“This book is for anyone who has ever felt out of place in the world … Sofie Hagen is who we don’t deserve but we all need.”

 

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Danish comedian, feminist and podcast host (Made of Human, Secret Dinosaur Cult and The Guilty Feminist) Sofie Hagen is no stranger to discussing inequality and her book, Happy Fat: Taking Up Space in a World That Wants to Shrink You is no exception. In her début into writing, the fat comedian Sofie Hagen examines fatphobia and the social constructs that create this inequality and prejudice in our society.

Happy Fat is a collection of many elements including personal experiences and anecdotes from Hagen’s own life, additional footnotes from the author, interviews with other fat people, in-depth research into the statistics and facts surrounding fatness, and even brilliant illustrations from Mollie Cronin. Hagen’s own personal experiences date all the way back to her childhood and contain some stories from low times in her life which many other fat readers may be able to relate to in some way or another. Meanwhile, the witty and funny footnotes by the author add a lighter and humorous tone to the writing that fans of Sofie Hagen will know and love from her comedy career.

The interviews included in the book also add further depth by not just adding the experiences of other fat people but also being intersexual and inclusive, including fat people from different backgrounds including BAME women, Transgender interviewees and disabled interviewees. Through these interviews, Hagen delves deeper into her exploration of inequality as a whole by examining the intersection of different prejudices.

A thoroughly researched book, Hagen has trawled the available information on fatness, body image, health and more to present a book that is not only an interesting read but is also backed up by the facts and statistics surrounding these issues.

An honest, open, thoughtful, funny and emotional memoir of sorts, Happy Fat is the perfect book for fans of Sofie Hagen’s comedy and podcasts or readers struggling with their own fatness who need a voice to reassure them and remind them it’s okay to be fat.

 

Reviewed by:

Catherine Muxworthy, Booksbirdblog

Added 12th May 2019

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Catherine Muxworthy