Getting Waisted by Monica Parker

I was asked to read and review the book Getting Waisted by and about Monica Parker, who is a fat actress and writer (whom I had never heard of before this book) who was born in Scotland and grew up in Canada. The bottom line is that I didn’t like the book and do not recommend it because nearly all its attempt at humor is with the use of fat jokes.

As a girl, Monica was picked on by children and heavily criticized by her mother for being fat. Sadly (very much so to me), Monica the adult writer makes fun of Monica the little girl. And the the worst part, to me, is that the humor isn’t a fond look back at one’s foibles; it’s as cruel as 8th graders.

Monica is shown in the book as an energetic and positive person, but not fat positive for the most part. There are only two portions of the book that are fat positive. The first is about a local TV show she hosted in Toronto in the early 1970s. It was an exercise program (with Dan Ackroyd as announcer!), so just the fact that a fat woman was doing the exercises makes it fat positive to me. And it was even explicitly so at times according to the book; she describes interviewing a diet doctor and grilling him about dieting. (The second fat positive part comes right at the end, as Monica finally gets self acceptance.)

Monica seems like a good person, and I believe her when she says that she is fat positive, or at least I believe that she’s on the path to it. But the book isn’t, not 98% of it anyway. The book’s website, http://www.gettingwaisted.com (I don’t mind linking to it because, as I said, I think she’s mostly one of the good guys), has a blurb on it that says, in part, “It’s the story of a life well-lived, but with too much time wasted on what wasn’t important and too long taken figuring out what was.” I agree: way too much time wasted.

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