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Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting, and Live Large Paperback – May 3, 2011
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“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.”
About the Author
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I DO FEEL SORRY FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE A WEIGHT OR FOR THAT MATTER ANY HEALTH ISSUES BUT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND
WHY AMAZON AN ALL THE WISDOM PUT THIS NEST TO EROTIC BOOKS.
Fabulous book. I could related to just about every part of this story, and I'm so disappointed it took me 30 years to wake up and appreciate my body. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Janet Bernstein
Having lived 46 yrs on this planet as a female with a larger build, always on the heavier side regardless of the amount of exercise or starvation I inflicted on myself in the name... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Laura C
I'm fat. I've read a lot of fat-positive and body-love books. But this one leaves me hanging.
I'm woefully unimpressed. Read more
It's about time. Thank you Kim. This is a book about growing up in a society filled with images of unrealistically thin images of what "beauty" should be. Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by justjane
I bought Read My Hips because the idea of ditching dieting and loving my body never occurred to me, even though I had tried and failed to lose weight the conventional way for 10... Read morePublished on July 4, 2013 by Kali Griffin
This book is wonderfully witty and well-written, but more importantly, its message is crucial in today's society. Read morePublished on February 4, 2013 by ALK