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  • Kelly Mangan

Open Letter to Angie Manfredi & the contributors of THE (OTHER) F WORD

Dear Angie, Your YA anthology, THE (OTHER) F WORD, was incredibly meaningful to me. Even though I am way older than your target demographic, there were times that I cried while reading it.

Each and every contributor made me feel inspired, empowered, loved, and SEEN in a myriad of ways-- some of which I didn't even know I needed until that moment.

As a fat writer, I want to say thank you for this book. The solidarity within its pages gave me a sense of belonging, starting from your opening letter: an affirmation that there’s a community larger than ourselves which is holding out its arms and saying, “Yes, you.”

Here are just a few passages that really spoke to me:

“Don’t sidekick yourself! ...Don’t you dare put yourself on the sidelines, Fat Babe! You are just as worthy of the spotlight as anyone else. You weren’t born to let other people shine for you.”

~Lily Anderson “Identities are not fixed. From race to size to everything in between, these are not templates. They’re tools for parsing your own experience. And as soon as they don’t work, you can set them aside and use something else.”

~S. Qiouyi Lu “For plus-size people, the mall can be fraught with heartache and frustration.”

(Ain’t that the truth!)

~Bruce Sturgell “When I was asked to write something for this anthology, I was excited. But then I had a moment that many of us who are fat go through—doubt of our magnificence.” ~Isabel Quintero Another reason I think your book means so much to me is that it shows a diverse range of people and experiences, and really affirms that there is NO ONE RIGHT WAY to be fat. All of our experiences, identities, feelings, and aspirations are valid. We are valid.

Using your powerful words as fuel, I will try my best not to "doubt my magnificence" as I continue to “create the representation that I’d like to see in the world." With love, Kelly Mangan

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