I am definitely not the right demographic for Brittany Gibbons’ new book Fat Girl Walking. I am far more comfortable with the likes of Erma Bombeck and Phyllis Diller. I know. Scary, right? Those long-ago women chronicled the day-to-day travails of suburban housewives with less profanity but also, I must admit, with less honesty.
Diller built a career by putting down her own appearance. Gibbons too starts down that path, describing how being overweight negatively affected her life. I found the first half of her book really difficult to read. To me, it seemed her weight was the least of her problems. The photos on her website reveal a stunning woman.
Dealing with her father’s behavior after he suffered a traumatic brain injury sounded much harder. And sadder. This is supposed to be a humorous book, but I was not laughing.
It is when Gibbons gets to the point in her life where she has a daughter of her own that the book finally began to resonate even with me. Her realization that her daughter is beginning to reflect and mimic her attitude about her body starts Gibbons down a different path, that of acceptance of her body, no matter what its size.
Gibbons has trod that path all the way to a TED talk on the subject and now a book. Brava to her. May her courage and wisdom rub off on all of us.