Limited by Body Habitus: An American Fat Story
Jennifer Renee Blevins’s debut memoir, Limited by Body Habitus: An American Fat Story, sheds light on her experiences living with the emotional and psychological struggles of taking up space in a fat-phobic world. Bringing together experiences of personal and national trauma, Blevins adeptly weaves the tale of her father’s gastric bypass surgery and subsequent prolonged health crisis with the environmental catastrophe of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Blevins looks to each of these events as a “leak” of American society’s pitfalls and shortcomings. These intertwined narratives, both disasters that could have been avoided, reveal points of failure in our systems of healthcare and environmental conservation.
Incorporating pieces from her life, such as medical transcripts and quotes from news programs, Blevins composes a mosaic of our modern anxieties. Even through despair, she finds hope in mending broken relationships and shows us how we can flourish as individuals and as a nation despite our struggles. Fierce and haunting, this memoir creates a space of narrative through body, selfhood, family, and country.