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Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large Paperback


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Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large + Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance + Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307464385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307464385
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brittingham's memoir has a unique voice. With engaging, well-written prose...Brittingham's style is lively...her message is powerful."
--Kirkus Reviews

“An uplifting, fat-tastic voyage to self-love, Read My Hips made me realize that I no longer need to be weighed down by constantly judging my body.  I devoured this book—it's deliciously inspiring!”
 
—Hillary Carlip, author of Queen of the Oddballs: And Other True Stories from a Life Unaccording to Plan
 
Read My Hips is a spirited call to arms (and bellies and bare legs) to embrace ourselves inside and out. Brittingham explores and exposes the ways women are taught to hide our bodies, then boldly and humorously does the opposite. She speaks from the front lines of
standing up (or sitting on the bus) for women of all sizes who are tired of body image busybodies. Read her hips and rejoice!”
 
—Rachel Kramer Bussel, Editor, Fast Girls and Gotta Have It
 
Read My Hips is a candid, funny, sometimes scathing chronicle of one woman's sometimes bumpy, always memorable transition from fearful fat-girl self-loathing to vibrant full-bodied joie de vivre.  If you've ever thought wistfully of all the ways your life would be better if only you were thinner, don't wait another minute to read Kim Brittingham's book.”
 
—Hanne Blank, author of Big Big Love: A Sourcebook on Sex and Relationships for People of Size and Those Who Love Them
 
“If Kim Brittingham owned a scale, the numbers would be replaced with 300 adjectives like ‘audacious,’ ‘sparkling,’ and ‘big-hearted.’ Packing more confidence and self-respect into one belly roll than most of us do in our entire Pilates-toned bodies, Brittingham doesn't walk the walk: She struts a sassy strut, and stands poised as a radical game changer in the world of body image.”
 
—Leslie Goldman, author of Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth About Women, Body Image, and Re-imagining the ‘Perfect’ Body
 
“Kim’s voice is refreshing, real, brutally honest and laugh-out-loud funny.  Her words paint a vivid picture that is completely relatable.  In my work or in my life, I have never met a woman (of any age, size or shape) who did not experience body image issues or some degree of self-loathing.  Kim poses great thought-provoking questions and her message is uplifting…Love yourself as you are – no matter what your size and shape – you are already whole!  A fabulous, fun read!  Thanks, Kim, for your bravery.” 
 
—Laurie Sliva, Founder/Director/Life-Skills Trainer B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Programs for Girls
 
“In Read My Hips, Kim entertainingly advocates a revolutionary way of being:  accepting our here-and-now bodies as we are and with love.  With wit, sensuality and realistic logic, she shares her journey through time and transformation, baring her attitudes and discovering antidotes for our society’s limited and limiting way of seeing our bodies.  Kim’s sensuous love of the world and all its prickly details makes for a delightful and moving read.”
 
—Debora Iyall
 

About the Author

Kim Brittingham is a writer and blogger whose personal essays have been published on iVillage, Salon and Fresh Yarn. She received widespread national attention, including appearances on the Today Show and NPR, when she created a mock self-help book jacket with the title, Fat is Contagious: How Sitting Next to a Fat Person Can Make YOU Fat, wrapped it around a real book, and pretended to read it while riding the buses of New York City as an informal social experiment. She divides her time between New York City and Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

KimWrites.com

More About the Author

Kim Brittingham is the author of the memoir, "Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large" (Three Rivers Press, May 2011) and "Write That Memoir Right Now! (AudioGo, January 2013).

Brittingham was first interviewed on the Today Show and NPR in February 2008 after she conducted an informal social experiment on public transportation. She created a mock self-help book jacket with the title, "Fat is Contagious: How Sitting Next to a Fat Person Can Make YOU Fat", wrapped it around a real book, and pretended to read it while riding the buses of New York City. She wrote about her experience in "Read My Hips".

Although she's been publishing her creative writing in literary journals since the early 1990s, Brittingham's writing first gained widespread attention when she started writing for the internet - personal essays for web sites like iVillage, Salon and Fresh Yarn. Her memoir "Read My Hips" was inspired by an essay of the same name that appeared on iVillage.

Ms. Brittingham wrote, illustrated and stapled together her first picture book at the age of six. She co-authored her first novel with her best friend in junior high school - a thriller about an English pop group with a curious resemblance to Duran Duran. "Read My Hips", Brittingham's first published book, was written when she worked as a patent prosecution legal assistant. She wrote the book on her lunch break - on a second-hand laptop, in 45-minute increments, in the office lunch room.

For most of her adult life, Brittingham has made a habit of launching creative projects. In the 1990s she founded and operated "Philadelphia Dial-a-Poet", a free service providing recordings of poetry by telephone. Also during the '90s she published "Café Eighties" magazine, for which she tracked down and interviewed entertainers from her favorite pop culture decade. "Café Eighties" began as a photocopied 'zine that Brittingham laid out on her living room floor; when she folded the publication, it was a nationally-distributed glossy sold in most bookstore chains. She has also designed plus size clothing under her own label.

In 2009, Brittingham appeared as the star of a video series pilot for NBC Universal called "Big Life". The series did not continue into a second episode (something she writes about in "Read My Hips"), but she went on to create her own video series called "Kim Weighs In", which is viewable on the internet.

Ms. Brittingham is a high school graduate who enrolled in community college at the age of 39. She is now 40 years old and divides her time between New York and the Jersey Shore, spending her hours studying, writing articles and essays, and working on her second book, another work of non-fiction. She's an Anglophile; dreams of finding an affordable fencing school; lustily watches the History Channel and can't stop having good ideas.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
I think this book sends a positive message to women of all sizes.
Jean Litton
It was like talking with a good friend who has great stories and knows how to use her self-awareness to get at something profoundly deeper.
EasyReader
It's a quick read, and it's really funny, irreverent, moving, and deliciously subversive.
jen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By EasyReader on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is what excellent writing is all about: using juicy life experience to inspire and put something good out into the world. Bravo. It was like talking with a good friend who has great stories and knows how to use her self-awareness to get at something profoundly deeper. The author's particular gift in describing people makes this book so engaging and memorable (I could read an entire book on Uncle Carl alone). She raises fascinating, culturally relevant, thought provoking questions in a humble, straightforward, charming, confident, and just plain inspiring way. Reminded me about being human and I loved it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alexis C. Bonavitacola on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book!

Kim's writing is humorous, dark, poignant, confronting, authentic, and connecting. She doesn't over analyze the back story of her life and you get, without the usual blame game assigned to others in her life, that Kim has figured this out for herself, wrestled with negative assumptions about heavy people and confronted them head on. Often I wanted to stand up and say "bravo, Kim".

If I had a daughter on the verge of adolescence, this would be at the top of my mother-daughter book club. As a woman in my mid 50's, there were take aways from this book that continue to help me learn and grow when it comes to defining one's self through a distorted lens of beauty.

Terrific!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ezzy Languzzi on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
READ MY HIPS is irreverent, honest, laced with humor and jaw-dropping examples of our society's cruel treatment of "fat" people. Her writing is that of someone who's emancipated herself from societal expectations and negative body image. I couldn't help but ask myself as I read this, "How shallow am I?" READ MY HIPS is a bravely written and thoughtful quick-read that I'll be recommending to my book club.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda on October 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
As women, many of us have had the experience Kim did when she was young and thought she was so fat, only to see the photo years later and realize she looked just fine. Our society makes it tough to be satisfied with our appearance, even at our youngest and fittest.

As a mom, I really get on my kids' case about throwing around the "other" f-word. I have 3 sons, and I remind them to never, never comment on a woman's size. We all know what size we are without anyone pointing it out, as people so shockingly and rudely did in Kim's book, particularly the nasty elderly shopper at the end of the book.

I'm so surprised no one else has commented specifically on the Fat Is Contagious pseudo-book. Hilarious, and a genius sociological experiment to boot -- er, booty.

People who would never dream of making racial comments still feel entitled to make comments on body size. Prejudice is prejudice, and we would do well to consider and try to eradicate all its many insidious forms.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jean Litton on October 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I really related to the author, Kim. She's an intelligent writer who makes a good case for the fat acceptance movement, which I have not, before reading this book, bought into or agreed with wholeheartedly. I think this book sends a positive message to women of all sizes. Hating our bodies "thin" doesn't work. Her writing made me laugh, made me cry, and made me angry at the people who think that is okay to verbally abuse people who don't fit their standard of beauty.

Even though I'm not of the mindset that it's impossible to lose weight without suffering, I agree with most everything Kim says about exercise, eating healthy, and the damaging effects of being force-fed the idea that "fat" people are ALWAYS unfit and unhealthy. Yes, I think that there are benefits to weighing less if you're obese, BUT people are beautiful in all shapes and sizes, and some people are not capable of losing weight and keeping it off, whether it is caused by a physical or mental reason. Trying to live a healthier lifestyle regardless of weight makes sense to me, and looking at health as simply the size of person's body is ridiculous. I think that it's possible to be very healthy at higher weights than the current BMI standards, and it's just as likely that someone who is thin is not healthy. In fact, I know people who eat crap, chain smoke and they're thin and look perfectly "healthy". It's really stupid to assume that you know the health of a person just be looking at the size of their body.

As a side note, I was obese for 18 years, and I lost most of my excess weight about two years ago by using similar ideas about self-love written about in her book. But, as I said, not everyone is capable of losing and maintaining a lower weight and human beings have more value than their pants size.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Po on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
READ MY HIPS is a collection of memoir essays by Kim Brittingham that focus on issues of self-image, weight, happiness, self-esteem, and dieting. Rather than your run of the mill 'how I lost weight' or 'how I learned to love myself' stories, Kim is honest with herself and therefore with her reader. Her message is so important to anyone at any weight or any level of body consciousness. Be happy, love yourself, and live your life TODAY. Losing weight or being a particular size is no magic pill to self-esteem and self-respect. Not losing weight or being a particular size does not mean that you should be unhappy, unloved, or should put off living your life as you want.

Kim's stories are inspiring, uplifting, eye-opening, and funny. She opens your eyes to how society values and judges overweight people, particularly women. But her message is clear throughout: don't let society's obsession with what you're supposed to look like stop you from being who you are, doing what you want to do, and yes, being happy!

READ MY HIPS reminded me of another book on a completely different topic, Bella DePaulo's 'Singled Out,' which is more of a research-oriented look at how society unfairly judges, dismisses, and alienates single people. Totally different topic and approach, but it makes you stand back and evaulate your own views and the way you yourself pre-judge types of people.

Buy READ MY HIPS and meet an amazing person with an amazing story to tell, who through her personal essays, opens your mind to a fresh outlook on life, the self, and body image.
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