Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons

Available for purchase here.

Brittany Gibbons is a mother. She is married. She is a writer. She is fat. Moreover, she has cultivated an entire conversation about weight and women. She champions the rights of fat women and curvy women, and all women, really, to feel good about ourselves. To feel sexy. To enjoy romance. To cultivate a love for fashion. To love and celebrate their bodies. To destroy the myths that are spread about us by others. To live our lives without being paralyzed by the limitations imposed on us by society’s expectations of our weight.

Gibbons has had doubts about herself. She’s human, and much of her book is devoted to her trying to balance her commitment to body positivity with her very human insecurities. Her book is the natural progression of her blog, Brittanyherself.com, which she started as a safeguard against her family’s loss of income during the recession. Her middle class lifestyle makes her more relatable: she doesn’t have a privileged existence that allows her to shield herself from the realities of being a working mom. She’s not a “Real Housewife”, she’s a real housewife from Ohio who has to juggle her time without the benefit of nannies, housekeepers, or anyone else to do her dirty work for her.

One of the most touching and hard hitting passages of Gibbons’ book recalls how she found her young daughter preening in front of a mirror, mimicking her mother’s self-criticizing pout as she examined her body. It was a major moment to inspire her to stop critiquing her body. It’s too late for those of us who grew up with fat shame to have a childhood free from that kind of criticism, but we can change our adulthoods, as well as fix the problems that plague women and people in general for future generations. And the more people who read Gibbons’ book, the sooner it will happen.

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