The (other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
Chubby. Curvy. Fluffy. Plus-size. Thick. Fat. The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. The (Other) F Word combines personal essays, prose, poetry, fashion tips, and art to create a relatable and attractive guide about body image and body positivity. This YA crossover anthology is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. By combining the talents of renowned fat YA and middle-grade authors, as well as fat influencers and creators, The (Other) F Word offers teen readers and activists of all ages a guide for navigating our world with confidence and courage.
1.) The list of contributors: The range of voices included in this collection celebrating loving your body and telling your own story is incredible. From authors like Julie Murphy to illustrators like Jiji Knight, there is something for everyone. I loved reading essays from favorite authors, but I also adored discovering new voices and artists.
2.) The premise: As someone who is fat, it's sometimes hard to find solid representation in books, fiction and non-fiction. This collection celebrates a community of people whose bodies happen to be fat. They are men, women, trans, non-binary, white, black, brown, mixed race, young, old, disabled, neurotypical, and neurodivergent, and more. They are writers, artists, podcasters, and more. I wish I had this book for myself when I was a teenager, and I'm so, so glad that teens will now have this book.
3.) My personal favorite essays, Jana Schmieding's "Chubby City Indian," and Hillary Monahan's "Fatness & Horror: The Match Made in Not Heaven": Jana Schmieding's writing is lyrical and lush, my favorite style for creative nonfiction. She discusses her intersectional identify as a fat, Lakota Native woman and what that looked like growing up and as an adult. Hillary Monahan's essay smartly analyzes fat characters and horror, where fat characters typically 1) don't exist on screen, or 2) are the first to die because...fat, apparently. She highlights a few recent successes like Ghostbusters with Melissa McCarthy but rightly points out that these are still few and far between, not to mention the lack of intersectionality among those fat characters. If I could frame both of those essays, I gladly would.