Being Fat Is Not a Sin

Pandora, London, 1989

Cover Synopsis

Being Fat Is Not a Sin Pithy and controversial, this book cuts straight to the heart of the fat taboo and uncovers a deep-seated prejudice against fat women.

Shelley Bovey exposes discrimination in all its forms and reveals that this is far more threatening to a woman's physical and mental health than the medical risks associated with being fat.

Fat may be a feminist issue but for women who are size 16 and over it is often a miserable reality. Now they share experiences which will strike familiar chords in the heart of every woman who has ever worried about her weight..

How I came to write this book
It was a gloomy day in 1988 and I had been subjected to yet another incidence of discrimination on account of my size. It struck me that while society had taken up the cause of many other persecuted minority groups, the overweight were getting a raw deal. No one seemed to challenge the blatant abuse, persecution and prejudice towards large people that existed at all levels of society and was constantly directed at anyone who exceeded the strict cultural limits on body size. At the time I was working for She magazine and I suggested that I wrote a piece about this prejudice and the fact that it was going unchallenged. She ran the article, we had a huge response and this led to me developing the theme into what became a polemical, challenging and controversial book, the first one in Britain on the subject of size prejudice. I found I had enormous energy, that my mind ran over with ideas, with things that I had wanted to say since I was a teenager and had first experienced the bitterness of injustice. I met many many women who had suffered as much and more and their stories contributed to a book whose power was created by the unaddressed pain of millions of people whose only crime was to get fat.

'Powerful, impassioned, rational and utterly convincing'. Fay Weldon

'An excellent book'. The Daily Mail.

'Her book aims to overturn the hidden prejudice against fat women, and to allow them to feel good about their bodies. It's a strong, impassioned thesis, and though it's aimed at fat women, it should strike home in any woman's heart'. The Guardian

'One of the angriest and most moving books to be published this year'. The Scotsman

'Shelley Bovey's powerful statement that will give heart to large women and should make the rest of us think more carefully.' Chat

'This book exposes discrimination to fat people in all its forms and shows that the stress it causes is far more threatening to a person's physical and mental health than the medical risk associated with being fat.' Therapy Weekly

'An angry, hard-hitting, amazingly honest and thought-provoking account.' Chronicle and Echo.

'This book has a message for everyone'. The Bendigo Advertiser (Australia)