Julie Burchill writes:
No one with an ounce of compassion is going to condemn a woman for trying to make sense of a traumatic sexual assault through the medium she feels most comfortable in. But after establishing in the opening pages that it was the rape which led to her weight gain, all sorts of other things are co-opted, until we reach a cacophony of complaint in which the central issue jostles for space with being Haitian; not being taught to cook by her mum; coming from Nebraska; discovering junk food at boarding school; and being merely ‘upper-middle class’, while her schoolmates ‘have so much money at their disposal they take lavish spending for granted’.
The carping never stops.
By the time I got to where Gay is weighed and measured at a gastric-bypass clinic — where the air is thoughtlessly ‘frigid and antiseptic’ (as opposed to the humid and germ-ridden atmosphere one would presumably prefer a hospital to have) and she writes, ‘It was clear that they did this every day. I was not unique. I was not special. I was a body, one requiring repair’ — I’m afraid I snorted with laughter. What sort of princess bewails the fact that busy health workers don’t make her feel special and unique? This is taking the politics of ‘Because I’m Worth It’ too far.