Title: Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer
Author: Jen Lancaster
Release Date: May 6, 2008
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
From the back cover:
A Note from Jen Lancaster:
To whom the fat rolls…I’m tired of books where a self-loathing heroine is teased to the point where she starves herself skinny in hopes of a fabulous new life. And I hate the message that women can’t possibly be happy until we all fit into our skinny jeans. I don’t find these stories uplifting; they make me want to hug these women and take them out for fizzy champagne drinks and cheesecake and explain to them that until they figure out their insides, their outsides don’t matter. Unfortunately, being overweight isn’t simply a societal issue that can be fixed with a dose healthy of positive self-esteem. It’s a health matter, and here on the eve of my fortieth year, I’ve learned I have to make changes so I don’t, you know, die. Because what good if finally being able to afford a pedicure if I lose a foot to adult onset diabetes?
I’ve read all of Jen Lancaster’s books (Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass are her other two very cleverly titled books, with Pretty in Plaid coming out in May) and I love her sense of humor. Jen is sarcastic, hilarious, and completely crazy. I love her ability to turn normal, everyday occurrences into unique and laugh-worthy circumstances.
Between her books, her blog, and her Twitter account, Jen keeps me entertained on a daily basis. She’s the type of person that I would love to have as a friend. Her sheer ridiculousness makes me think that she would accept my level of crazy very well – in fact, we might even complement one another. In these daydreams of Jen Lancaster and I being best friends, one thing I have never thought of her as is an inspiration. Funny? Yes. Clever? Definitely. But inspiring? Really?
That is, I felt that way until I read Such a Pretty Fat. The first half of the book was familiar enough – funny anecdotes and stories from Jen’s life. This time, it’s about how her doctor told her to lose weight, and her failures in that department. It’s funny, but nothing remarkable – simply a clever read that’s comfortably familiar.
But all that changes around the halfway point. Suddenly, Such a Pretty Fat becomes about Jen’s determination to lose weight. It’s her going to the gym every few days to work with her personal trainer, Barbie (who is, of course, a perky blond). It’s her exercising portion control and sticking to her diet. I was so incredibly impressed with Jen’s sheer willpower in this endeavor. She made me want to work out (yes, I know I don’t need to lose weight, but I’d love to build a bit of muscle). She made me believe that if I set my mind to something and work hard at it, I can accomplish anything.
Cheesy? Absolutely. (My review, not Such a Pretty Fat.) But this book was incredibly inspiring, as well as side-splittingly hilarious. That combination really makes Such a Pretty Fat a book worth read. If you haven’t tried one of Jen Lancaster’s books, I recommend reading them in order: start with Bitter is the New Black. However, if your interest is in losing weight, definitely pick up Such a Pretty Fat; it’s a worthwhile read that will inspire you – and even if it doesn’t, you’ll lose weight from laughing so hard!