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Publisher's Summary

From the creator of Your Fat Friend, an explosive indictment of the systemic and cultural bias facing plus-size people that will move us toward creating an agenda for fat justice.

Anti-fatness is everywhere. In What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs because they are fat and calls for social justice movements to be inclusive of plus-sized people's experiences. Unlike the recent wave of memoirs and quasi self-help books that encourage readers to love and accept themselves, Gordon pushes the discussion further towards authentic fat activism, which includes ending legal weight discrimination, giving equal access to health care for large people, increased access to public spaces, and ending anti-fat violence. As she argues, "I did not come to body positivity for self-esteem. I came to it for social justice." 

By sharing her experiences as well as those of others - from smaller fat to very fat people - she concludes that to be fat in our society is to be seen as an undeniable failure, unlovable, unforgivable, and morally condemnable. Fatness is an open invitation for others to express disgust, fear, and insidious concern. To be fat is to be denied humanity and empathy. Studies show that fat survivors of sexual assault are less likely to be believed and less likely than their thin counterparts to report various crimes; 27% of very fat women and 13% of very fat men attempt suicide; over 50% of doctors describe their fat patients as "awkward, unattractive, ugly and noncompliant"; and in 48 states, it's legal - even routine - to deny employment because of an applicant's size.

Advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures and attitudes will require work from all people. What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat is a crucial tool to create a tectonic shift in the way we see, talk about, and treat our bodies, fat and thin alike.

©2020 Aubrey Gordon (P)2020 Beacon Press

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What listeners say about What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat

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Everyone should read/listen to this book.

Well written, moving and informative. Such an important subject. Cannot recommend enough. A must read/listen book.

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incredible!

Incredible listen, love how this book is inclusive of trans, black, disabled fat people etc.

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💕

Thank you for writing this book Aubrey. You are a wonderful writer. I love listening to your podcast with Michael Hobbs, you both make me think, smile and laugh out loud. I devoured this book in 2 days, it was insightful, honest, sometimes devastating but truly important. Big love 💕💕

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  • M.
  • 12-01-2021

Absolutely fantastic and incredibly important

Aubrey writes about both her personal experiences, as well as in depth about many intricate aspects of weight stigma that are rarely spoken about or known. This is a truly eye opening book for everyone of all sizes, to learn about the importance of equality, kindness, dignity, and the relatively unknown fact that size does not determine health.

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  • russell
  • 24-11-2020

Stunning

This book is a clear and honest guide that offered me a glimpse of what it’s like to navigate the world in a fat body. It has moments that are daring, horrifying, authentic behind belief, and full of the type of vulnerability that fuels movements and societal transformation. It’s a must read for anyone who has a body... so yeah, everyone. Incredible read.

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  • PGM
  • 20-12-2020

Eyeopening

An affecting read that challenges the reader to explore assumptions about fat that so many of us hold. I've never read a book quite like this. Aubrey Gordon is a wonderful writer who challenges with heart and a clear-eyed look at how we regard fat people in our relationships and also in our policies and systems, As I listened I found myself thinking, "I never thought about it quite like that before ..." I am changed -- in a good way -- after listening to this book. The narrator is perfect. This an important work. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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  • Therese
  • 26-11-2020

Required reading.

This book shines a light on the racist and misogynistic origins of many ideas that are pervasive in western culture around the thin idéal and its conflation with health. This work is so, so important, and very interesting. I’ll reread it, because it’s so much to take in. The narrator has a warm, personal voice that strikes the right chord with in first-person narrative interspersed with research, many references, examples in media. Excellent performance. Put this book on your list, friends. You will become more empathetic, more knowledgeable, and you will better understand why body neutrality is an important notion to familiarize yourself with. ❤️✨

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  • H. Rich
  • 08-01-2021

Brilliant

Absolutely brilliant book. I love Aubrey Gordon, also pls listen to her new podcast with Michael Hobbes called “Maintenance Phase.” She nails internal fatphobic feelings and experiences I’ve had for years and could never describe or verbalize. Health doesn’t equal skinny. Fat people deserve medical care too. Somebodies are bigger AND THATS OK AND FINE.

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  • J. Fermenich
  • 03-01-2021

The book about anti-fat bias everyone needs

This is a fantastic book detailing the reality of being fat in our society. I can only hope that the people who actually need to read it, those steeped in anti-fat culture give it a chance.

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  • K. R. Elrod
  • 31-12-2020

Well written, but often misses the point.

There are some very good points here, but others annoy me with their petulant tone. For example, she argues that doctors’ requirement of severely overweight patients to lose weight before major surgery is discriminatory. She lauds science, but then forgets doctors might have a scientific and statistics reason for wanting to perform operations on people closer to their target weight: they’re less likely to die on the table. The author seems to sometimes forget that although she is healthy, many very fat people aren’t.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-11-2020

An important book.

This is not a comfortable read, especially for those of us who have faced prejudice and attempts at shaming us. But it is a very important addition to the canon of literature about the fat experience.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-01-2021

an indictment on our societies’ prejudice and systemic abuse of fat bodies.

What we don’t talk about when we talk about fat, by Aubrey Gordon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is a wonderful book which reads as a collection of interconnected essays, on various facets of the fat experience. In it, Aubrey Gordon explores the prevalence and insidiousness of fat-phobia and anti-fatness. I particularly loved the final section of the book, in which Gordon explores a ‘utopia’ where all people are respected, and then outlines the specific ways this could be achieved. The very fact that this is a utopian vision serves as an indictment on our societies’ prejudice and systemic abuse of fat bodies. A really great read, only losing a star as it focuses a lot on the US healthcare system, and I would have loved to hear some interviews of people with more intersectional identities, as opposed to just Gordon’s own experience. But a fantastic read nonetheless.

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