Monday, December 3, 2018

Review: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen

Title: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
Author: Anne Helen Petersen
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Plume Books
Publish Date: June 20, 2017
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "You know the type: the woman who won't shut up, who's too brazen, too opinionated--too much. It's not that she's an outcast (she might even be your friend or your wife, or your mother) so much as she's a social variable. Sometimes, she's the life of the party; others, she's the center of gossip. She's the unruly woman, and she's one of the most provocative, powerful forms of womanhood today.

There have been unruly women for as long as there have been boundaries of what constitutes acceptable "feminine" behavior, but there's evidence that she's on the rise--more visible and less easily dismissed--than ever before. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of "unruliness" to explore the ascension of eleven contemporary powerhouses: Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Caitlyn Jenner, Jennifer Weiner, and Lena Dunham."

My Two Cents:

"Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud" is a book about famous women that have been criticized as being too "something." And what woman hasn't been told that they are too "something" and that they should be more this way or that way? Unfortunately, it seems to be our lots in life as women and even if you fit some sort of publicly condoned model of woman, people are still going to find something to criticize about you.

In this book, the author dedicates each chapter to a woman in the public eye and what they have been often criticized of being too much of. This book explores how the public (and this is so not limited to men, women are just as guilty of these unfair criticisms too as this book points out) tears people in the public eye down with constant criticisms. These criticisms almost take on a life of their own (Hillary Clinton being too shrill, Nicki Minaj being too slutty, Kim Kardashian being too pregnant).

I loved that this book brought together two things that I love that often seem out of sync with each other. I love celebrity gossip. It's so silly but I still love whiling away time in the bath with the latest People Magazine or US. I am also super interested in the more academic side of things like messaging, marketing, and feminism. This book is such a perfect combination of both interests. By being a woman, it seems that you invite criticism. By being a woman in the spotlight, you invite that about 100 fold. As the author points out, there is so much hidden messaging in these criticisms and hidden messaging.

This is a book that I'm going to be thinking about for a long time and want to take further. Now that we know these things are here, what do we do with them (oh, and you know that we knew these things existed before this book but it does put a nice bow on it)? How do we make things better?



  1. This sounds like a good one and I enjoyed your review. I like books that stick with me.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. Hi Meg, this looks like a good one. I hope you'll have time to bring this over to Books You Loved: December so everyone can see it. Cheers from Carole's Chatter


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