Fattily Ever After by Stephanie Yeboah
She describes in the book how too often fat, black women are written out of movements they created – notably the “body positivity" movement which now looks oh-so white. Originally started in the sixties by Jewish feminists, its aim was to tackle anti-fat discriminiation. Its modern persona however surged on social media such as Tumblr, as spaces and hashtags where fat women (increasingly black and non-white women) could safely celebrate their bodies without judgement. Unfortunately, in recent years these spaces have been overtly whitewashed, as well as focusing on a certain kind of fat body that is “acceptable”: slim with a few curves or hour glass figures at the most. Yeboah gives us this history, alongside chapters focused on media representation, dating as a fat, black woman, and how fat shaming is rife in our society.
And if that wasn’t enough, Yeboah ends each chapter with practical tips for those of us who want to learn how to be an ally. While the stories she shares are hard to read, they show the people behind the statistics and theories the book is also full of. As a child, Yeboah was “told verbatim that I should perhaps ‘lose weight so they wouldn't bully me as much'”. Yeboah has done so much work to not only collate stories from herself and other plus-size or black women, but to show how these are so enmeshed with the history and theories of feminism, racism and fat phobia.
This book is essential reading for anyone – people who look like Yeboah and those who don't. It's work we all need to do, truths we all need to face, told with Yeboah's humour and honesty.
Published by HarperCollins