Kimberly Dark

Fat, Pretty, and Soon to be Old

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“Nothing is more brilliant and juicy to me than a woman stepping fully into her self—mind, body, and spirit, full throttle, without apology. Kimberly Dark has been illuminating the path for a long time. This book is a triumph. This book is a jailbreak from cultural inscriptions meant to keep us locked up, shut up, and conforming.” —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water and The Book of Joan
Fat, Pretty, and Soon to be Old is a moving, funny, and startlingly frank collection of personal essays about what it means to look a certain way. Or rather, certain ways. Navigating Kimberly Dark’s experience of being fat since childhood—as well as queer, white-privileged, a gender-confirming “girl with a pretty face,” active then disabled, and inevitably aging—each piece blends storytelling and social analysis to deftly coax readers into a deeper understanding of how appearance privilege (and stigma) function in everyday life and how the architecture of this social world constrains us. At the same time, she provides a blueprint for how each of us can build a more just social world, one interaction at a time. Includes an afterword by Health at Every Size expert, Linda Bacon.
Kimberly Dark is a writer, professor, and raconteur. She has written award-winning plays, and taught and performed for a wide range of audiences in various countries over the past two decades. She is the author of The Daddies, Love and Errors, and co-editor of the anthology Ways of Being in Teaching.
This book is currently unavailable
191 printed pages
Original publication
AK Press


    verogr16shared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot

    This is a wonderful book that every person should read. Kimberly is a sociologist who has managed the complex art of explaining complicated issues as social inequality through storytelling. Every chapter of the book is a short essay that combines her anecdotes with deep, moving reflections. She mainly talks about the way society has tagged some types of bodies (white, thin, young, able, heteronormative bodies) as acceptable, and she questions these ideas and how hard people try to fit in this mold. I am grateful to the author for such an amazing book and I totally recommend it.

    What I liked: As an anthropologist, a feminist, a woman, and a human being, I felt very touched by this book. It is well written and the style managed to make it pleasant to read about difficult issues that can be triggering (like sexual abuse, a hard childhood, or a negative body image). Social scientists usually get too caught up on theories and concepts and their (our) books are hard to read, even when the information should be widely shared. That is why I believe this book does a great service for humanity, as it talks about many issues that should be discussed in order to heal ourselves and have a better society. But, most of all, I loved this book because it showed me some of the awful parts of my relationship with myself, and motivated me to work on the radical self-love that Dark suggests.

    What I did not like: It was too short, I wanted this book to be a million pages!

    Juanjo 167shared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading
    🔮Hidden Depths
    💡Learnt A Lot


    Juanjo 167has quotedlast year
    May we come to see discomfort and apprehension as part of the package marked freedom.
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