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Summary

I am a fat person and I love my body. I feel lucky to be able to say that. It has taken a lot of work and a lot of time to get here. I often meet people who are incredibly puzzled that I can love this body. Taking the world into account - how we are taught to see bodies and judge bodies - I understand the confusion. But I am quite sure I can explain it. I want to tell you what I have learned and how I got here.

In Happy Fat, comedian Sofie Hagen describes how she conquered a negative relationship with her body and provides practical tips for listeners to do the same.   

She exposes how fatphobia is embedded in society at every level - in our relationships, our public spaces, and the TV shows we watch - powered by the toxic mix of capitalism and the media.   

Part memoir, part social commentary, in Happy Fat Sofie explains how she removed fatphobic influences from her daily life and found self-acceptance in a world where judgment and discrimination are rife - drawing wisdom from other Fat Liberation champions along the way.   

From shame and sex to airplane seats, love and getting stuck in public toilets, Happy Fat is a funny, angry and impassioned look at how taking up space in a culture that is desperate to reduce you can be radical, emboldening and life-changing.      

©2018 Sofie Hagen (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Perfect, kind, hilarious and persuasive." (Lena Dunham)

"You need this book. Your mum needs this book. Your best friend needs this book. Everyone needs a dose of Happy Fat!" (Julie Murphy)

"As an old-school stand-up of the self-deprecating variety, I found Sofie’s book fascinating and it’s introduced to me a whole new school of thought." (Jo Brand)

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I wanted to love it

The blurb really enticed me to buy this book. I'm fat and it's a relatively new concept to me. I've discovered also when it comes to buying ladies clothes you can't be fat and short. Not only am I fat, I'm very short, and all petite ranges stop at size 16. So I'm struggling in this world where seats in the cinema, on planes and in restaurants are incredibly uncomfortable because my feet don't reach the floor and my bum is squished up between the armrests. Sofie has managed to find a way to be comfortable with the size she is and the story of how she achieved this veers between amusing and upsetting. But she didn't espouse anything I didn't already know. I admire her attitude towards her weight, her sexuality, her career and her life in general and I commend her and wish her every success. She did a great job narrating her book in English but there were a few punchlines I didn't quite get because of her accent, which isn't strong at all but on certain words got a bit sticky. Still, I couldn't narrate a book in Danish so credit to her is definitely due. I really wanted to absolutely love this book and ended up only quite liking it. But you give it a try, you might love it. You can't please everyone.

31 people found this helpful

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A really good read.

I would really recommend the audiobook - Sophie's narration is brilliant. There is some sound advice as well as some excellent anecdotes. Some sections made me laugh outloud as I walked along (there are some parts of the human anatomy that definitely shouldn't come into contact with bleach for example). I hope she writes many more books and I will keep an eye out for her doing stand up.

8 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking

I almost gave up listening to this early on, because Sofie Hagan is quite "in your face" and can get pretty aggressive about her views, which often aren't the same as mine. I realised that, as a formerly "very obese" person (now in the overweight category) who isn't in the least tempted to backtrack down that road, I wouldn't share all her ideas.

After finishing listening to the end, I believe that this book does have something to offer anyone. It has really made me think, and I hope I won't forget what I've learned that might help me to make other people's lives better.

7 people found this helpful

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Eye-opening

As someone who is relatively well informed about the marginalisation if some groups (e.g. queer, black, disabled) I'm sad to say that I hadn't before realised the extent to which fat people suffer the same systemic problems and oppression and without being a legally protected group. This book really helped me question my own thoughts and prejudices and to empathise more with fat people. Highly recommended.

30 people found this helpful

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read it!!

for every shape and size this will most definitely help you!! and love Sofie, she's so funny!

6 people found this helpful

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Listen to Sophie. That's all.

Sophie is a brilliant narrator who shares her experiences whilst inviting diverse voices to share the stage in what is typically an overwhelmingly white space. 👏

4 people found this helpful

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YES!!

Absolutely LOVED this book! Sofie's voice is so authentic and her story so relatable that it was impossible to stop listening (audiobook)!

I also adore the way she says BODY. Now, whenever I thank my body, the voice in my head sounds like Sofie 💖💖

3 people found this helpful

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comedy activist

This was a really honest and thought-provoking look at what it means to be fat, fatphobia, and the world of fat activism. Before reading this book, I had no clue about these terms or movements. Sofie provides a critical review of the history, politics, social constructs and moral attitudes towards being a person of size yet brings it to life and make it's very related with her own personal experience. The added touches of comedy, perfectly timed and placed, especially throughout the audiobook, made this a wonderful book to listen to, creating an experience of dipping your toe into her world and the world of fat activism. She has opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at life, both from a personal perspective, challenging my own stigma and self-criticism and my view and awareness of privilege and the challenges to still be overcome by so many marginalised groups in society which I will take into my work as a mental health nurse

6 people found this helpful

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Insightful, Funny & Empowering

This book is truly for everyone, it's educational and heartfelt and funny in all the right places. a great read that I finished in a day, and the narrator's voice is nice and easy to listen to. Little Ad Libs in the audio book set it aside from the original text. I would definitely recommend this read.

2 people found this helpful

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Demystifying the "F word"

Sofie Hagen is a Danish stand up comedian and is a "fat activist". She describes her comedy as the ability to make other peoples insides move up and down and she is very good at it. Sofie does not mind using the "F word" as, like everyone who has ever lived, she has fat on her body. She has fat but this does not define her. She is, in her own words, "easier to see" and "entitled to take up space". Whilst there is plenty of humour in this book, there are also some serious messages here. We live in a wold that is defined on the whole by white cis gendered men who own and control the media and the weight reduction industry in which there are no plus sized Disney princesses. People dissatisfied with their weight are less content with their lives and have lower self worth. As Sofie points out, health and fatness are different things and body positivety is important for all of us regardless of size and shape. I did not know much about fat activism before listening to this book and I am glad that I have. Five stars.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Larna
  • 16-05-20

very much enjoyed

thought provoking, uncomfortable and enjoyable. big Sofie Hagen fan, obvs reccomend the Audible version for her accent

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-20

So good and so real and important book

This book is so important and informative and really funny and real! Just give yourself the good experience off listening to this book and get educated about fat activism and fat liberation history between crying of both laughter and horror and the genius way this book is written!!

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  • Jessica Armstrong
  • 26-06-19

Favourite!!

Happy Fat is the best book I've listened to in 2019 - maybe even for most of 2018, too!
I loved this - it was firm but kind, funny and sometimes sad.
While I haven't read-read the book, I think the audible version is probably better because we get Sofie's commentary on little bits and pieces which really added to the experience for me.
Thank you, Sofie Hagen! This is a wonderful book.

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  • Ingrid Louise Vold
  • 18-05-19

Great!

I loved the book; the world needs more of this. And, listening to Sofie is a delight. I will recommend it to all of my friends :)