Fat Girl
Judith Moore
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Buy *Fat Girl: A True Story* online

Fat Girl: A True Story

Judith Moore
Hudson Street Press
208 pages
March 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Having not read the author’s previous book, Never Eat Your Heart Out, I went into this expecting a fluffy trip infused with enough woe-is-me to fill a weeks worth of shows on Oprah or Dr. Phil. But instead it was an honest --often self-deprecating-- look at her life growing up being overweight. Judith Moore doesn’t pull any punches in Fat Girl and with the quite ungracious (almost brash) opening; the blurb on the front calling it “A-slap-in-the-face of a book” couldn’t be more accurate. Just take a look at what she says about herself within the first few pages of the book and you’ll no doubt admire her honesty or question why she even wrote it:

“I’m on a diet. I am always on a diet. I am trying to get rid of pounds of my waddling self. I am always trying to get rid of pounds of myself. I am a short, squat toad of a woman. My curly auburn hair is fading. Curls form a clown’s ruff about my round face. My shoulders are wide. My upper arms are as big as those maroon-skinned bolognas that hang from butchers’ ceilings. My belly juts out. The skin on my thighs is pocked, not unlike worn foam rubber. When I walk my buttocks grind like the turbines I once saw move water over the top of the Grand Coulee Dam. I hate myself. I have almost always hated myself. I have good reasons for hating myself, but it’s not for bad things I’ve done. I do not hate myself for betrayals, for going behind the back of someone who trusted me. I hate myself because I am not beautiful. I hate myself because I am fat.”
Not really a sympathetic figure – but that’s just it, she isn’t trying to be one. No, Judith just wants to tell her story, and she does so with the deft skill of a surgeon (and without an ounce of self-pity). She describes her favorites foods (and her inability to resist them) with such mouth-watering passion, you just might find yourself going to the cupboard for some cookies to squelch your own cravings.

Through her vivid writing, you learn about the people who shaped her life: a gay music teacher uncle, the father obsessed with food, the wicked mother, and her two failed marriages. Ultimately, the struggles with her weight and her vacuous relationships make her unable accept her body image or exorcise the vitriol from her soul. It’s a story that is at times fascinating, poignant, and darkly humorous that will resonate with those who ache the same ache.

© 2005 by Bobby Blades for curledup.com.

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