I liked this book, even as I resisted the urge to turn away because it made me very uncomfortable. Roxane Gay does not hold back any punches in this raw memoir where she bares it all for her readers.
I give it a 5 out of 5.
Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.
Roxane Gay’s book “Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” is a personal and insightful book that explores identity, trauma, and the relationship between our bodies and society. In it, Roxane shares her struggles with her weight and body image that stems from horrific traumatic event that happened when she was twelve.
Roxanne addresses the aftermath of the assault and how it led to her using her body as a shield against further vulnerability. In her mind the weight she gained served as a form of protection, a way for Roxanne to make herself physically larger and less desirable to potential assailants. She describes her body as a fortress, a means of fortifying herself against the world that had inflicted such harm. This coping mechanism highlights the complex ways in which individuals respond to trauma, and for Roxanne, it manifested in hiding her trauma in food and weight.
Societal pressure to conform to certain beauty standards added an additional layer of complexity to the authors relationship with her body. I found this is a crucial aspect of Roxanne’s story to consider when exploring the connection between trauma, body image, and weight.
Roxanne’s powerful story shares the impact of society’s judgment and shame on people perceived as different, challenging how society views body size and beauty. She explores the emotional complexities of self-worth and acceptance, giving us a glimpse into the challenges faced by people who, in the author’s words, are “fat.” By sharing her personal experiences, Roxane helps us see broader societal issues in a new light.
The book weaves in and out of different periods of her life, and I found that a bit confusing. However, Roxanne helps you consider the broader implications of body politics and societal expectations. Her writing is compelling, and she captures her emotions with an edgy and raw honesty. Roxanne’s exploration of identity, trauma, and society’s expectations will resonate with you
Roxane’s storytelling is amazing, and it will make you think about your perceptions of others navigating a world where we make them feel they don’t belong.
“Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body” is a thought-provoking book where the author tackles issues of body image and trauma in a powerful way while offering her unique perspective (and lived experience) on the societal pressures perpetuating harmful body standards. It’s an important book contributing to the ongoing conversation about body positivity and self-acceptance. I highly recommend it.