DNF Review: Fat Girl Walking

fat girl walkingFat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons
Published: 01.01.2015 by Dey Street Books
Genre: Non-Fiction, Adult
DNF at 40%

I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

SynopsisFat Girl Walking is a collection of stories from my life, my thoughts about the issues that I have faced as a woman, wife, mom, daughter, daughter-in-law, and internet personality in regards to my weight. I have tried to be as honest as I possibly could—apologies in advance to my husband and parents, but hopefully any discomfort you feel is quickly replaced by laughter. The insecure texts to my husband and summer camp hijinks are hilarious if I do say so myself. And I also ask some tough questions, things like “What if my husband weighs less than I do?” and “Is my body hate ruining my daughter’s life?” Read Fat Girl Walking and let’s start having these conversations. No pressure, but we may just save all of womankind.


I requested this book from Edelweiss for several reasons. First, I’d seen her Ted Talk and thought it was really thought provoking and empowering. Second, I’m all about body positivism. I was expecting it to be a memoir of a woman who came to love her own body, even though society doesn’t necessarily celebrate it. That’s not what I got at all. 

I felt genuinely uncomfortable while reading this book -up until the 40% of course, because that’s where I gave up. Here’s why: 

  • This is more a chronicle of her entire awkward life, rather than her body positivity journey.
  • I got told the lovely story of when she thought she had her first period when she woke up to puking and blood on the sheets, but actually it was her dog’s period blood on her. EW!!!!!!
  • She taped her vagina shut as a young teenager because the priest in her Catholic school had scared her so much, and then had to go to the hospital.
  • While she stands for embracing your body, I got some really spiteful vibes towards “skinny women”. For example, when she stated she was glad her first time was nice, it said: “So many of my skinny, gorgeous friends have absolutely horrible stories about losing their virginity, and aside from an unfortunate eighties song about the Cold War, my first time was perfect.” This is not a competitio n. We should all want our friends to have a perfect/good first time?
  • I got some other vibes I’m not really okay with. Such as shaming her past self/behavior as such: “I began to search out a point of connection between the girlishness and attractiveness I wasn’t feeling, and that connection became messing around with boys. Or in better high school girl terms, I became a huge whole, which was actually somewhat of a challenge because I looked like a fat Dutch Boy with boobs.

I wanted this to be a book about body positivism. Instead, I felt uncomfortable the entire time, cringed so often people on the train thought I was having a stroke, and thought she sounded quite judgy of certain behavior/people even though that’s the opposite of what this book is supposed to achieve. 

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25, reader, blogger, feminist, INFJ

18 thoughts on “DNF Review: Fat Girl Walking”

  1. Yikes. Some of those things made me cringe too, so I can understand why you did for sure! I agree that it sounds like she is being really snarky toward her thinner friends, which is awful- especially now, as an adult, you’d think that she’d kind of know better? (Plus, those friends are totally going to hate her 😉 ) And you are right about her shaming her past self- she isn’t saying that she used to THINK she looked like that… she is saying she DID look like that, which means her current self thinks that? DEFINITELY not the message you want to send to women! Good call DNFing this one, and thanks for the awesome review- I will be staying FAR away!


  2. I found this highly funny and disturbing. I don’t read memoirs anyway so I wasn’t going to pick it up.


  3. This sounds deeply uncomfortable (possibly alarming) to read. Such a shame; we need more truly body-positive books in the world, not ones that undermine their own supposed messages. *Shakes a fist.*


  4. Eeep, that’s so disappointing. :/ I don’t blame you for quitting on this! Like if a book is making you cringe that much, why would anyone stick with it?!? *winces with you* Also those stories are really…awful.😳 Especially the dog’s period one, ewwwww.


  5. Definitely turned off by the examples you mentioned. I get the feeling like this is supposed to be more of a memoir about growing up awkward, and she’s trying to inject her own quirky/weird humor and a level of absurdity in it. In itself that is fine by me, but not if you market it as an “empowering and positive” book with “love your body” messages when it actually isn’t any of those things. I think I would feel a bit misled too.


  6. Oh no, that’s really disappointing… It was on my TBR. I can recommend good body positive book though, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker. I really liked this one, and it didn’t make me cringe once! 🙂


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