I binged the Hulu series Shrill in like a day (Aidy Bryant is everythingggg.) so when I found out the book was inspired by Lindy West’s memoir I knew I had to pick it up.
Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.
From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.
With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.” — Goodreads
This was a four star read for me. I couldn’t put this book down, which, for a memoir is pretty impressive in my opinion.
The way West writes is the way I envision myself writing when I finally find something I can focus on to write about, ya know? She’s witty, genuine, and really good at getting her point across. That being said, there were a couple of things in this book that rubbed me the wrong way. She flippantly categorized Weight Watchers coaches with people who sell diet supplements, etc. Weight Watchers has helped me lose almost 30 pounds in a healthy and sustainable way. I know this is not the point– but I felt the need to defend the program.
West also makes a comment about how diets don’t work. Look, no fat person should ever have to stop being fat to feel comfortable in this world. I think we should accept peoples bodies at every weight. However, we can’t say changing the way you eat and fuel your body doesn’t make a difference because it does. End rant.
All of that being said, Lindy West gives a voice to feminism that I think is important and accessible. She is unapologetic in her message but she also sounds down to earth and eager to have a conversation with people who may not agree with her.
If you want a quick, funny, and smart read pick this one up.