ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



April 2022



Happy Fat by Sofie Hagen

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Best for:
Anyone who has been exposed to fatphobia (e.g. all of us) and who wants to work on unlearning it, via book with a lot of heart but also a lot of humor.

In a nutshell:
Comedian Sofie Hagen is a fat woman working to help other fat people to love themselves while also targeting the reasons why fat people might not love themselves: the gross fat bigotry that is evident pretty much everywhere one looks.

Worth quoting:
There are a lot, but because I listened to the audio book while out and about I didn’t write them down. One of the downsides of audio non-fiction for me.

Why I chose it:
I have an Audible UK subscription and this was one of the suggestions.

I love a humorous memoir. It’s one of my favorite genres of books, but I also can find it a bit challenging to review. Especially this one, which is mixed in with a lot more activism and education than the typical memoir. But let’s give it a go!

Sofie Hagen is a comedian, and she is fat. And she has learned to love herself in a world that tells people that there’s something wrong with being fat. However, as others in fat activism spaces have also pointed out, yes, loving one’s self is good, but the problem is with society, not individuals. Loving one’s self does not make airplane seats accommodating, or clothing options magically appears in physical stores. Accepting and appreciating one’s size does not stop other people from being assholes to you.

There is so much to like in this book, but one part I especially enjoyed were her interviews with other fat activists with different perspectives from her own. She interviews fat Black people, disabled fat people, and others, and she has them record their own part of the interview, so we get to hear their voices. That’s pretty cool.

I found myself laughing out loud many times, but was also drawn into Hagen’s overall personality and the joy that comes through as she tells her story. I could see myself listening to this again, because I think there’s a lot here that I want to properly take in and think about.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:

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