I was so excited when I saw this title. I first heard of Sofie Hagen when she was a long-time co-host of the <i>Guilty Feminist</i> podcast, and I've followed her <i>Made of Human</i> podcast since then too. I think she is funny, but also really insightful. That sums up Happy Fat for me too. I'm not very tooled up in terms of the fat acceptance/activist/positivity world, and this acted as a sort of induction for me. Brief context - I was an obese teen, slim/average/overweight/average/slim/average in my 20's, and now in my mid-30's I've gone from average to obese in a year. Fun times. You can imagine the mess that is my relationship with food, my body and how I feel the world sees me. This book came along at the right time for me, to see that actually <i>fat isn't the worst thing I could be</i>. And it also pulled me up on my own fatphobia, both internalised and projected at others. Sofie is honest (painfully so, see the public toilet cubicle story...) about living as a fat woman, in a world conditioned to see fat as bad, to see fat people as lazy and worthless, and to see the pursuit of thinness as the ultimate mission. Honest about the pain and hurt that comes with it, yes, but also the immense joy she feels now that she has shed the capitalist blinkers and fully accepted who she is as a person. Although it tackles some quite upsetting statistics, experiences and realities, this is such a positive book - a battle cry for fatties and allies alike. A plea for compassion, love and sanity, for each and every one of us no matter what the number (scale, label, BMI or completely made up) tells us. This isn't a magic potion, I'm not going to be posting a picture of my belly on social media now I've finished it, but Sofie doesn't promise that reading her book will make you a different person or that the culture around you will suddenly do a 180. This is simply the start of a journey (sorry, I used that word). And Sofie is one hell of a tour guide.
HarperCollins UK generously sent me a NetGalley of this title in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.