13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Title: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

Author: Mona Awad

Reviewer: Maria Ryan

A Dark and Somewhat Shocking Depiction of an Obese Young Woman and the State of Her Mind.

Lizzie’s journey from teenage school girl into her twenties is fraught with anxiety over her size. One of the central themes is how she is treated by the men in her life and how she interprets their attention. As she moves through young adulthood and the story skips around somewhat disjointedly through points in time, we see Lizzie as both very overweight and also thin after losing a significant number of pounds.

No matter Lizzie’s size however, she never manages to cultivate her own voice or stand up for herself resulting in deep seated anger and always simmering resentment. Early slights and mistreatments cement in her mind a pervasive lack of self- worth as she continues to attract people into her life who trigger her insecurities until every person she encounters is viewed through a veil of mistrust whether they are worthy or not.

Lizzie can come across as unlikable and petty though her suffering is immense. Her basic needs have never been met and due to this, an inability to fully evolve to a higher plane ensues. Because she lacks so much, she cannot be available to others. In all her relationships, friendships and even her marriage, she never achieves true intimacy and connection. Lizzie exists solely in her head where she winds up is right back where she started, older, wiser, but no less miserable.

Awad’s dive into the musings of our minds is spot on and often disturbing. Her talent for homing in on popular cultural memes such as many overweight women’s penchant for choosing bawdy, chunky, colorful matching jewelry as a distraction mechanism and the futility of cardio equipment at the local gym and its addiction crazed seekers is one hundred percent relatable. Recommended for perspective’s sake alone no mater your size. There is much to relate to here.

Deeply analytical and questioning but lacking appropriate application to figuring out her own life, Lizzie is a woman who never learns how to be comfortable in her own skin.

BRB Rating: Read It


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