Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on MSA’s literary arts blog, curated by junior and senior literary arts students.
Recently, I journeyed to the Lincoln County public library for the first time. I went in not expecting to find anything, but I did: Tess Holliday’s memoir, The Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl. Although I haven’t completely finished the book, I have enjoyed every page I’ve read had so far. Holliday’s journey of being a single teen mom, living in the South, being fat, and trying to be a model is a story like no other. It’s a story that, I think, people from all walks of life can relate to in some way. For me, it really hits home because Holliday grew up in south Mississippi, not too far from where I’m from. The fact that she went from being a single mom in a dingy town in Mississippi to a well-known plus-size supermodel, seemingly overnight is inspiring. Holliday has defied all the odds, and she’s a role model for so many. I’ve only read the first five chapters, but all of them have been so good. Holliday mostly discusses her hometown life in Mississippi in the first few chapters, but in later chapters, she delves into how she got into modeling, raising her son, and managing the industry.
Overall, the book is personal and captivating. Holliday is one of the women who inspires me to live my truth, be myself, and that I can do anything, no matter where I come from. She made it out, as a fat woman, from the same simple-minded place that I grew up, so I know I can do anything I put my mind to because she did. That’s my biggest takeaway from this book.
Rate: 10/10; it’s an awe-inspiring story of a woman just living her life, and there’s so much truth, vulnerability, and beauty in this book. If you’re looking for a new read, I totally recommend this one!