In this disarming and candid memoir, cultural critic Clarkisha Kent unpacks the kind of compounded problems you face when you’re a fat, Black, queer woman in a society obsessed with heteronormativity.
There was no easy way for Kent to navigate personal discovery and self-love. As a dark-skinned, first-generation American facing a myriad of mental health issues and intergenerational trauma, at times Kent’s body felt like a cosmic punishment. In the face of body dysmorphia, homophobia, anti-Blackness, and respectability politics, the pursuit of “high self-esteem” seemed oxymoronic.
Fat Off, Fat On: A Big Bitch Manifesto is a humorous, at times tragic, memoir that follows Kent on her journey to realizing that her body is a gift to be grown into, that sometimes family doesn’t always mean home, and how even ill-fated bisexual romances could free her from gender essentialism. Perfect for readers of Keah Brown’s The Pretty One, Alida Nugent’s You Don’t Have to Like Me, and Stephanie Yeboah’s Fattily Ever After, Kent’s debut explores her own lived experiences to illuminate how fatphobia intertwines with other oppressions. It stresses the importance of addressing the violence scored upon our minds and our bodies, and how we might begin the difficult—but joyful—work of setting ourselves free.