3 Stars Reviews

Book Review: You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar

Drawing on her personal experiences of growing up fat and constantly dieting, Virgie Tovar teaches others to reject that same mindset. She discusses diet culture, fat phobia, sexist fashion and more, arguing that we must unlearn what society has taught us since childhood in order to embrace our bodies, and to learn that it is fine to be fat.

My life wouldn’t be easier if I were thin. My life would be easier if
this culture wasn’t obsessed with oppressing me because I’m fat.
The solution to a problem like bigotry is not to do everything
in our power to accommodate the bigotry. It is to get rid of the bigotry.

I enjoyed Virgie Tovar’s bold and unapologetic tone towards on fat phobia and fat liberation, but having read a few other books on the topic, I didn’t feel like You Have the Right to Remain Fat was covering any new ground for me. That’s not to say it’s not original – Sofie Hagen’s Happy Fat cites Tovar’s book as a source for her own work and an excellent addition to any fat liberation library, but being a relatively short exploration of the topic, there are books out there that look at this in more depth. However, Tovar’s text is an excellent introduction to the issue of fat phobia and fat liberation. It has a personal and anecdotal aspect that makes it accessible to anyone interested in body image and the damaging effects of diet culture. It’s a great starting point and Tovar’s passion is infectious.

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Read for the NEWTs Magical Readathon. Class: Divination. Grade: A.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar”

  1. Have you read Jes Baker’s Things People Don’t Tell Fat Girls? I think she and Tovar are friends or at least know each other. (Haven’t read Happy Fat yet, but I’ve a copy, and saw Hagen speak at 4th Estate showcase – she was bloody funny!)

    1. I haven’t read it, no, but I’ve definitely heard of it. Is it worth a read? Happy Fat is great, and Sofie Hagen is hilarious. I went to a live recording of her ‘Secret Dinosaur Cult’ podcast and got her to sign my copy of the book. It’s really informative but still funny!

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