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A powerful read filled with insight on various aspects of weight, body image, self-worth, and culture.
One of the things that makes this such a unique book is that the journey is presented as a work in progress. Gay documents her way through life, recounting various events that shaped her as a person. There is a deep level of insight in connecting things that happened in her past to how she views the world and her place within it.
While writing the book, it is clear that Gay does not completely accept her body. However, I think this is an important perspective to highlight. While she supports the body positivity movement, she still struggles with how her body is perceived, how she views her own body, and the difficulties in moving within a culture that does not always value different experiences. This is a relatable perspective for all of us who love the idea of others accepting and loving their bodies, but have a hard time applying this to ourselves. This book helps validate that struggle and promotes the journey of acceptance and love. It's great to see people who fully accept themselves, but it can be a hard path to get to that point that involves a lot of work and insight.
While the book focuses on Gay's own experiences, aspects of culture are also examined such as weight loss shows, diet programs, obsessions with celebrity bodies, women's clothing, and accessibility. It is more than just one person's journey, it is a look at how messages in the media and the larger culture influence how we view our bodies and the bodies of others.
An insightful look at weight, health, and eating as well as connected aspects of rape culture, family pressure, disordered eating, cultural messages, race, acceptance of abusive relationships, and self worth. Gay's narration is very open, forcing the reader to examine the world around them and deal with some of the discomfort involved with that.
Well-written and powerful, this book shows that body acceptance is not an easy journey, but one that involves conscious work everyday. It makes the reader aware of some of the automatic and unconscious ways culture treats the diversity of bodies. It proves that there is much work to be done.