In her new book Fat, Pretty, and Soon to Be Old: A Makeover for Self and Society
(AK Press 2019), sociologist and storyteller Kimberly Dark
considers what it means to look a certain way. Integrating memoir with cultural critique, Dark describes her experience navigating the world as a fat, queer, white-privileged, gender-conforming, eventually disabled, and inevitably aging “girl with a pretty face.” Her essays take on self-improvement, self-acceptance, sexual attraction, language, aging, queer visibility, fashion, family, femininity, feminism, yoga culture, airplane seats, and the vilifying of fatness in the name of good health, among other compelling topics. Along the way, Dark edges readers toward a deeper understanding of how privileged (and stigmatized) appearances function in everyday life, and how the architecture of the social world constrains us all.
Carrie Lane is a Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton and author of A Company of One: Insecurity, Independence, and the New World of White-Collar Unemployment. Her research concerns the changing nature of work in the contemporary U.S. She is currently writing a book on the professional organizing industry. To contact her or to suggest a recent title, email firstname.lastname@example.org.