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FAT!SO? : Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size Paperback – December 1, 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-The pervasiveness and dangers of anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders are undeniable; recent articles on the subject have appeared in periodicals ranging from People to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Wann, a 5'4", 275-pound Californian, states unequivocally that America needs an attitude adjustment. Fear of fat, she says, supports a $40 billion a year diet industry, destroys both relationships and self-esteem, and engenders "loathing on a national level." Her revolutionary idea? Eat right, exercise, and stop worrying about weight. Being thin doesn't automatically equate with either health or happiness, the author reminds readers. She includes information from physicians, health experts, and medical journals to support her assertion that fitness contributes more to longevity than the "the f-word." The book, named after her Web site and her zine, is an engaging blend of fact and humor. Charts, graphics, photos ("visual counterpropaganda"), testimonials, quotes, ideas for sassy comebacks, and much more can help teens of all sizes reevaluate their view of the "flabulous." Fat! So? is irreverent and thought provoking, informative and fun.
Dori DeSpain, Herndon Fortnightly Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898159954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898159950
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For 1998 Fat!So? may have been revolutionary but a lot of the subject matter has been discussed ad nauseam in some form or other. Which confirms two things: it's important to women and there are still too many people not listening.
What started off as a zine, Fat!So? has been one of the bibles for fat acceptance for a number of years. It shows no sign of waning. Marilyn started the zine after her boyfriend said he was embarrassed by her weight and the insurance company said she was a liability. Anyone over 160 pounds can probably relate. From there, Fat!So? grew into a popular website community and equally popular book.
The majority of Fat!So? is divided into four anatomy lessons: The Butt, The Belly, The Chin and The Upper Arm. Within these lessons everything about women and the plus size body is discussed via the ABCs. We even get to see pictures of naked bellies, chins and bums.
Like most advocates of fat acceptance she wants people to "embrace the F-word." The 3 letter word not the 4 letter one so "no one can use it against you ever again." Previous surgeon general C. Everett Koop, his close relationship to the diet companies and a brief timeline of Prescription diet drugs for the last hundred years are discussed. She doesn't like him. She also addresses childhood obesity, how to educate teachers about fat prejudice and making exercise fun, not a punishment.
There's an awesome essay titled Fat Kills by Betty Rose Dudley. In it she discusses her experience of visiting a doctor for a cough only to have the doctor deter to the topic of weight loss. Every time. You can read the essay at the Fat! So? website. There are many other essays by women of volume. Without the contributors Marilyn Wann wouldn't have had a book. The insights and experiences of others is what makes Fat! So?
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Marilyn Wann's Fat!so? is definitely one of the best fat positive books available today. Sure it's not as good as Wendy Shanker's "Fat girls guide to life" or as factually fulfilling as Paul Campos' "The Obesity Myth," but for all those fat people out there in need of a self esteem boost and true stories from real people, or thin ignorants in need of a kick in the ass and a dose of TRUTH, this book is definitely worth your money.

The first thing you'll notice about it is simply how different it's put together - almost like a Matt Groening "...Hell" book, or activities book. It contains about 5 pages of Hero and Villian trading cut-out cards, a cut-out spin game, a cut-out dress up of the Venus of Willendorf, in-depth quotes, cool comeback lines, eye popping facts, nice drawings of sexy fat women, and very colorful, warm, and easy to read layout. Now, the books starts out w/ Marilyn telling everyone to use the "F" word (or, Fat) to describe themselves and others who are fat. She's a healthy 270lb, 5'4" woman who works out 3 times a week w/ a personal trainer and eats a good variety of food and veggies (normal blood pressure, cholesteral, etc). She strongly encourages good excersize routines and the need for a balanced, healthy diet throughout the book (even 2 pages of her own recipes) where ones main focus is HEALTH and self-esteem and not, NOT weight loss. If you lose wieght doing so, fine, if you don't, fine still. She puts forth a better self esteem about body image than Wendy Shanker in her book but doesn't put forth as many life stories of her own (which I wanted more of, i didn't feel I knew her very well after the book was over, at least not like Ms. Shanker).
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Format: Paperback
I've always loved the Fat!So? zine... and was extremely excited to find out there was a book. You need to buy this book.... but not just one copy. Buy one for all your friends (fat and thin... because we all know that the thin girls still think they're fat). Buy copies for your local libraries and schools. Give copies to teen-age girls you might know. (Does Amazon sell by the case?) This is the funniest, most self-empowering book I've read in my life. Oh... and before you go to bed tonight... thank God for giving us Marilyn Wann. If you're just beginning to try to accept your body, I recommend this book. I also recommend joining NAAFA and attending some of their events.... you'll find out that no matter what your size, somebody will think you're fabulous just the way you are (Heck, might even be too skinny for some guys). :)
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From the moment I started reading her book, I loved FAT!SO? Marilyn Wann both educates the readers on fat prejudice and fat myths, and gives them a good laugh at the same time. Whenever I feel the need for an esteem boost, I read portions of Wann's book.
Some people have felt that her humor somehow trivializes people's experience with fat prejudice. That was not her intention. Her intention was to give the readers a reason to feel good about themselves and to give them an uplift. I've read interviews with Marily Wann, and believe me, she has felt the sting (more like the stab) of fat prejudice as much as other fat people.
Wann also cites studies that show how other natural differences in humans, such as men's height and left-handed people, have demonstrated higher percentages of health problems--and the same health problems--attributed to fat. But did the researchers of these studies say that being a short man or being left-handed was the cause of their health problems? No, they attributed it to cultural prejudice (Western societies have traditionally looked down on short men, as men are expected to be tall, or at least taller than women, and left-handers receive prejudice due to old superstitious beliefs that being left-handed somehow makes the person evil or unlucky).
If you can read this book and still feel that fat people "choose" to be fat, and/or deserve to receive prejudice because of being fat, I suggest reading Dr. Edell's book, EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY, Laura Fraser's book, LOSING IT: AMERICA'S OBSESSION WITH WEIGHT AND THE INDUSTRY THAT FEEDS ON IT, and W. Charisse Goodman's book, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN: CONFRONTING WEIGHT PREJUDICE IN AMERICA. Dr.
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