I met Jen Larsen a few weeks ago at San Francisco's Booksmith when she was in town for a reading of her new book, Stranger Here: How Weight Loss Surgery Transformed My Body & Messed with My Head. Weight loss surgery (WLS) is a highly charged topic, especially in fat activist community. As a fat activist and fat studies scholar it's easy for me to criticize the pervasiveness of WLS propaganda and decry the literal and figurative danger this practice presents; as a radically pro-choice feminist it's much more difficult (as of yet, impossible) for me to criticize or decry individuals who have opted to pursue WLS. Before I knew that Jen's book had been released by Seal Press (who also published Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion), I read a review of it in People Magazine. I was immediately interested in its critical engagement with such an important topic. Yesterday KPFA's Kate Raphael interviewed Jen and me about our respective books, our views on the War on Obesity and the different ways that our lives interact with fatphobia. Listen to the interview right now (the interview begins halfway through the episode).
Keywords: WLS, Weight Loss Surgery, Jen Larsen, Stranger Here, KPFA, Kate Raphael, Women's Magazine, Hot & Heavy (#hotandheavy)
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Virgie Tovar, MA is one of the nation's leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder of Babecamp (a 4 week online course focused on helping people break up with diet culture) and the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012). She writes about the intersections of size, identity, sexuality and politics. See more updates on Facebook.