A Memoir of Pop Culture, Fatphobia, and Social Change

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Pub Date 11 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 15 Oct 2023


"Plus-Size: A Memoir of Pop Culture, Fatphobia, and Social Change" chronicles the rise of the body positive movement and body positivity through pop culture reviews and personal reflections. This essay collection illustrates the insidiousness of fatphobia through analyses of film, television, books, and how they affect our perceptions and treatment of others. Altogether, the essays paint a big picture of fatphobia, misogyny, misogynoir, ableism, and capitalism in American society. Furthermore, this essay collection emphasizes the potential for social change. Featuring media from the 1990s, early 2000s, 2010s, and up until today, this memoir tells a story of America's uneasy and ever-changing relationship with fat.

"Plus-Size: A Memoir of Pop Culture, Fatphobia, and Social Change" chronicles the rise of the body positive movement and body positivity through pop culture reviews and personal reflections. This...

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Average rating from 38 members

Featured Reviews

Plus-Size is an interesting blend of memoir and cultural analysis. The essays are thoughtful and concise, making it easy to dip in and out of, and Mekdala is skilled at analyzing the cultural influences and manifestations of fat-phobia and the other biases that inform it. I would have loved to have this book be longer, and look forward to seeing more of Mekdala's writing in the future!

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This is the representation we needed! As someone who grew up with most of the shows/celebrities and events mentioned I was relieved to see someone echo and express my feelings.

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This was a quick informative read. I was drawn in by the fun cover and the title and Im glad I picked it up. It was fascinating to learn about the body positive movement from the 90's to today and how it has evolved and grew. A really informative read!

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Such a gem of a book! Mekdela has done research and presents a look at how the media treats plus-size people. I could identify with a lot of the stories and recalled the shows and books and movies she mentioned. Very well done! Four stars. Thanks to NetGalley for the copy for the purpose of this review.

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Simple put: wow. This collection of essays is engaging, funny, thought-provoking, charming, witty, and deep. The book is well organized as it dives in to deep discussions of racism, fatphobia, ableism, sexism, classism, and more. Balancing the heavier discussions are lighthearted reviews and analysis of various media forms the author has experienced. Any 90s kid will remember much of the same stories. A great read for someone who doesn’t understand why liberation and recognition is important for all bodies. Delightful every step of the way, I look forward to seeing what else Mekdela writes in the future.

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"Plus-Size: A Memoir of Pop Culture, Fatphobia, and Social Change" by Mekdela is a compelling and thought-provoking analysis of societal and cultural attitudes towards body size. Drawing from personal experiences and critical analyses of various media platforms, Mekdela delves deep into the profound impact of fatphobia on individual self-perception and societal norms. She meticulously uncovers the intersectionality of fatphobia with race, class, and gender, providing a lens into the systemic biases that pervade our society. Her candid and informative critique reflects her unique perspective as a plus-size Ethiopian-American woman.

The brilliance of this memoir lies in its potent combination of personal narratives and academic discourse. Mekdela expertly interweaves her life experiences with thoughtful criticism of pop culture, comprehensively exploring the body positivity movement and the potential for social change. Her poignant discussions about reality TV shows, medical misconceptions about obesity, and racial disparities in body image perceptions are especially impactful. A fast yet enlightening read, this book calls for empathy and understanding while advocating for systemic change. A compelling read that deserves a full five stars. Thanks to Netgalley and Mekdela for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I found Plus Size to be a really interesting look at fatphobia and the way it intersects with so many parts of our society; including but not limited to: media, sexism, racism and ableism.

This collection of essays was an enjoyable way to look at the topic of fatphobia in bite size pieces rather than it being a super academic style dense text.

Even though I’m British I found it a really valuable insight into America’s relationship with bodies of all sizes and colours so would recommend this to anyone, regardless of nationality.

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Plus Size: A Memoir of Pop Culture, Fatphobia, and Social Change by Mekdela was a book I didn’t know I needed to read.

As a woman who grew up in America, I have spent my entire life aware of my body. The media’s fixation and objectification of the female form, aided in my personal dissatisfaction. Hearing Mekdela’s journey and seeing things through her eyes, validated my experiences.

I loved the way Mekdela wrote this book. Coming in at under 100 pages, each chapter is short but powerful. Television, film, and music are primarily used to highly society’s role is how we value or devalue human life.

Special thanks to Book Baby and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this digital ARC!

Mekdela explores the intersectionality of bodypositvity and also fatphobia through the lens of her own experiences and pop culture which was very compelling. This was a very fast read that I couldn't put down and painted a heartbreaking picture of how racism, fatphobia misogyny and ableism seep into all aspects of our capalistic society.

Their pop culture references and comparisons were very interesting but also informative. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from the author!

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