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.