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‘Taking up Space’ tells fat shamers to fuck off

Taking up Space: a thick little zine about fat

Zine, Ed. by Emily Hilleren, $5, 26 pgs

Want to know the best ways to say “fuck you” to fat shamers? Look no further than Taking up Space. This compilation includes seven contributions from folks who identify as fat, and features poetry, drama, erotica, essays, collages, and an interview.

The contributors provide distinct perspectives on taking up space as fat folks, highlighting how all bodies are different, despite a culture that reduces people who are fat to one-dimensional caricatures. The erotica critiques both fetishization and body shaming, and the collages are fun parodies diet culture with “Get bigger now,” and “Stay your largest” headlines. There’s also some great advice on where to buy decent plus-sized second-hand clothes (such as Poshmark), find clothing patterns to make your own clothes (Curvy Sewing Collective and Ravelry), or a slew of possible solutions for chub rub.

The various pieces address the experience of shame not only via mainstream culture’s vilification of fat bodies, but also from fat positive and feminist movements, and the feeling that they will inevitably “fail to live up to someone’s standards of how to Be Fat.” Some are reactive, some are fuck yous, and some are calls to action. While fat folks will totally find experiences that resonate, Taking up Space is also essential reading for folks with thin privilege who likely have no fucking clue about the experience of being fat in this fatphobic world.

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