Google+ Reading Teen: Book Review and Giveaway: Read My Hips by Kim Brittingham, also... Amy Pulls a Skeleton OUT of the Closet!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Read My Hips by Kim Brittingham, also... Amy Pulls a Skeleton OUT of the Closet!

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (May 3, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307464385
ISBN-13: 978-0307464385
Buy the book: Amazon
Follow Kim on Twitter

Kim Brittingham struggled for years with her weight and body image before she learned how to love herself unconditionally, find her confidence, and fully enjoy her life. In her unflinching, humorous, and uplifting memoir, she openly explores her complex relationships with food and dieting, sex and dating, and exercise and health, ultimately inspiring every woman to live life to the absolute fullest, no matter what your jeans size.

READ MY HIPS: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large (May 2011, Three Rivers Press) is Brittingham’s first published memoir. In it, she shares many body-image focused anecdotes from her life, including:

– Creating a fake book titled, FAT IS CONTAGIOUS: How Sitting Next to a Fat Person Can Make YOU Fat, and then carrying it openly on the buses of New York City – as a social experiment.

– Her experience starring in a pilot video series for NBC Universal.

– Her experiences with the plus size clothing industry which often shames and disrespects their target customers by refusing to show their product on size-appropriate models, and foregoing quality details. She also discovered while working at a glossy fashion magazine for plus sizes, that some advertisers did not want to be affiliated with fat women. The cosmetic company Shiseido refused to advertise in the magazine because they didn’t want fat women being seen at their cosmetic counters.

– Her experience working at a national weight loss center chain which put profit ahead of health and encouraged clients to put off living their dreams until they got thin.

– Photographing herself in her underwear and how it helped her to learn to love and appreciate her body.

– How a story about Marilyn Monroe’s ability to attract attention in disguise just by altering her walk inspired Kim to do a similar experiment on the streets of Philadelphia. She learned that the way a woman carries herself makes all the difference in the way she’s perceived by others — regardless of her weight.

Brittingham wrote READ MY HIPS while working as a patent prosecution legal assistant in New York City. She write it in 45-minute increments on her lunch hour, on a second-hand laptop in the office lunch room. - Courtesy of

I was reading a really popular book this week and it got kinda boring... So I began looking for something else to dive into for a short time. I looked over and saw Read My Hips on my bookshelf next to all my BEA books. I decided to read this book because after reading just the introduction, I related immediately. I was finished in just a few days, not my usual read I know. I'm really glad to have read this book; I think this might be the first non-fiction book I have ever read completely.

I'm not sure if I was the target audience for Read My Hips. However, this book hit home in so many ways. Let me explain...

Politically correct disclaimer: I struggled a bit with exactly which words to use to describe the subject at hand. Rather than dance around it, I decided to follow the lead of the author and hope not to offend anyone along the way .

Kim Brittingham wrote this book about her own insecurities of being fat. She told story after story of how she learned how to deal with her obesity and her negative/poor body image. As I read this book I started thinking about me and my negative/poor body image. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not overweight. I am 5'4" and weight 130 lbs. yet I still have doubts and struggles every day. I am constantly looking in the mirror naked/not naked and think... "Really? how is it that your thighs are so big, you barely eat." or "I can't believe your butt still looks soft, you've been working out." or "skip dinner for a month, you'll drop five pounds". I have always been consumed with my weight, I weigh myself every day. I usually don't weigh myself if I have had anything to eat or drink, and I love weighing myself in the mornings after I have gone to the bathroom. Yes, I can be obsessed. It can be very tiring, constantly thinking about what I look like in a pair of jeans or if my stomach is ‘poochy’ at all.

I have had five children and I am frustrated that I can never get back to where I was before they came around. So that's it, I am completely obsessed with my weight. And it sucks! I know what some of you who read this might think. Maybe you can't understand why in the world I would obsess over something so insignificant, but that's just it! I have always had a very poor body image. What is really sad, is that my sister, who is three years younger than me (also has five children) feels exactly the same way I do. I look at her and think "are you kidding me??? Look at her, she is 5'6" and weighs 122lbs. and yet she is as self-absorbed about her weight and body issues as I am. (Pathetic, I know) I am not in any way saying that we struggle with the day-to-day issues as people who are overweight. I am also not saying that we know what it feels likes to be overweight. However, poor body image and food disorders exist in all kinds of people and at different levels. It does not in any way make my experiences, pain and obsession about my weight issue any less than that of a fat person. I know how I see myself can and is a disorder.

Reading this book Read My Hips really helped me. This is why I don’t think you need to be overweight to get something from this book. Kim talks about hiding her weight by wearing much bigger clothes and going on diet after diet when she wasn't even heavy as a teen. I have done both of those, I would wear huge clothes as a teen and I went to Weight Watchers at the age of twelve. The funny thing is, is that I wasn't fat at all. So when I was reading Kim's book there was so much I related with, even though I am not heavy. This book made me laugh and think about all the crazy things I have done in the past or the things I have thought about myself.

I was reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rea Carson not too long ago and the main character Elisa is a very full figured teen. Embarrassingly enough, I had a very hard time with this. I refused to think of her as fat, I could not get into the book at first because she was constantly sweating and she ‘felt like a sausage in her clothes’, and mainly just because she, in my head, was beautiful and perfect. I got over my stupidity and judgmental attitude very quickly. I fell in love with Elisa, I thought she was very smart and the way she handle being overweight was very normal. When I say normal, I mean it bothered her somewhat to be heavy, just because it kept her from walking long distances, and she would sweat so much. Elisa ended up being one of my favorite heroines in the end, and it had nothing to do with her weight.

So to tie all this together, I would like to say that I am getting better at weighing in everyday, looking and judging my thighs in the mirror, just eating cereal for dinner, and judging heavy people. I hate all that stuff about me. I want my girls to look at themselves differently; I want them to see how beautiful they are. Skinny or not, I want my daughters to love themselves for who they are, not how skinny they look in the mirror. I want to tell all the young teen girls out there that, it really isn't worth your time obsessing over weight and body issues. Like Kim says in her book Read My Hips... "And regardless of what size or shape my body may be, no matter how it may change --- bigger, smaller, looser, and older --- I want to be loved just as I am. I, in my natural packaging, appreciated for the whole that I am, for the wonderful innate qualities I bring to the table." page 87

This is not your typical self-help book; Kim Brittingham was funny, direct and left nothing on the table. I loved it! This book is a quick, witty, great read. Perfect for the not-so-confident-in-front-of-the-mirror type of reader.

My sister Robin and me!

So I am giving away this book to one lucky (not-so-confident-in-the-mirror) follower! I am giving my very own BEA '11 copy away. I'm sorry it's not signed... dang. 

- Open International
- Ends 12-1-11
- Must be a follower
- MUST LEAVE A COMMENT down below to enter!




  1. This sounds just like my kinda read! Not only do I love memoirs, and the fact that this book was written by a strong female personality is definitely a bonus!

    Love the cover too :-D !!

    GFC follower
    danaan at gmx dot at

  2. This sounds amazing! I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. I would love to win this book! Thanks!!

    Oh my goodness, Amy, you are BEAUTIFUL!!

    widsfam7 @ digis dot net

  4. I've never been very large, but I definitely struggle with my weight. My mother would tell me my thighs were fat and made sure I knew which clothes made me look big.

    I look in the mirror and I see flabby thighs, a poochy stomache, and huge hips (followed of course by an undersized top)

    People of all sizes have issues, and I think this book would be great for anyone who thinks little of their image.

    Word Ver: "Amenn" <--it agrees lol

  5. @Danielle Yes, mothers are very important in a young girls life. That is why I am careful about how I approach them about eating the right foods and getting exercise. I want them to view themselves as healthy.

    It is so sad how teen girls view Hollywood and the music scene. So much is cropped and photoshopped, I hate when my girls look at that and think... 'I want to look like her!'

    I feel like this is a never ending battle in today's society. With all the plastic surgery, the madness is just getting worse.

  6. Well - isn't this an original memoir! This sounds like a fun, uplifting and powerful read.

    Life's too short to sweat the small stuff (and sometimes big stuff too.) lol

  7. Great review!
    I'm right there with you on the self-image. I've had two kids and am actually near my pre-pregnancy weight now ... but before babies there was a lot more muscle than fat and now that ratio is reversed! Of course, I wasn't happy with my body then either. So, I try to constantly remind myself to enjoy it now, give myself permission to love my body how it is TODAY, because well, I'm not getting any younger and I know in 20 years I'll be looking back saying, "I thought I was fat?!" because I am already doing that with my 20year younger self now! LOL

    Thanks for the review and opportunity for a book! :)


  8. This sounds like a good read!
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Kara DiDomizio

  9. I would love to read this book. I worry a lot about passing my own weight issues to my daughter.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. amy i think you look wonderful i cant believe you had 5 kids! i gained 10lbs after 2!!

    mel91284 at yahoo dot com

  11. Brilliant review!!! I'm glad it's more about self image than society's image. No matter how many times someone says "It's what's inside that counts" to some degree it does matter to the person that they be pretty outside for the world. I love how this book is talking about loving yourself first :D


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