From the Buzzfeed writer and qualified celebrity gossip expert, Anne Helen Peterson comes the ‘too path-breaking’ novel ‘Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman’. Popularly referred to as one of the best conversation starters, this book is one of a kind. It talks about the celebrity women and how they handle being female in this world that constantly makes and breaks them.
Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Serena William and more have been given sections with titles such as ‘too shrill’ and ‘too naked’ to portray the society’s hostility towards their ‘unruliness’. I personally was fascinated by this term used for these exceptional women.
Unruly women are those who dare to step aside societal norms and expand the boundaries of womanhood in today’s world.
In an interview, Peterson talked about how if men try to break stereotypes, their acts are attributed to ‘leadership’ while when women do the same they are not just unruly but also considered unsuitable to the polite society. These double standards are what these women experience regularly on an exaggerated level owing to their social status and fame. A popular quote from the book ‘Sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting”, is so accurate to what the men have been scoffing for ages in this patriarchal culture. Let me tell you a little bit about each chapter.
Too Strong- Serena Williams
Serena is one of those sportspeople who experienced double standards in terms of how men and women were seen in the world of sports and critics. Her ethnicity, tantrums, and bearded hair were frequently made fun of. But not being girly in spite of the pressure was inspirational to other girls.
Too Fat- Melissa Mccarthy
Fat women have always been looked down upon. They are mocked by the media and efforts are made to tear down their confidence and comfort in their own bodies. Girls are expected to be less feminine if they are not slim.
Melissa is described as someone who doesn’t behave as per such notions associated with being healthy. Being girly is something that is a choice a woman must be able to make irrespective of her body and personality.
Too Gross- Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer
This essay talks about the relationship between humor and women. Society has very definitive concepts about what women can joke about while men have no such boundaries. Females are not allowed or looked down upon if they participate in slacked humor.
Too Slutty- Nicki Minaj
This essay deals with the dilemma of women in terms of sexuality in media. The difference between standards of white and black females when they are open with respect to their sexuality and for whom are they catering such an image.
Too Old- Madonna
Here the shaming that older women go through when they flaunt or are open with respect to their sexuality is dealt with as a subject.
Too Pregnant- Kim Kardashian
This chapter talks about the fact that it is ok for women to have bad moments. The author says that prior to Kim, pregnant celebrity women only spoke about the positives of pregnancies because that hid the reality they go through while Kim was honest about her experiences.
Too Shrill- Hillary Clinton
This is an amazing chapter as it talks about how women politicians are criticised for possessing qualities attributed to male politicians such as a desire for power, aggressiveness, leadership, etc.
Too Queer- Caitlyn Jenner
Heteronormativity or the belief that individuals fall into described gender with natural roles of life is the subject of this essay.
Too Loud- Jennifer Weiner
This essay refers to the battering intelligent women writers go through. ‘Everything that women think is trash’ and they should not try to match up to mans’ standard of writing. Criticism comes most to women writing and writers.
Too Naked- Lena Dunham
This chapter focuses on the criticism media puts out to women who flaunt their beauty and sexuality. It is considered shameful.
If you still find yourself asking why must I read this novel? Then you must know that this book is the perfect example of a work for women, by a woman. If you constantly ponder ‘how will the society react if I do this or say that?’ then you are trapped too! Each attempt to break out of gender roles is followed by a media upsurge or a disturbance in the environment much like how every action has an equal or opposite reaction, and this is exactly what scares us. To bless ourselves with some inspiration and confidence you must discover the world of these unruly women.