Last week This American Life, possibly the most popular podcast there is, ran an episode called “Tell Me I’m Fat.” Leading up to the episode’s release I had read and listened to some teasers and learned that Lindy West and her book, Shrill, were featured, so I was really excited. I love Lindy and loved Shrill and I’ve been a huge fan of This American Life’s thoughtful, nuanced reporting for years, so I thought that someone was finally going to get the subject of fat right.
When I actually listened to the episode, though, I was really disappointed. Lindy was fantastic and hilarious and everything I hoped she’d be, but there were so many other elements of the episode that were really flawed. I listened to it over and over again hoping I was just hearing the most offensive parts wrong, but the more I listened, the more disappointed and angry I became. And this has happened over and over. No mainstream media outlet has ever learned how to talk about fat respectfully and it has gotten really old. So today I’m doing something about it. This is my big fat response to This American Life’s “Tell Me I’m Fat”.
The music in today’s show is by our friend, the very talented young DJ Citizen Starcrusher. His new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days will be out soon! In the meantime make sure to check him out at https://soundcloud.com/cstarcrusher!