You might know Brittany from her blog. Or that time she wore a bathing suit to Good Morning America. Or that time she stripped unexpectedly during her TEDx Talk… I’ve been following Brittany for years, and yet still learned a lot while reading that I didn’t know before—not just about her, but about me. Maybe you don’t know Brittany at all yet. But you will if you read this book. You’ll know a lot—perhaps more than her own mom, or husband, or gynecologist…
Brittany is shamelessly transparent, which serves the purposes of honesty and humor. Her struggle with body image is certainly prominently featured, but more as a backdrop to family and love and work and fashion and LIFE, than as the main focus. Again, these words have different meaning here.
FGW chronicles Brittany’s life, but I would be surprised if any of you couldn’t find some similarity to your own life. Your embarrassing parents, perming your hair, your first boyfriend, your first real boyfriend, choosing a college major, getting married, having babies, figuring out what you want to be when you grow up (even when, by society’s standards, you’re already a grown-up). It’s all very familiar to me (it helps that Brittany and I are very close in age, so no pop culture reference was left unrecognized).
One of the many passages that made me LOL (and I don't use 'LOL', so this is the real deal): “The next day I went to the arts and sciences department to switch my major to Undecided, but opted at the last minute to go with English, which my school advisor explained as being basically the same thing.” Ouch. It’s funny ’cause it’s true.
In grand Crib Notes fashion, there’s a whole section on having kids—'having' as in both the physical act of pushing out babies and the more general raising a family. It’s hilarious, trust me. But you don’t have to take my word for it... (you’re picturing Levar Burton now, aren’t you?).
And, there’s a section about not having babies. Like ever, ever, again. “It’s a weird thing, telling the person you love that you no longer want to clone them in any fashion, ever again, because you’ve simply reached your limit of versions of their existence.” Anyone who has ever had the ‘are we done?’ discussion (either in your head or with your partner) knows what she’s talking about it. It’s funny and painful, and definitive and uncertain. Like life-- and this entire book.
Overall, FGW is really funny. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (sometimes the clichés just work). But it’ll also evoke some introspection, and may cause you to blush a couple times. Ya’ know, like all the good works of non-fiction.
Want a copy? FIVE of you can have one!
Ready now? Have at it:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fat-girl-walking-brittany-gibbons/1120554060?ean=9780062343031
Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It was written by Brittany Gibbons, published by Dey Street Books, May 2015.