Bad Fat Black Girl: A Review

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Hey All. I finished reading “Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes from a Trap Feminist” by Sesali Bowen, and to say reading this book was a privilege is an understatement.

Bowen’s book covers a range of topics from sexuality & gender expression, fatphobia, romantic relationships, and Black feminism, to name a few. She skillfully writes about universal issues not always associated with Black women who do not fit the molds of acceptability or uphold heteronormative roles, such as creating firm boundaries for social networks.

There’s feminism, then Black Feminism, and then there’s Trap Feminism. Trap Feminism, as explained by the author, is the feminist way of living as Black girls, or women, in a particular sector of American society: the trap. Trap houses (homes used to package, distribute, and sell illegal drugs) are most often in communities labeled as “ghetto” or “hood” inhabited by people of color. Trap Feminism is a “contemporary framework that examines where hip-hop and feminism meet.”

“Bad Fat Black Girl” reads like a conversation. It’s relatable in ways that made sense to me (Marsha) in particular, always a plus for any book. Bowen is unapologetic and uses examples in her own life to help others understand where they may stand in their trap feminist journeys.

The duality of being “hood” and educated meets right in the middle of this book. Merriam-Webster defines feminism as a “belief in, and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.” Bowen’s book takes the standardized definition deeper with an introspective look at feminism through the lens of a fat, Black, and Queer woman.

This book has been my favorite read of 2021: five stars and highly recommended read.


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