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Fat Girls in Black Bodies by Joy Arlene Renee Cox (Book Review)

Hey Lovelies!

This review is long overdue. So I decided to read this book during a time when I was looking for some much-needed body liberation. In the middle of a global pandemic, I was struggling to feel confident with the size and shape of my body.

I was quarantined at home for nearly a year and I am ashamed to admit that for a while I wasn’t eating properly, I felt unmotivated to workout and I was comparing myself to others on my social feed. But I soon realized how harshly I was treating my body and that was unkind and unfair of me.  

So often we are taught that cravings are undesirable and to be thin is to be pretty and healthy. But rarely do we normalize the idea that you can be fat and healthy. What a concept? To be a thick black girl in this world with rolls and stretch marks is remarkable.

The prevalence of black women that suffer from eating disorders is unacceptable. According to ANADBIPOC with eating disorders are half as likely to be diagnosed or to receive treatment."

This is why I felt that it is crucial to read books like Fat Girls in Black Bodies on Audible that seek to challenge the stigma against body image. 



In the book, Fat Girls in Black Bodies Joy Arlene Renee Cox combats fatphobia and racism by reclaiming space for women at the intersection of fat and Black. 

To be a womxn living in a body at the intersection of fat and Black is to be on the margins. From concern-trolling–“I just want you to be healthy“–to outright attacks, fat Black bodies that fall outside dominant constructs of beauty and wellness are subjected to healthism, racism, and misogynoir.

The spaces carved out by third-wave feminism and the fat liberation movement fail at true inclusivity and intersectionality; fat Black womxn need to create their own safe spaces and community, instead of tirelessly laboring to educate and push back against dominant groups.

Structured into three sections–“belonging,” “resistance,” and “acceptance”–and informed by personal history, community stories, and deep research, Fat Girls in Black Bodies breaks down the myths, stereotypes, tropes, and outright lies we’ve been sold about race, body size, belonging, and health.

Dr. Joy Cox’s razor-sharp cultural commentary exposes the racist roots of diet culture, healthism, and the ways