589: Tell Me I’m Fat

589: Tell Me I’m Fat

Jun 17, 2016
The way people talk about being fat is shifting. With one-third of Americans classified as overweight, and another third as obese, and almost none of us losing weight and keeping it off, maybe it’s time to rethink the way we see being fat. A show inspired by Lindy West’s book Shrill.
NOTE: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. A beeped version is available here.
  • Host Ira Glass interviews Lindy West about her experience “coming out” as fat. (5 minutes)

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  • West tells us how she went from being ashamed of her fatness to embracing it, and reads from her new book, Shrill. (18 minutes)

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  • Elna Baker lost a lot of weight, 110 pounds. When she was fat, she wasn’t able to get a job or a boyfriend and sometimes thought, “I wonder if it’s my weight.” She figured no, that’s a bad attitude, paranoia. When she lost the weight she discovered it was ALL because of her weight. A book Elna discusses in this story is Dietland by Sarai Walker. (19 minutes)

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  • Obesity in America affects a higher percentage of black people than white people. Roxane Gay talks about being black and being fat with host Ira Glass. Gay is the author of Bad Feminist. (5 minutes)Race

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  • Fat is seen by so many people as a kind of moral issue. They think you’re fat because you’re weak and can’t get control of your own life. One subset of that is the Christian weight loss movement. Reporter Daniel Engber tells the history of a particularly extreme moment in that movement. (13 minutes)Religion

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  • We close the show with one more excerpt from Lindy West’s book, Shrill. (2 minutes)Relationships

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