".  Soon diet culture will overcome her tutelage and she will be conditioned to believe that fat people are unwelcome thus fuelling the divide between fat and thin.  We are under-represented as normal humans, just like people of colour, people with disabilities and trans people.

We are pre-judged at every juncture, constantly forced to reinforce our validity in society.

This book is a must read - without giving away too much, I urge you to take the time to read how Virgie articulates with impeccable wit and wisdom the struggles of being a fat woman in society, she speaks of the things that we all feel but cannot put into words.  

Well written, Virgie - I thank you for all your hard work and being the voice for us - the unsung.

Grab yourself a copy of "You Have The Right To Remain Fat: A Manifesto

This book was gifted to me to read - my opinions are my own.

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