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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and…

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman (edition 2017)

by Anne Helen Petersen (Author)

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16811110,200 (3.93)14
A popular BuzzFeed columnist examines the phenomenon of popular provocative womanhood to discuss the rise of such counterculture stars as Amy Schumer, Nicki Minaj, and Caitlyn Jenner, exploring why they are popular in spite of nonconforming behaviors. "From celebrity gossip expert and Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen comes an accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an 'acceptable' woman. You know the type: the woman who won't shut up, who's too brazen, too opinionated--too much. It's not that she's an outcast (she might even be your friend, or your wife, or your mother) so much as she's a social variable. Sometimes, she's the life of the party; others, she's the center of gossip. She's the unruly woman, and she's one of the most provocative, powerful forms of womanhood today. There have been unruly women for as long as there have been boundaries of what constitutes acceptable 'feminine' behavior, but there's evidence that she's on the rise--more visible and less easily dismissed--than ever before. In Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, Anne Helen Petersen uses the lens of 'unruliness' to explore the ascension of eleven contemporary pop culture powerhouses: Serena Williams, Melissa McCarthy, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Hillary Clinton, Caitlyn Jenner, Jennifer Weiner, and Lena Dunham. Petersen explores why the public loves to love (and hate) these controversial figures, each of whom has been conceived as 'too' something: too queer, too strong, too honest, too old, too pregnant, too shrill, too much. With its brisk, incisive analysis, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud will be a conversation-starting book on what makes and breaks celebrity today."--Jacket.… (more)
Title:Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
Authors:Anne Helen Petersen (Author)
Info:Plume (2017), 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen



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ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Women have grown up with an expectation that they must be a certain way, but as they age they challenge those societal norms, embracing who they are loudly and proudly. Anne Helen Petersen challenges the preconceived notion of how women must be with ten analytical essays that breakdown how women are perceived, specifically in the media. The celebrities featured in each essay come from different background, their careers vary, and their type of unruly behavior is not the same, but the message from AHP is clear; society's perception of women is an issue that needs to be challenged.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman is written by Anne Helen Petersen, an author with Buzzfeed. The Buzzfeed part will either scare off readers or bring more to the table. AHP examines ten female celebrities and the media's perception of them; Serena Williams is too strong, Nicki Minaj is too slutty, and Jennifer Weiner is too loud. The short essays, though about different celebrities, read very similarly to one another and I found that they were better when read over a lengthy period of time. The unruly behaviors became repetitive, but I still found myself challenging my own preconceived notion of myself, of other women, and of celebrities. You'd think it might be hard to connect yourself to Nicki Minaj, a female rapper who makes money in higher quantities than I could ever imagine having, but AHP writes in a way that has you nodding your head and putting yourself in their shoes. In fact, that was my favorite essay of all and I am not a fan of her music at all. The essay broke down her struggles to get respect, to embrace who she was, and how she continues to challenge the world to embrace her as well. I don't have to be a fan of her music to respect her drive, her continued reign in the music industry, and her smoking hot body that if I had I'd probably show off too.

I didn't agree with the entire book, because AHP calls out some celebrities by name who have embraced the societal norm. There's no study to why they may have chosen that route, but rather harsh judgement and critique, which I felt really took away from the message of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud. The book challenges the reader to look at specific celebrities' hurdles and how they overcome them publicly, yet puts down those that embrace their feminism in a different way. It comes across as telling the reader we should applaud and celebrate those that are truly unruly (we should), but condemn those that are happy as housewives with lifestyle brands (we definitely should not). If I rate this on a personal level, I think it's a novel that can challenge readers to accept unruly behavior, that shows the positives, but I also think it does nothing to challenge the judgement we inflict on one another every day. In fact, it reads as though AHP encourages readers to judge those blonde, thin celebrities that are classic in their aging, as though that is a negative when it is in fact not. I think it was appropriate of AHP to compare women to one another, in several essays the comparison is complimentary, but in others I think it was a step backwards. I would've been happier had the message been more about accepting every type of size, age, look, attitude, etc. If we are to truly reach a point where we are equal women too need to embrace both the "standard definition" of femininity and the unruly femininity featured in this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud and Anne Helen Petersen does an excellent job of taking a massive topic, Women's Studies, and making it easy to read and very accessible. The book is branded in a way that will bring in more readers and I think that's an incredibly positive step forward. In a world where many people rely on the gossip of celebrities' lives in order to make any decisions, AHP breaks down the media critique and how it impacts their personal lives and how it changes our humanity. I think the subject matter is excellent for reaching a broad customer base and will encourage discussions with its thought-provoking exam of feminism and pop culture. I may not have agreed with the entire book, but I agree with its goal and I think more women need to be challenging the norm and turning their judgement into acceptance. ( )
  CarleneInspired | Jun 14, 2019 |
I give this book 4.5 stars.

Anne Helen Petersen uses notable women in pop culture to illustrate the pressures faced by women who don't meet society's expectations of a certain "feminine" behavior. This includes women deemed too fat, too slutty, too loud, too strong, too old, too queer, too shrill, too gross, too pregnant, and too naked. Each topic is broken out into an essay built around the relevant pop culture example - for example, Serena Williams is used to illustrate how society treats a woman deemed "too strong." (Petersen does acknowledge that any woman of color, as well as queer and trans women, automatically have more judgement to overcome than white/cis/het women.)

Overall, this is a great book and really speaks to women who themselves have been told they are too much or not enough of something. I deducted 1/2 a star only because I think the essays could have worked in more of the complexity of each woman and her role within the machine itself (e.g. Kardashian was indeed body shamed during pregnancy, but she also peddles appetite-suppressant pops on Instagram.) None of us are free from our own problematic behavior - but I understood where Petersen was going with her essays and that each piece was more about the topic than the person used for illustrative purposes. ( )
  underthebookpile | Jan 27, 2019 |
My Review of "The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Women" by Anne Helen Peterson PLUME, An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC 2017

I appreciate the timeless hours of research that Anne Helen Peterson, Author of "The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman" has spent in providing, what I feel seem like "essays" of famous women in today's Pop Culture. Is it any wonder in today's "Me Too" Generation, that there is a feeling of discontent? There always has been a difference in the way men and women have been treated in terms of Politics, Salaries, and Role- models. This book will make you feel something. I know that I had very strong feelings, and memories of many unfair things have happened through the years. Recently, I did research on a car I wanted to purchase. Only when I brought my husband to "sit" while I discussed what I wanted, was I taken seriously.

What is "Unruly" behavior? According to the dictionary, "unruly" disorderly and disruptive and not amenable to discipline or control." The women discussed in these chapters have "exhibited " "UNRULY" behavior in one way or another, and the outcomes are different.

The author spans across women in today's Pop-culture, and focuses on the things that make them seem unruly. These are the chapters and women discussed: "1"Too Strong"-Serena Williams. 2. "Too Fat- Melissa McCarthy" 3. "Too Gross"-Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer" 4. 'Too Slutty"-Nicki Minaj" 5. "Too Old"-Madonna 6.Too Pregnant"- "Kim Kardashian" 7. "Too Shrill"-Hilary Clinton" 8."Too Queer"- Caitlyn Jenner " 9. "Too Loud" -Jennifer Weiner" and "Too Naked"- Lena Durham"

This is a "taste" of the smorgasbord of "unruly" women, but you really have to read the chapters to understand more. For example, Author Jennifer Weiner, not only wanted to be recognized for her own accomplishments, she wanted the New York Times to represent Women Authors Seriously. Kudos to Jennifer Weiner for opening the door to The New York Times to hire a woman in that department, and give women authors a fair chance.

This is a dry book that at times, feels like I was doing homework. There were some intriguing points of interest mentioned and researched data for each chapter. There is not one touch of humor at all.

I stay away from describing my feelings about politics. I have seen friends give ultimatums and become bullies if things weren't seen their way. I could see that this book could set off some arguments about society and the establishment. The chapters on "Fatness" and "Aging" as well as Pregnancy, and the other chapters are all open to possibly unfriendly debate. This is not an easy read, and certainly doesn't fall in the category of "entertainment" . I would recommend this for readers that show an interest in reading about contemporary issues with an open mind. ( )
  teachlz | Jul 30, 2018 |
Petersen presents common "complaints" about women today through examples of famous women who people point the finger at for embodying those traits. Instead, Petersen turns the negative connotations on their heads and praises the women who dare to be other than what some would deem acceptable. Nothing in here is terribly revolutionary, but it was still enjoyable to read these feminist essays. ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | May 31, 2018 |
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I am not someone who stays on trend with what is happening in pop culture, so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't get some of the references that were being discussed. But she kept her analysis to cultural icons that were easily identifiable. What was interesting about that approach was that each carried baggage of their personas. The chapter I thought I would least like ended up being the one that impacted me the most- the discussion of Kim Kardashian West and her agency of her body. Through the analysis of that public figure, the scorn that is leveled against her and the things that she tries to do to reassert her control gave me a much-needed reminder that feminism is for all women, not just ones that I identify with. And on the flip side, the icon I thought I would breeze through the chapter on, Madonna, really caught me. The idea of how getting older has shaped her career and choices was illuminating and less liberating.

This is a book that I would certainly give to someone new to feminism that may not yet want to read about feminist theory with a lot of jargon. This was a great gateway into that, using modern pop culture icons as exemplars to guide the conversation. I think it was very well done and I have thought about some of the chapters long since I put the book down. ( )
  HardcoverHearts | Mar 24, 2018 |
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