The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce
Edited by Angie Manfredi
Nonfiction | Essay Collection | Body Positivity | Young Adult
Published by Amulet Books
Released September 24th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Note: I received a free, unsolicited edition from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.
The (Other) F Word is the type of book that I wish I had discovered in high school. It would have given me more confidence and shown me that it’s okay to love your body, regardless of its size.
I’m fat. For most of my life, I’ve been overweight. I was the fat kid in school, and I’ve always had an unhealthy relationship with food and my weight. It’s been worse in the past few years, as I lost a drastic amount of weight in my early twenties (over a hundred pounds) and then gained it all back. That experience caused a great deal of discomfort with my body, as I felt like it betrayed me. I viewed it as a win when I lost the weight (which happened during a bipolar manic episode where I literally became obsessed with exercise in a shockingly unhealthy way), and as I gained it back (starting with a depressive episode) I felt like an absolute failure.
It’s only relatively recently that I’ve started learning how to love my body again and this collection of essays helped to give my confidence a boost. While The Other (F) Word is technically meant for teenagers, everyone struggling with their weight or who identify as fat will get some benefit from reading it.
While I’m not going to make a full list of each writer included in the collection, some prominent names include Julie Murphy, Alex Gino, P.S. Kaguya, Lily Anderson, S. Qiouyi Lu, Virgie Tovar, Saucyé West, and Ady Del Valle. Their contributions range from essays to poetry to illustrations and art.
It would take too long to review each essay, but suffice it to say that I gained a lot from reading through this entire collection. There’s advice for where to find clothes that actually fit well, self-care information, powerful motivators, and so much more. There is a wonderfully great amount of inclusivity here in terms of race, gender, sexuality, size, and ability, which is incredible to see.
I’m so glad that many of the essays brought up the fact that doctors and health professionals aren’t always welcoming to fat people. While I’ve been fortunate enough to find a doctor that doesn’t treat my weight as something bad, I have friends who have gone through absolute hell to receive treatment for serious medical conditions. In one case, the doctors automatically assumed that the pain she was experiencing was a result of her weight, and she had to fight to get them to take her seriously. It’s atrocious to me that people have to deal with that kind of treatment from a medical community that is supposed to be there to help, and I’m glad that it’s something that received attention in some of these essays.
If you’re anything like me, it’s inspiring to know that there’s a community of people who look like you who are living their best life and loving their bodies. They know they don’t have to conform to what society and the media believe to be beautiful because they already know that they’re beautiful and wonderful. This collection is one that I can see myself coming back to over and over again when I have any negative thoughts about body image or just when I want to be inspired. I would recommend The (Other) F Word to everyone.
Pair with a candle for maximum relaxation!