“Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body” by Lesley Kinzel

I have come a bit late to Kinzel’s excellent book/memoir/manifesto. Perhaps because I was a little put off by the title, which frankly makes me cringe. Perhaps because I have read so many books urging me to ‘love my body, get off the dieting roller coaster, transform my life’.

However – ignore the misleading title.

Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Love Your Body

Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body

Kinzel writes astutely and movingly and soon you are caught up in her thoughts and musings on fat acceptance, body politics, a lifetime ‘wasted’ dieting as well as the importance of fashionable clothes. Unlike some others, I didn’t feel it was intrinsically a feminist perspective – more a human call to action that we should accept all bodies.

Currently Deputy Editor of online women’s magazine xoJane, Kinzel founded ‘Fatshionista’ and then went on to post her ‘sociological and political views’ of fat via her blog, Two Whole Cakes.

Published by The Feminist Press in 2012, her book largely draws on these posts. There are no chapters (for those who like that sort of thing) and it is relatively short. But don’t let that deceive you – it packs a powerful punch.

Of course, you don’t need to have what Kinzel calls ‘death fat’ to be affected by a culture which demonises and stigmatises those whose body size is outside a cultural norm. Anyone who has suffered from poor body confidence – whatever their size – will find solace in this book. She declares:

‘Your body is …continue reading “Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body” by Lesley Kinzel

Interview: 'Fattitude' has the right attitude!

Like me, many of you reading this will be well aware of the excitement and media storm surrounding the fundraising for the forthcoming feature length documentary, Fattitude, due for release in late 2015.

So I was excited to have the opportunity while visiting Florida to meet with Fattitude‘s producer, Lindsey Averill, a fat activist, women’s studies scholar and body positive coach together with the co-producer and director of Fattitude, filmmaker Viridiana (Viri) Lieberman.

Three hours have seldom gone so quickly. Our discussion ranged from the portrayal of fat people in the media, to the work being done by other fat activists and, of course, the how and when of the film.

I discovered that Lindsey and Viri became friends when they met through Lindsey’s husband, but what really bonded them was a their interest in women’s studies.

Viri’s research on sport and gender resulted in the recent publication of her book, Sports Heroines On Film. It isn’t a big leap to see how her friendship with Lindsey led to the creation of Fattitude.

When asked where the idea for a film highlighting weight bias and offering alternative views originated, they told me they felt it naturally arose from their mutual interest in these issues, combined with Lindsey searching for a suitable project. “Let’s make a film,” she said to Viri. Why not?

Like so many of the best ideas, their original concept is quite different to the film that is in production as I write this.

“Culturally,” said Lindsey, “we are on a roller coaster of body image as portrayed in the media, and the media always need a new way to …continue reading Interview: ‘Fattitude’ has the right attitude!