My Introduction to Lindy West

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Before reading Lindy West’s new book, Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, I had never heard of her. I kept seeing this book on Amazon as a book that was soon to be released. After reading the description, I was interested.

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I found this book to be relatable because Lindy, like myself, is a fat woman, and to hear someone on a platform like this discuss some of the same feelings that I always had about life was refreshing. West discusses the many experiences that she’s dealt with over the years because of her weight. There were two quotes in the book that stuck out to me. One was when West said, “As a kid, I never saw anyone remotely like myself on TV or in the movies, or in video games, or at the children’s theater, or in books, or anywhere at all in my field of vision.” I can relate to this because I rarely ever saw a fat black girl on any of these platforms, and if I did she was usually the butt of a joke, which isn’t uplifting at all.

The second quote said, “I never revealed a single crush, convinced that the idea of my disgusting body as a sexual being would send people—even people who loved me—into fits of projectile vomiting (or worse, pity).” I myself have never revealed a crush that I had on someone because I figured that they wouldn’t be attracted to me because of my size. So, I avoided the inevitable rejection and stayed silent.

As a kid, I never saw anyone remotely like myself on TV or in the movies, or in video games, or at the children’s theater, or in books, or anywhere at all in my field of vision.

The fact that Lindy found love with her husband, Ahamefule J.Oluo gives me hope that I can find happiness in the love department one day. In her writing, West’s voice felt like a familiar one, and I liked that. It felt like I was chatting with a friend. Her humor is also great. She’s hilarious.

One other subject that came up a lot during the book was online harassment. In the age of social media, I think that we’ve all received some form of harassment, but West’s was just plain horrible. She went into detail about the different instances when she was harassed on social media and how it made her feel.  I commend West for continuing to do what she loves despite the constant ignorance directed towards her every day.

West is currently a writer and contributor to GQ and The Guardian.  If you’re in the mood for a good feminist read and sometimes even a good laugh then check out Shrill.

Happy reading!

~Kayla

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Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.