Fat Girl Walking: Book Review

This girl is real. She is a blogger, and she tells it like it is. Which immediately made me start to like her before I'd read her book or seen her blog: www.brittanyherself.com.

When I was first approached by Harper Collins about this book, I thought: Is this going to be another holy grail to dieting? 

I was pleasantly surprised. Because, you know, we have more than enough dieting books and get fit programs.

What we don't have enough of are the Brittany Gibbons' of the world.

Brittany Gibbons is a plus size young woman who has fought the stereotypes of "fat girl" all of her life.  

It doesn't matter how smart or pretty or witty she is, she is judged first by her weight. 

Brittany wrote this book, where she reveals lots of embarrassing moments, in order to be real. And I for one respect that in a huge way. (No pun intended.) This is a book of short stories about her life as "the fat girl."

It is about her childhood, mixed in with meeting her future husband (they met in high school), and followed by the birth of her three children. It is about her trying to lose weight, then gaining it back. 

It is about all the things she did to try to hide her weight from herself and everyone else. 

(Raise your hand if you've never dieted before.)

Brittany's first two children were boys. Her third child was a girl. And that's where things started changing. 

One day Brittany found her young daughter emulating her in the mirror, frowning as she placed her hand on her stomach, not knowing she was being watched. 

And this moment was Brittany Gibbon's wake up call. She knew she could not pass down her insecurities about her looks to her innocent daughter. Who was still too young to understand that big-meant-fat-meant-bad.

And that's where things get really interesting. 

I read this book in two nights. Brittany is very funny, which makes it a good read. And her intellect shines through her comedic analogies and metaphors. This is one smart cookie. 

Despite the fact that her blog was hugely popular and she had launched a successful career, she was still the fat girl people looked at in the fast food line. As if to say: "You people are why our health insurance premiums go up."

Brittany goes where everyone else fears to tread. She strips down to her two piece bathing suit without warning, in front of a sea of people watching her. 

The response was overwhelming. 

Later her husband told her there was a standing ovation. She writes that: "Next to giving him children, it was the proudest he'd ever looked at me." 

Brittany Gibbons is to over-sized women what the petite section in every store is to skinny women. (You know if you're petite, there are lots of clothes on the store rack to choose from, because there aren't that many petite girls to compete for them.) 

Fat Girl Walking is about a brave young woman who threw caution and her outer clothing to the wind to prove a point. 

And her point was made abundantly clear. I could not have summoned the courage to do what she has done. And for that she gets a high five from me, and probably should also get some sort of medal for bravery for showing her body as it truly is. 

And more importantly, not apologizing for it or cringing from the cameras. 

This is as real as it gets, ladies. You can visit her blog at BrittanyHerself.

In The News this week: 

Brittany Gibbons on NBC's Today.com
Brittany Gibbons's & The Huffington Post
Brittany Gibbons & Time Magazine

As you can see, this is the woman everyone wants to talk to. 

Get in line.


  1. You do SUCH a great job with your reviews! You can write so well. You truly make me want to run out and get this book. She definitely seems like someone that we should aspire to be like. Life is too short to be worried about what others think ALL the time. As long as she's healthy, that's all that matters.

  2. I hadn't known of her before...and the book looks wonderful...thanks for sharing!

  3. Never heard of her but you can bet I am headed over there- xo Diana

  4. Hey wait a minute ~ I am petite and I can tell you that it's hard to buy clothes in my size. I once asked a clerk at a dress shop why there were not more items in my size (2) and she told me that the buyers don't order many because there are not enough sales. So if another size 2 gets to the store before I do, she picked up the only one available. Same for shoes. So I guess one can say that life just isn't perfect for any of us. I think it's great that Brittany is happy in her own skin because that truly is the only way to be. I commend her for tackling the issue head on and thanks for the heads up about the book. Sounds like a fun read.

    1. Well, uh, I've never really encountered anyone who really shopped in the petite section. So pardon me for the misinformation. But I can see why they don't order more in petite because I doubt, if there aren't enough sales, why would they want to order them. Geez Louise, you're a size 2???

  5. I'm all for anything that breaks those stereotypes!! Go girl.


  6. Sounds like an interesting book. Going to check out her website!

  7. You can find sizes for larger women in the petite section because petite in clothing means SHORT GALS WITH HIGH WAISTLINES. I shop in the petites but I am not skinny. So there.
    I enjoyed the review, Brenda.

    1. I am a size 12 and I can never find my size in petites as they sell out!

    2. I sometimes shop in petites for length in pants and the sleeves in tops. But seriously, they tend to stop after size 10. I do better shopping for my size and some stores have petite, average and tall lengths.


  8. Your review of this book truly makes me want to read it. Brittany sounds like someone I'd love to know. Heading over to her blog now.

  9. She was on TV this week. I remember her being interviewed. Today Show,maybe. I missed the first part so I didn't know she had a book. They showed the clip of her I the bathing suit. She didn't watch it. They asked why. She said something on the line, it didn't matter to her.
    I know first hand about this. Not only because I am a fat girl. I know a family that is all about the calories. Healthy food only. I won't say who. They have two little children. One of them worries about every calories, he is 8. The other night I overheard mom talking about how they get by eating in the evenings when they work and have sports. Someone said sometimes they all just have their healthy shakes.

  10. I love this recommendation. Thank you. A smart talented women stating the truth . I was a size 6 all my life until my 40's with a 14 hours a day desk job my metabolism changed as I aged and now I am a size 12 senior no matter what I do. Healthy diet, vegetarian, no sugar ever, no junk, small portions and daily hour of exercise make no difference. I finally had to embrace life as a size 12 because I am healthy and that is what counts. My doctors agree with low blood pressure and very low cholesterol. . Take that haters my health is better then yours! Our bodies change and we have to make peace with it to live a happy life. . I may have a tummy but that does not mean I eat wrong or lay about. I have also been bullied on the job, in public called fat and ridiculed for my weight,, I found myself at 45 walking down the street and subjected to cruel cat calls about my weight from men in cars. I am 5'3 so it looks heavier then it is at only 18 pounds extra. I do shop in the petite section due to my height and yes I have a almost impossible time to find anything as more are my size then size 2! They sell out immediately. I just spent a week trying to get my size in Capri's for summer.
    I applaud her honesty as she stands up not just for herself but for all of us that are not skinny and deemed unacceptable to the male dominated idea of what women should look like in this society This war on women's bodies in the media and on the internet has reached absurdity. For those of us that are not size 2 we are left to feel that we are not valued and do not matter.

  11. OK, I don't want to be a stick in the mud but I have to be honest. What's with people having to have photographs of themselves in their underwear? I don't care what size the person wears. It's like these celebrities that show up practically naked. Talk about in poor taste. My children would be horrified if I have pictures of myself in my underwear all over the Internet. I don't see how this is any different than the other blogs that annoy you. It's all about me, me, me. I realize I'm alone here but I find this just one more self absorbed blog. And no it has nothing to do with a person's weight. Why not send a better message to your daughter that focusing on yourself will not make for a happy life. I must be feeling grouchy. The message she's sending is STILL focus on yourself in the mirror.

  12. I couldn't seem to comment=-my connection has been wonky. I am so happy that this girl has a successful blog...I just went to have a look and signed on and I've bought her book on my Nook. I love stories that involve self-acceptance and confidence. As an overweight woman I totally understand. With---and very much "with" the exception that we are also talking about being healthy and as active as we can be. Not doing that contradicts the message we send out to younger girls and women. That it's okay to sit on the sofa and eat donuts and chip. Not acceptable. There are many exceptions for weight gain and problems with losing it...having a child, menopause, thyroid problems, that's just to name a few. I simply don't want to cheer on someone who ignores their health, especially when it disregards the ones who love them.

    Still---it looks like a great book and I wish her all the best. And Brenda, you do a great book review. Please do more if you can.

    Jane x

  13. Visited her blog. I don't return to blogs that contain profanity. Her book is probably the same. Brenda, you do write a good review but I'll avoid this book like the plague.

  14. "another holy grail to dieting", love that! Would be enough to gag a person if that had been the case, right? Thanks for the link to her blog. I will surely be a reader. Always looking for something fresh to read, instead of the "stepford blogs".

  15. Having been "The Fat Girl"..since childhood..(do people realize that telling you "you have a pretty face" is an insult and very hurtful)??..I am very anxious to read about this young lady..She sounds like a lady I am going to like..Thanks for telling us about her Brenda..


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