Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons
Brittany Gibbons, also known as Brittany Herself to the internet, recounts her life from the beginning until the current day. It all started out when she was an overweight poor child. She came from a family with its share of mental illness. Her father had a brain injury which caused him to act erratically, much to Brittany’s embarrassment.
Brittany ended up with a less than ideal growing up experience. She was teased. She felt bad about her family. There were plenty of fights. Her growing up experience wasn’t all bad though. She met her husband as a teenager. Despite everything she went through, Andy was there for her.
After moving back home, after a failed college experience, Brittany didn’t know exactly what to do with her life. She started having children and she started blogging. She started writing about her experiences as an overweight woman. People started reading.
Brittany ended up on television. She ended up doing interviews. She didn’t know what to do to get the point across that overweight women were normal women too. Ultimately, she ended up taking her clothes off at a TED talk. People talked about that for a while.
Brittany aspires to be a good influence in the realm of body positivity each time she wears a bikini or speaks her mind to the internet.
What I liked
Brittany is inspirational. I don’t think I could get in a bikini and show everyone. There is so much of my life that seems to be reflected in Brittany’s story. I know what it’s like to grow up overweight and be teased, in my case not only by kids at school, but also members of my own family. Calling me fat was completely on the table and not punishable.
I hated school because I was teased. I think experiences like Brittany’s should be told so they’re normalized and people realize what awful damage they do. Brittany goes on to reflect on how she was basically starving herself and was malnourished, but people kept telling her that she looked good. She was sick, and potentially on her way to death, but people told her she looked good because she was thinner. I’ve had a similar experience; one time, I lost quite a bit of weight because I was starving myself and popping one diet pill right after the other, but people would tell me that I was looking good. Our society is so screwed up in relation to body image that it will tell a woman who is basically killing herself to be thinner that she looks good and they’ll praise her efforts, because, you know, it doesn’t matter if you’re healthy or not; it only matters that you’re thin.
You’re anemic, malnourished, and you don’t get your period anymore? Who cares? You’re thinner!
I applaud Brittany for speaking out. She spoke out when others felt they could not.
Brittany and I are relatively the same size right now, especially since I’ve gained some weight back, for no reason, that I worked really hard to lose, thanks to Hashimoto’s I suppose. She looks great in a bikini. I don’t think I could do it, but I’m glad she did.
I’m glad that Brittany had someone like Andy who was there for her and loves her no matter what size she is.
What I didn’t like
I don’t like that Brittany’s story has to be a thing. We don’t have books all about living life as a tall person, or as a person with freckles, or as a person with hair that is curly. Being overweight shouldn’t be such a big deal that someone has to write an entire blog and then book about it so that it can be normalized, even a little bit. The fact that Brittany is overweight should be a non-issue. It shouldn’t matter, at all, just as height, or disability, or skin color, or freckles, or any of it, shouldn’t matter.
While I love books that open the eyes of the public to living life with difficulties, books about living life as an overweight person just shouldn’t have to be a thing, as it’s only a difficulty because society makes it a difficulty.
Go Brittany, keep rocking the bikini.
Thinking about difficulties that people go through, how many of them are only difficulties because society says they’re difficulties?
Would you stand up on a stage in your bikini in front of tons of people, regardless of your weight?