Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Women's Center Reading List: Fat!So?

As Laura wrote about a few weeks ago, the Women's Center has a library full of really interesting books that students and faculty can check out! Every so often we're going to feature one of the books in our library here on the blog -  all books highlighted here are available to borrow, all you have to do is stop by the Women's Center (C220) and ask someone on staff to give you a hand!


Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann is a book about Fat Acceptance with a really interesting tone. I love it because it is funny and easy to read. The book is split up into many short and medium-length sections that can be read out of order, making it a great book to just pick up and flip through when you have a few moments to spare.

Michelle Goldberg reviewed this book in Salon in 1999. Here's an excerpt from that:

Lots of writers like to pretend they're spurning cultural rules -- witness the floods of prose about sex work, incest, heroin addiction, s/m and mental illness. But in reality, copping to any of these things is as likely to increase a scribe's social status as it is to render him a pariah. Fat is different. Fat people don't even have subcultural coolness as a comfort. Not fitting into society's weight ideal really is likely to exclude one from both the mainstream and from the radical chic elite. Despite the recent flippant headline in W magazine, "Living Large: Fat Is Back," being a size 22 -- or a size 10, for that matter -- is far from fashionable.

Not that you would know that, though, from reading "Fat!So?" -- whose tireless cheerleading often succeeds in making it seem OK to be big. Wann forgoes the angsty musings of more "serious" books about appearance anxiety like the essay collections "Minding the Body" and "Beauty Secrets." Instead, "Fat!So?" is relentlessly fun, with features like a Venus of Willendorf paper doll (replete with nine cute cut-out outfits), silly songs and poems, even "Heroes and Villains of Fat History" trading cards. Section titles include "You, Too, Can be Flabulous!" "Why You Should Dye Your Hair Hot Pink" and "The Joys of Fat Sex."

Before it was a book, Fat!So? was a zine and web-community that Wann managed.  It can still be accessed by clicking here! The Fat Acceptance Movement (which is a part of a larger Body Acceptance Movement, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably) has a large presence online.

Some prominent blogs about Fat Acceptance/Size Acceptance/Body Acceptance include:

Two Whole Cakes by Leslie Kinzel. "Two Whole Cakes is a full-fat and diet-free blog dealing with body politics and cultural criticism."

Shapely Prose by Kate Harding.

The Rotund by Marianne Kirby. "I'm on a mission here to let you know that fat people are not your enemy. And skinny people aren't your enemy either. Here, the body is a political one no matter its size or shape. We are going to unpack society's standards of beauty, the oppression of the dominant social paradigm when it comes to body conformity, and talk about clothes. Maybe even makeup. Because I do love makeup. Here, I hope, we will come to a place of acceptance. Acceptance for our own bodies and for the bodies of others." by Natalie."I am a fancy lady. A bombastic beehive of passion, sass and anxiety. A creative bon vivant who proudly calls Brisbane, Australia home. I draw, design and advocate for fat acceptance." 

The Fat Nutritionist by Michelle. "Eating normally is the new black."

Fat!So? has been checked out at the time of posting, but will return to the library soon. Stop by the Women's Center if you'd like to receive an e-mail when the book returns to our shelf!

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