Happy Friday, ham nuggets! It’s time yet again for Book Club. This week I’m slogging through ‘Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch Of It’ by Brittany Gibbons. The text may be NSFW in places because she obviously likes to push home the fact that she loves sex and has sex and does the sex, so consider yourself warned. Now get those cringe muscles ready and let’s get DTF.
First impressions: I guess this picture is supposed to send a message of No Craps Given but she just looks like one of those obnoxious teenagers who sit on the tables at the park trying to look cool.
Chapter 1 is ‘I Was Born A Poor Fat Child‘. Brittany starts off the book by explaining why she’s fat. Apparently she’s fat because her mom was depressed and ate all the time, and BGibbs inherited both the depression and the coping mechanism. But she never thought she was overweight until she was eight and met some boy with a mouth “built for cunnilingus”. Evidently this boy told her she didn’t have a boyfriend because she was fat, and her world shattered into a million piles of self-consciousness and chicken nuggets. Then her gym teacher sent a note home to her parents informing them that Gibster was obese, which people still tell her except they tell her on the internet instead of in envelopes. She finally gets to the point of “Why are you fat?” by saying childhood poverty meant crappy food and stress eating, and she’s still fat because “I like to eat food, and I’m really good at it”. Then the woman who is tired of fat shaming makes a jab about how eating whatever she wants tastes better than fitting into smaller jeans, the implication being that everyone knows anyone in a single digit size never eats, I guess.
Chapter 2 is ‘Honestly, I Didn’t Have A Chance‘ and it’s basically Gibbles blathering about her gold medal in the Most Messed Up Family olympics. This includes a pages long tale of how her father took her to adopt a kitten and then a few hours later the kitten fell out of a tree and died, and as the kitten was writhing on the ground dying her brother pointed out that “Kimberly” was in fact a boy cat.
The conclusion is that Brittany enjoyed a kind and human moment with her father as she cried over the grave with her father, the man who “murdered my transsexual cat with a shovel”. The rest of the chapter is just more of Brittany trying to prove that her family is indeed the most messed up family ever not portrayed in a Lifetime Movie. I’m not sure what the point of this chapter is beyond Brit trying to convince us somehow that being an overweight exhibitionist was really her only option in adulthood considering the childhood she had.
Chapter 3 is ‘Finding Your Tribe And Other Assholey Feel-Good Expressions Your Parents Push On You‘, and after I was done affixing the book with an award for Longest Chapter Title Ever, I learned more than I needed to about Brittany’s educational path. Which was apparently strewn with the dried flowers of Catholic school, and then a new school at age 12 which she found hard to adjust into. Her mother told her it takes time to fit in, but Britacious began 7th grade overweight, with a gap between her teeth, wire glasses, and a perm. Ya know, like about 85% of 12 year olds in the 90s. But somehow all of this made her some kind of unicorn, so in an attempt to fit in, she tried out for cheerleading. Because obviously trying out for cheer squad is the best way for an overweight, self-conscious girl with a chip on her shoulder to build self-worth and fit in at a new school.
Anycliques, Britbrit says she was relentlessly taunted by the skinny pretty girls who apparently spread rumours that she had AIDS, so she convinced her mom to pull her out of high school and thus begins a makeover montage that put Ami Dolenz to shame.
I was relaunched into high school with contact lenses, the gap between my front teeth expertly filled with enamel colored bonding, and the Rachel haircut. It was life changing.
Except really nothing changed so she got angry. Meaning her high school experience was about the same as most people’s but for some reason Brittany thought a haircut and some contacts would reconfigure her life into the plot of ‘She’s All That’, and when that didn’t happen, well the entire world is full of bullies. She ends this neverending litany of The Ways I Was Wronged As A Teenager by informing us that if you don’t find “your tribe” in high school it’s ok, because lots of awesome people don’t, and until you do there’s always ice cream.
Chapter 4 is ‘Secret Girlfriend‘ and Britkini comes right out of the gate by saying she has “a penis in my mouth right now” so she’s “way too busy to dispute ridiculous fat person stereotypes”. Ok then. She tells us she was interested in sex way sooner than all those skinny chicks.
She then describes how she went to a sleepover and a friend explained how to touch herself at ten years old, and it “felt amazing”. But then Catholic guilt made her literally scotch tape her vagina so she wouldn’t touch it. Which resulted in a rash and a trip to the doctor and her first foray into therapy.
Then she starts in with how fat girls are stripped of their sexuality and are just friends or “one of the guys” so her response was to become “a huge wh**e” in high school. She describes getting fingered in a movie theater by her first boyfriend, but then spent the rest of high school being the “secret girlfriend”, or as we now call it, a shame f**k because it apparently never dawned on her that she didn’t have to put up with that crap. Then she lost her virginity in a car to HER Andy Gibbons, which is possibly the first normal experience she talks about having thus far in the book.
Chapter 5 is ‘My Andy Gibbons‘. It’s all about Andy Gibbons, and how she gave him his first blowjob. I…think we’ll just leave it at that.
And now I need to get a drink because my mouth is starting to fill with tryhard induced cringe vomit. BRB…
‘College, I Don’t Know Why I’m Here Either‘ is Chapter 6 and starts off with Brittany saying the worst thing she ever did was go to college, before advising everyone “Don’t go to college. It’s the absolute worst and it will ruin your life…” which is a super empowering message for all those girls out there hoping to improve their circumstances. Just saying, coming from someone who claims she grew up in poverty this is pretty asinine advice, but whatever. She then backtracks and says if you want to go to college hey cool for you go for it. Then I learn she went to Ohio State which makes me take a five minute wine guzzle break because universe, WHY?
Anyway she totally hated college and that’s ok because she had “plenty of things to keep me occupied” such as “having mental breakdowns and failing at lesbianism”, as if sexual orientation is an undergrad course for credit.
Chapter 7 is ‘Adorably Mental‘. She talks about having panic attacks and how Andy leaving for a year turned her into a mushy pile of sad, I guess like Play-Doh left on the dashboard of a minivan in Arizona in August. She was nervous about ordering pizza because that was Andy’s job. Anydramas she says living alone was, at first, “exactly how I imagined it in all my Carrie Bradshaw fantasies” (because nothing says Sex And The City like OSU in the early 2000s) but then she became isolated and lonely without her man. Then she copypastes a bunch of journal entries detailing her spiral into malnutrition thanks to only eating one Chinese takeout meal a day and how Law & Order made her afraid to shower alone in her apartment. Eventually Andy and her father showed up thanks to a call from her landlord, evidently due to unpaid rent, and packed her up to take her home. She ends the chapter by describing how she leaned against Andy and “weakly raised my middle finger to the failed attempt at adult life and the college degree I never earned”.
Chapter 8 is ‘Girl On Girl Interrupted‘ and she talks about how she only sees male therapists with moustaches because daddy issues. Anybinges, her moustached therapist here is Tom, and he had an office in a strip mall next to a Taco Bell. This is perfect for Brittacos because she says she does her best “emotionally overwhelmed eating in Taco Bell parking lots”. The self-love. Can you feel it?
So she moved back in with her parents and worked on forgiving Andy for abandoning her to go do his last year of school at another college. She took a job at an all-girls summer camp which evidently was 5 days of watching kids and weekends of pot and beer and attempting to have sex with the female counselor named Sprinkle. We are then treated to several pages of descriptions of Brittany’s vagina by Sprinkle, and Sprinkle’s vagina by Brittany. But Brittany couldn’t mouth love Sprinkle’s clam dungeon and so declared herself a “terrible lesbian”, again, as if it’s some Girl Scout badge to be earned and not an orientation wired into your brain.
Chapter 9 is ‘Going To The Chapel‘, which Mrs. Andy Brittany begins with a description of her proposal from Her Andy. This happened in a cemetery after 8 years together. As for so many brides the proposal was “the moment the wedding process would peak”. Most of the drama revolves around Brittneh being larger than a size 8 and finding the wedding dress selection a special kind of emotional destruction because “formal wear in general has a standard of sizing equivalent to a small Asian girl”. Which…so? Who cares what the size on the tag says, and why are you looking at it? But whatever. Drama. Dress drama. Finally no drama because she found a dress but had to order it in her size unlike skinny brides who never need alterations done, I guess.
She then tells a story about how she had to do her invitations twice. You see, she was sitting there sending out the invites when Andy came home drunk and announced he kissed someone. Her first question was “Is she thinner than me?” When he said it didn’t matter she dashed from the apartment but Her Drunk Andy laid down on the ground in front of the car screaming NOT UNTIL YOU TALK TO ME, and he explained that he doesn’t know if she was thinner because he doesn’t see women anymore, only Brittany. By then she had lost her Taco Bell and tossed the invites, so they wound up having to make their own. But they got married, and she ends the chapter by saying she married Andy because he thinks “I weigh a hundred and ten pounds”.
At this point I’m trying to figure out when we get to the loving yourself every inch every weight portion of this pile of tree murder, so I’m going to pop another bottle of wine.
Chapter 10 is called ‘The Life And Death Of Procreation And All The Gross Crap In Between‘ because she can’t seem to go two pages without cursing. Anyuterus, this chapter is about how size 18 Britters was 24 and still not pregnant but finally after games of “how many things I could cram under my butt after my husband came inside me” she finally sprogged up. Then there’s a whole bunch of omg doctors judge pregnant fat ladies omg judging the judging because only overweight women get glucose and blood pressure monitoring. But the worst part is that nobody knows you’re pregnant because it takes so long for the “baby bump to show up”. So people just keep thinking you’re fat when like, now you have a REASON. But finally the bump showed and Brittany felt “all my curves had been legitimized”, I guess because society says the only time a woman is allowed to blimp up is when she’s visably pregnant.
She gained 60 pounds because she had been told she could really safely gain about 10, so she “revenge-ate quite a bit”. Because there was no way she was going to miss out on “sending…spouses out for ice cream at 2 a.m.” because that “took a large part of the experience of a normal pregnancy away” from her. Personally I think that stuff is more cultural conditioning because to my knowledge the “experience” of pregnancy is basically gestation and birth, but what do I know. Then there’s a whole bit about never asking anyone if they are pregnant and really you’re just not allowed to mention anything about the pregnancy at all. I guess commentary on pregnancy is the exclusive right of the pregnant despite the fact that many pregnant ladies walk around bump cradling and smug leaning hoping you’ll notice they are pregnant, not fat. Anyfetus, they wound up having three babies and in case you are wondering, shooting out humans never gets more pleasant. Then there’s a nice mini-memoir of her husband getting his bits clipped because vasectomies are awesome. She felt it was very final but motherhood wound up being her “definition of success in this world” because she had “found someone to love me despite my garish physical flaws” and had managed to get married and create three humans. So, winning!
Chapter 11 is ‘The Fourth Trimester (The Worst Trimester)‘ and it’s about how gross Brittbirther felt after giving birth. Which as far as I know is another fairly universal feeling after shooting out a person and then bleeding out entire pieces of your lady parts into adult diapers for upwards of six weeks. Add to that the whole screeching gollum creature wanting something every 15 minutes thing and yeah, she felt gross and achy and tired. But apparently the main problem was her loose caboose and so she tried ben-wa balls, and her nipples got um, shall we say ‘seasoned’, and started swinging low. She then says about women who say they breastfed “and the weight just fell right off” that she wishes “they’d die”. How accepting of body types and sizes and metabolisms. But part of me understands the irritation with dismissive crap about omg you get so thin breastfeeding and chasing behbehs.
Then there’s the debate about her woman self wanting to put on a real bra and cute clothes and her mom self saying that ish didn’t matter, which again sums up the first 6 years of being a (non-fashion blogger) mom from what I understand. She says she needs to “feel sexy in a nonparent capacity” which is finally this woman starting to sound relatable even though she doesn’t seem to have quite worked out her insecurities. But I’ll be fair – I’m sure it’s nigh on impossible to work out your body issues when you have a preg pouch hanging over your lady junk and your nipples are hanging in a fashion that allows them to have a face-to-face conversation with the tops of your feet. TLDR this chapter makes her sound normal and human without too much WOE IS MEH so that’s nice.
Chapter 12 is ‘Daughters: The Ultimate Mind f**k‘ and opens with this:
I think mothers have an innate response to protect their daughters from low self-esteem.
I know. I know right? I don’t really follow this blogger, but is THIS, at last, the sort of beloved confident voice finally emerging? So she says, in a nutshole, that her daughter “saved my life” and goes on to talk about how instilling her daughter with confidence was an object lesson in living her faith. She had to be the change etc. Her daughter was beautiful because she was HER, and to make her see that, Brittany had to believe it about herself. So basically I’m hoping this is a nice chapter segue (or segway, for you bloggers out there reading) into the last few chapters about body acceptance.
Chapter 13 is ‘Last Cake Ever‘ and opens with the quote often attributed to Kate Moss – “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. Because I enjoy wine fueled asides I’d like to point out that this statement has been made by various women including Slim Keith and Babe Paley since the 1930s, and a variation was used in many cigarette ads aimed at women in the 20s who were encouraged to reach for a smoke rather than a sweet, because “nothing is as sweet as looking a treat in your new dress”. Making a choice not to eat in order to be thin is not a 21st century social media fueled thing. Okay, aside over.
Brittlay says Kate Moss has “clearly never eaten at a Sonic”, and goes on to the point of this chapter which seems to be her defending her decision to not “strap on a lap band and get on with it”. She gets into how Hollywood pigeonholes fat women into being funny and not leading ladies, and then spends page upon page assuring the world that not all fat girls are “miserable unfulfilled losers”. This is followed by page after page of her documenting her attempts to diet and then giving up because bey don’t curr about being thin for weddings, reunions, vacations since she turned 30. Because unless she’s “sitting atop you, what I weigh is really non of your business”. Except for the part where she turned her size into her whole identity and business, I guess, but sure, go on with yourself.
Which leads right into Chapter 14, ‘How To Be Professionally Fat On The Internet‘. This chapter is about how her family of five moved back in with her parents and declared bankruptcy or something. They also had to get on public assistance. She spent the night before the bankruptcy hearing “watching marathons of ‘Roseanne’ on Nick at Night” which I can’t make a joke about because I have seen maybe one episode ever and found every character obnoxious as hole, because I’m a ‘Frasier’ fan, and I think those choices say everything about both of us. Apparently ‘Roseanne’ spoke to her because poor people loving each other but then she started a blog and got Big On The Internets but there were Mean People On The Internets but she Will Overcome and now she has a book published and is still fat so everyone can suck it. And Roseanne Barr something. Also she wore a bikini and that was #sobrave because nobody outside of Europe dares to show their body with no Craps given. (Seriously, date a European man and go on vacation with him and his 60+ parents because nobody gives any body Craps ever in Greece, and you quickly lose your give a Craps as well. I say that as a size 14. Also girl you’re in Ohio. Bikini wearing over a size 8 is not a statement in Ohio.)
(Wow, too many wine asides. Let’s move on to the next chapter…)
Soooooooooooo snore, Chapter 15 is ‘The TED Talk‘ because every blogger who ever spoke at TED needs you to know they Spoke At TED and how they felt about Speaking At TED and blah blah blah. Seriously that’s the chapter. And also it was TEDx which is basically like saying ‘I did voiceover for Rifftrax except it was Lulztrax in my backyard’. She was like what could she “possibly say that was on par with the Brene Browns and Bill Gateses of the world” as if TEDx at Bowling Green University is some internationally attended event. Anyegos, she spoke about being thirty and fat and wearing a bikini in omgpublic, and told everyone she was bulimic her first year of college but felt judged because no one thinks fat girls have eating disorders. Ya know, despite all the grillion women and doctors and therapists who will attest that ED, like bikinis, comes in all sizes. So she dropped trouser on Good Morning America and walked around in a bathing suit, and now she’s super famous.
She goes on to say she did this for her daughter, and your daughter, and every daughter, as if no little girls in America see fat women anywhere. JFC Brit come to Coney Island, put on a thong, you’ll look like a supermodel. Stop snowflaking about the bikini girl.
Chapter 16 is ‘Sex With Fat Girls‘. It kicks off with Brittany texting (or emailing?) Andy demanding to know five things he finds sexy about her. Then she gets into how “physically becoming a mother” changed her body by 50 pounds, and she wasn’t super into sex for a while after kids, and acts as if this is not some universal experience for women during the first year of a Weird Human Shaped Thing being in your life. FFS Brittany some of us feel weird having sex when the pets are in the bedroom, right?
This all leads to her have sex every day for a year experiment. Because nothing says alluring like forcing yourself to pussy hustle every single day whether you feel like it or not. But she did that, and this chapter includes extreme details I won’t share in the text of this post because I know at least two of you hams have read this book and will uh…include the deets in the comments if other hams ask. TLDR the experiment resulted in her being on the Today Show, and then Jay Leno mentioned her, which comes back to Brittany And The Pursuit Of Fame.
Chapter 17 is ‘The Emails‘ which is just a bunch of emails about how much Andy <3s Brittany and the phrase “sex holes” happens so yeah, Imma spare you the rest of that.
Chapter 18 is ‘Women, We’re Ruining Everything‘ which starts off with quotes from women on various online venues about how obesity is not some snowflake endowment and comments from her blog from a couple of people saying she peacocks around in public looking for validation. Her assessment is that “People are dicks to plus size women” despite being happily married and mommied and famous-successful book dealed herself. She reminds us, the women of the world, most of whom are well in the overweight range, that fat shaming is “a real thing” before going into a pages long rant about “bullying” her in her comments and “online forums” isn’t going to fix anything, as if anyone cares to fix her weight rather than her self-aggrandizing behavior. The crux of this chapter is you are bad and you should feel bad and she is awesome and everyone except you is awesome.
Overview: Some chick who is firmly a plus size wants attention and belly rubs for being plus size and daring to be ok with being plus size. Except when she’s insecure about being plus sized and demanding validation from her husband or daughter’s existence. Or the internet. Or the world. She seems exhausting.