Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud (★★★★☆)

Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud

Anne Helen Petersen   *   Plume Books   *   June 20, 2017   *   304 Pages

Find this book on Goodreads | Amazon | BN

In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Petersen profiles ten celebrity women in order to highlight certain hardships women face. Each chapter features one celebrity whose life or work has been criticized for a specific reason. So, for example, Melissa McCarthy is often told she’s too fat, and her chapter discusses the impossible physical standards placed on women. Kim Kardashian was told she was an ugly pregnant woman, so her chapter discusses society’s obsession with sweet and neat pregnancies and thin post-baby bodies. The full list of celebrities profiled are:

Serena Williams
Serena Williams: too strong
Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy: too fat
Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer: too gross
Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj: too slutty
Madonna: too old
Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian: too pregnant
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton: too shrill
Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner: too queer
Jennifer Weiner
Jennfier Weiner: too loud
Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham: too naked

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I did end up enjoying it. The first three chapters (on Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, and Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer) were the best–though I also appreciated Madonna’s chapter on aging. The other chapters were just okay, in my opinion. I found that Anderson’s arguments became repetitive and a little less compelling as the book went on. But I also started getting bored with the premise and began caring less around the halfway point, which obviously didn’t help…

At the end of the day, it’s hard for me to look to these celebrities for life lessons. I understand the arguments Andersen is making about the hard road we females have to travel just to be taken seriously. And I agree with them. I’m also appreciative that there is such a diverse group of women in the world working hard to do their own thing on their own terms. But I couldn’t help thinking that this book is still a form of weird celebrity worship (a topic that, ironically, is never discussed) and doesn’t have much application to my everyday life.

Advanced Reader Copy provided through Net Galley.

7 thoughts

  1. I am not that into celebrities much but I was attracted to the title of this one. Your star rating seemed more positive than your actual review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I debated whether to give this one three or four stars. I would have given it 3.5 if I had a half star image icon, ha. The thing is that the good chapters in this book are really solid–but the bad ones are really bad. So I was torn about my star rating, but ultimately rounded up. But I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about the book if you do end up reading it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think this would be for me – not a celebrity person. But I was intrigued by the categories. It seems to me there’s a huge difference between, for example, too pregnant and too slutty. Or too strong and too gross. I don’t know that I’d be willing to spend much time fighting the fight for the right for women to be either slutty or gross, to be honest. Maybe I’m just too old… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you! I think that’s why certain chapters resonated with me while others didn’t. Nicki Minaj’s chapter was a tough one. It’s hard to stand by her raunchy look and declare it “empowerment”–though I also agree she shouldn’t be the only one (male or female) called out for using nakedness, etc., to sell records… Other chapters were better, though. I just think people who are more interested in celebrities might like it more than I did.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I appreciate that. 🙂 I do give the author credit for trying to make a point about all the crazy standards women are expected to meet, but, yeah, it’s hard to completely agree with her arguments, since she is using the atypical lives of celebrities to make them. It’s easy to project whatever meaning or hardship you want to onto the life of someone you don’t (and won’t ever) really know–which is why even though Andersen makes some valid points, the book still comes across as celebrity worship-y…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said, I completely agree…I feel like that happens so often, projecting what we want to see onto celebrities because we feel like we know so much about them somehow and it’s so superficial. Maybe would have made more sense if she’d interviewed the subjects on those topics themselves and worked their own version of the stories into hers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it, really interesting to hear your perspective!

        Liked by 1 person

Let's talk about it! Leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s