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LITERATURE

Reviews of books, articles, and poetry written by or about ssbbw/bbw

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This debut novel by Mona Awad highlights a woman's journey through different stages in her life and different body sizes. It shows the constant dialogue in her mind - inner voices that have internalized societal views of beauty and become her own worst critic.

It also emphasizes the fact that losing weight is not a recipe for happiness or peace of mind, as many of us subconsciously think. Becoming thin(ner) does not magically bring happiness, better relationships, or a more fulfilling life. Nothing much will change if your head and heart aren't in the right place.

Growing up, Lizzie hated how she looked—even though her best friend Mel thought she was the pretty one. She started dating guys online but was afraid to send pictures of herself because she felt no one would like or want her if they saw her as she was.

With punishing drive, she started counting miles logged, almonds consumed, and pounds dropped. She fought her way into a smaller size and coveted tiny dresses. She yearned for validation from her mother, her friends, her husband, her reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much weight she lost, she never felt validated or saw herself as anything other than a fat girl.

This book may be pretty gutting for anyone who relates with being a fat girl. Awad gets the emotions, perspectives, and experiences right as the story is woven through a series of chronological and interconnected stories, like personal journal entries. Every chapter focuses on a different period in Elizabeth's life.

The honesty in this book rubs some people the wrong way and may make you feel uncomfortable. It's not a novel for everyone, but I honestly think it is worth reading. Awad captures the anger from controlling your diet and how losing the weight doesn't get rid of the negative feelings.... It's a strong, powerful book – honest, raw, imperfect – just like life is.

Buy the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/13-Ways-Looking-Fat-Girl/dp/0143128485 and enjoy this interview with Mona Awad on CBC Radio: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thenextchapter/kirstine-stewart-nino-ricci-and-michael-winter-1.3462543/mona-awad-on-body-image-and-self-acceptance-1.3462591

Submitted by: Kelechi


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