By Bethany Jean Clement
The Seattle Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A brief look at Lindy West’s brand-new book called “Shrill.” The subtitle is “Notes from a Loud Woman.” It’s a memoir, she explains, “a book about growing up feeling like you don’t fit, in both a literal and figurative way.” She spends a good amount of time in this Q&A addressing our collective dysfunctional relationships with food and our bodies.
The Seattle Times
Lindy West is a defender of bodies: women’s bodies, fat bodies, every body’s right to exist in whatever way, shape or form, unjudged and unassailed. “Everyone has a body,” she says. “We haven’t developed brain-in-jar technology yet.” Her writing puts forth the unfortunately radical proposition that each person’s body is that person’s own business.
“It is the thing that most belongs to them. It’s not yours,” she points out over sake bombs and edamame dip, pot stickers and ahi tacos. It’s the most basic of truths, but, again unfortunately, it bears pointing out.
Lindy West is a Seattle native, but with her column in The Guardian, she’s become something of an international hero. Lindy West and I worked together at the alternative weekly The Stranger, where I had the vast pleasure of watching her scathing, incisive and hilarious powers unfold.
Lindy West is also my friend, and witnessing how some treated her along the way made me feel angry and helpless, and, by implication and inaction, like part of the problem. My own body’s deviation from the norm, through absolutely no virtue of my own, has garnered wondering approval (“How can you be a food writer and stay so skinny?”).
Lindy’s body’s deviation from the norm has earned her not just opprobrium, but threats of rape and death, more times that she can count. Working with her, reading the kind of online comments that she would ultimately attack head-on, I didn’t know what to do.