Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith
The Burnt Toast Podcast
It's Time for Book Gospel!
52
Preview
0:00
-37:55

It's Time for Book Gospel!

Plus leggings legs, thigh gaps, and the best jeans.
52

You’re listening to Burnt Toast!

We are Virginia Sole-Smith and Corinne Fay, and it’s time for your January Indulgence Gospel.

This month instead of the usual listener questions, we are doing a late winter / early spring books forecast where we’re going to tell you about a whole bunch of books we are very excited to be reading!

Indulgence gospel episodes are usually paywalled, but we’re keeping the entire books discussion free today. You will need to be a paid Burnt Toast subscriber to listen to Butter, which includes recommendations from some of the authors featured in today’s episode for:

  • A specially engineered wireless bra

  • An under the radar TV show

  • Where to get the best cannoli

  • and MORE!

Subscriptions are $5 per month or $50 for the year. You can join Extra Butter for just $99 for the year—which includes a monthly live chat and even more Indulgence Gospel, plus a comp subscription to

.


This transcript contains affiliate links. Shopping our links is another great way to support Burnt Toast!

Episode 131 Transcript

Corinne

Are you ready to talk about pants?

Virginia

When are we not talking about pants?

Corinne

That was my smooth segue.

Virginia

That was good. In the outline it just says “Corinne segue us to pants chat” and you did it.

Corinne

I think the the thing that we can’t avoid talking about right now is leggings legs. If you’ve been on Instagram or TikTok, you have probably heard leggings legs

Virginia

I have and I wish I had not. 

Corinne

The thing about leggings legs is I learned about it because I’m seeing everyone on TikTok and Instagram have a reaction to it. 

When I tried to find out what leggings legs were specifically, I started by searching TikTok. Now when you search “leggings legs” on TikTok now it gives you the number for National Eating Disorder Awareness hotline. 

So this has quickly been turned around. The only thing I could even find was some very small scale influencer responding to a comment on her video where someone said “you have the perfect legs for leggings,” and she was like, “oh, thanks, I didn’t know,” and did a little spin. From what I can gather, the perfect leggings legs are you have a thigh gap.

Virginia

Right? It’s a new way of saying thigh gap. 

Corinne

Yes. Everyone reacted so quickly being like, “this is bullshit,” that it’s over. 

Virginia

Well, you know what? I’m going to just say hi five team, then. This was a great rapid response effort. If you Google it, you immediately get all the news coverage being like, “people are outraged about the leggings leg trend.”

Corinne

Yeah, but none of the news stories even link to the origin of this leggings legs thing.

Virginia

I wonder if it’s like a wag the dog situation where there was no origin. Was this planted? Are we being distracted from a larger issue?

Corinne

I would love to know. Did Lululemon plant the story so everyone is googling “leggings”?

Virginia

Now all your targeted ads are serving you leggings? We are contributing to that effort by having this conversation. I want to mostly be thrilled that our services weren’t even needed. I think the Gen Z activists were like, shut it down. But it also makes me wonder like, was it ever anything? 

Corinne

Even if we didn’t have the term leggings legs, I feel like everyone already knew—

Virginia

—about thigh gaps. Do we need to explain that you don’t need to have a thigh gap? That it’s normal for human thighs to touch one another? I don’t know. It feels like it’s not a conversation we even need to have anymore.

Corinne

Maybe I’m just too old for this now that I’m 38.

Virginia

That was never one of my body hang ups to begin with. It’s so interesting what different body parts we get sold the narrative about. My peak bout body anxiety years were not thigh gap years, they were torso years. It was like the Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, exposed midriff. That’s my trauma. Did you have thigh gap trauma? 

Leave a comment

Corinne

I think thigh gap just always felt so out of reach for me. My thighs didn’t gap from the day I was born. Even as like a mid size teen, still was not close. 

Virginia

Okay. So leggings legs has come and gone. We are deeming it over.

Corinne

Nobody needs to worry about it. Jeans legs, on the other hand…

Virginia

You’re excited about some new jeans and I think I want to order to them, but you need to teach me what to order. 

Corinne

Okay, well, first of all, these are not new jeans. 

Virginia

They’re new to you? They’re new to me. 

Corinne

They’re new to no one. They’re old. I’m just trying to get more people to buy them because people are constantly asking, “what are the best jeans?” and I’m always like, “these are the best jeans.” No one is listening to me.

Virginia

I mean, I did spend all that time telling people there are no good jeans. So I may have undercut you. Apologies. 

Corinne

Oh yes, that’s true. There are good jeans. Well, for me.

I like jeans from Universal Standard. I only like their like straight leg styles. Everyone recommends these skinny jeans from Universal Standard and I really don’t like the fabric of them. It’s too thin. It wears out instantaneously. 

Virginia

Due to my lack of thigh gap, I have busted through those thighs. 

Corinne

Same and also I think it’s like too stretchy to the point where they just don’t stay up. 

Virginia

No, they don’t. 

Corinne

So my personal favorite jeans from Universal Standard are the Donna style1, which is a “curve” style. I would not consider myself someone who needs to buy “curve” jeans. What they mean by curve is you have a more than 10 inch difference between your waist and hips.

Virginia

I mean, I might but it goes in the other direction.

Corinne

I somehow ended up buying these probably without ever reading that and this is the fit that I like.

The other thing that you need to know about these jeans is that when I measure my body and when I look at the size chart, I’m between like a size 26 and a 28 on the size chart. The size of jeans that fits me is a 24. So, a full size below the smallest measurement of my body according to the size chart. 

Virginia

It does say right on the website that the fit runs generous! So others have confirmed that. That’s not just a Corinne fluke.

Corinne

It’s not just me. Everyone needs to size down at least one size, possibly two. I know that’s very stressful and basically maybe means ordering more than one pair and returning them.

Then I just want to shout out a few other styles which is the Etta which is the same style as Donna but in a straight cut. 

Virginia

It also looks like it has a longer leg? The Donna looks a little cropped to me. 

Corinne

Etta has one inch longer leg. And the Donna, if you look at the back view has a dart between the pocket and the waist. The Etta has no dart, so that’s the difference between like curve and straight. I don’t have like a huge butt, so I don’t know that I need a dart, but I do have a big belly, so maybe it helps with that. 

And then the other style that I like is Stevie. Stevie has a cuff and has a thicker, lower elastic denim and is also like the “straight” style cut. So less than 10 inch gap between your waist and butt.

Then the other one I like is Bae, which has a 30 inch inseam (also comes in crop style!). Bae is the style that I originally got from Universal Standard, the first pair I tried. And they lasted me like so long. I’ve had them through size fluctuation and I still haven’t worn through the thighs 

I will say a lot of these are sold out right now, but just sign up for the notifications because they come back all the time.

Virginia

I mean, by the time we finished recording, they’re going to have restocks.

Corinne

Or have just cancelled all these styles and now no one can get them.

Virginia

I’m going to have to spend some time thinking about which of these I’m going to try and I will report back to everybody. I’ve had a lot of personal growth and I’m embracing a straight leg and I’m proud of it. 

Corinne

I can’t wait to see.

Corinne in the Donna Jeans

Virginia

I still struggle with boots and straight leg jeans. I’m just still on my unlearning journey there. But I think I think I can get into some of this. Oh, the Etta comes in fun colors, too.

Corinne

I would never, but you do you. I do white jeans. I actually haven’t tried their white styles. Maybe I should.

Share

Virginia

That feels like an oversight.

Corinne

As a tiny add on, I will say that Universal Standard just came out with some 100% Cotton denim jeans, which I have ordered, but have not arrived.2 

Virginia

We have no Intel but they might be worth exploring, too. But that means there’s going to be no stretch.

Corinne

No stretch. But I think they say you order your size. I was confused about whether I would order my normal Universal Standard denim jeans size or my size according to the size chart. I bought two sizes, so we’ll see. 

Virginia

To be clear, we are not sponsored by Universal Standard. I think they are a great company and they are the best for a wider range of fat fashion options. And, I want to make sure I can maintain the ability to be critical of them because they are not a perfect company. I want to make sure we’re always not getting clouded by them offering us free stuff or money. I think they’re an important company for Burnt Toast to be paying attention to, but not for financial gain. They’re kind of all we have. 

I also want to say that as I’ve been living in my joggers and I continue to live in my joggers, I did have the realization that part of the reason I was living in my joggers is that none of my other pants fit. It was time for a size up. I don’t know why I didn’t put it together more quickly. I put jeans on to get dressed up, as discussed they are formal wear for me now. And was like, oh, they just don’t fit. That’s the problem. They just got too tight. Which happens! Because bodies change. It’s all good. And even my Universal Standard Ponte pants I just ordered in the next size up because they had also gotten too tight and those are a very stretchy pant. I just need a bigger size. 

Corinne

It’s helpful to have a little stretchy, soft pant phase while you’re figuring it out. 

Virginia

I think if I noticed it more quickly, I would have just bought more jeans real quickly. I wasn’t in denial necessarily, but sometimes you don’t notice and it was nice having the soft pants and not having to think about it, I guess. I have compassion and grace for myself as I size up and look forward to my pants no longer cutting into my internal organs. I think I’m going to love that for me. 

Corinne

I love that for you as well. 

Virginia

One last pants update is because the snow pants recs are still coming in. I got some secondhand Eddie Bauer 2X snowpants off SellTradePlus. The seller sent them so quickly. So my snow pants needs are met. I haven’t had a chance to fully test them because we haven’t had that kind of snow again. But for $65 versus the $400 pair I was close to impulse purchasing? And they’re a very pretty emerald green.

Corinne

Awesome. That’s so great.

Virginia

Should we get into books? I’m excited to do a books episode. What’s your first book for us, Corinne?

Corinne

The first book I want to talk about is Sewing the Curve: Learn How to Sew Clothes to Boost Your Wardrobe and Your Confidence by Jenny Rushmore who runs the website Cashmerette. She’s one of the original fat sewing bloggers. And this book is really cool. It’s just a great guide if you’re getting started sewing plus size patterns. It covers tons of basics like tools, choosing the right pattern, how to measure yourself for sizing, troubleshooting sewing machines, grading between sizes if you want to make a dress but you’re one size on top and one size on the bottom. There’s also some really cool stuff that I haven’t seen elsewhere, like a little section on sewing with chronic illness or disability and how to go about that in a way that is less taxing on your body, which I thought was cool. The book also includes six printed patterns that go up to size 32.

I also wanted to just like quickly mention this other thing that Jenny does, which is called MyBodyModel. It’s a website that lets you make a little custom body drawing that you can use to plan your wardrobe or see how stuff would look on you. 

Virginia

That sounds fun. 

Corinne

I know! It uses your measurements, I think, to generate a little model of yourself. And I just feel like there are probably some people in the Burnt Toast community who would find that fun.

Virginia

I’m on the website right now. This looks really fun. Is the idea for planning patterns and that kind of thing?

Corinne

I think there are a bunch of ways you could use it. You could use it if you’re a sewist and want to think about what fabrics you want to use or what garments you want to make, or you could use it if you’re like doing some kind of wardrobe clean out and you want to put together outfits or something like that.

Virginia

It’s almost like the closet from Clueless come to life. 

Corinne

Yes, totally. 

Virginia

I feel like they’re missing a branding opportunity by not mentioning that, but yeah, that is super, super cool. I am never going to sew my own clothes. But I really love how many sewists we have in Burnt Toast and I love that for everybody. I did have a brief fling with sewing in high school where I made some dresses and I think I just learned that I’m a little too Type A for that hobby. My skills did not match up to my perfectionist nature. There was a mismatch.

Corinne

That totally makes sense. 

Virginia

I took a sewing class in high school and somehow made it through but it was sometimes frustrating. Anyway. Tell us the name of the book again!

Corinne

It’s called Sewing the Curve: Learn How to Sew Clothes to Boost Your Wardrobe and Your Confidence and the author is Jenny Rushmore from Cashmerette.

Virginia

Love it.

My first book that I’m going to talk about is The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza, friend of the show. And I cannot put it down. I considered being very behind on all of my work today so that I could finish it this morning. I started it yesterday. Jo writes excellent—I believe she’s categorized as “women’s fiction,” but she’s been on the podcast before talking about her love of writing good food in fiction. And this book takes place mostly in Sicily. You need to understand what a good food novel it is. How do I plan a trip to Sicily? It’s really good food writing. 

The main character, Sara is a butcher / restaurant owner who has torpedoed her life in a bunch of ways, getting a divorce and drinking too much, and losing her restaurant. Then her great aunt dies and her final request is for Sara to go to Sicily to the village their family is from and scatter her ashes. When she gets there, she also discovers that she has to solve the murder mystery of her great grandmother, which is based on a true story from Jo’s family—she’s from Sicily and there is a mystery about the death of her great grandmother. Jo has also been recording a whole podcast about this which I’m really excited to dive into. 

The other amazing thing about it is I love stories about unexpected pockets of radical feminism. What I mean by that is like a lot of the book is a flashback to the great grandmother’s life growing up in like the 1910s and 1920s in Sicily, and they’re in this tiny village. It’s patriarchy and the women have very few options. But then because a lot of the men started leaving Sicily to go to America because they thought they would make more money there, the women end up basically running the village because there’s like no men left to do anything. It’s this cool story of how they become self taught doctors and bakers and all these different jobs. So if you like a good mystery, if you like… I don’t know what the genre is that includes unexpected pockets or radical feminism, but if that’s something you look for in books, and really good food writing—The Sicilian Inheritance. It’s delightful.

Corinne

That sounds amazing. 

Virginia

Yep. What have you got next?

Corinne

The next one I want to talk about is this book Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncover the True Meaning of Strength by Alyssa Ages. This is an interesting book. It’s part memoir, personal narrative, and part research. Basically, the premise is that following a miscarriage, Alyssa starts to pursue strength training more seriously, and specifically strongman training.

Virginia

Is strongman different from powerlifting?

Corinne

Yes, it’s very different. If you went to a strongman competition, people would be lifting up huge stones and lifting up these like fake metal logs and hoisting them over their heads. Yeah, it’s different and it’s very interesting. I am super interested to try it.

Leave a comment

 Virginia

Stay tuned for Corinne’s Stongman essay.

Corinne

Yeah. It’s kind of an interesting story. I think a lot of Burnt Toast people would be interested. Like, okay, now she’s like not having kids anymore and kind of reclaiming her body and trying to figure out what else she can do with her body. She talks to a lot of athletes about their experiences and wrestles with ideas about femininity and weightlifting and what being “bulky” means and how women are taught that weakness is sexy and stuff like that. And then eventually, she does a strongman competition and eventually she also goes to strongman nationals. So, yeah, it’s just kind of an interesting story if you’re interested in strength training and feminism and how those things kind of fit together.

Virginia

I just finished listening to Julia Turshen’s lonform essay about powerlifting that she published with Roxane Gay. It’s incredible. I really didn’t think I was interested in powerlifting. Like, I do enjoy my weekly strength training workouts with Lauren Leavell, but I don’t think I’m ever going down this rabbit hole with y’all. I just don’t need to own that many different types of shoes and a singlet and the gym vibe is not for me. And I was riveted reading. Like, it is so cool to read stories of people, especially fat folks, especially women, finding power in their bodies and finding healing through doing this. 

Corinne

I love that essay and I was really excited to read it. I will say Alyssa is a straight size person but still just wrestling with a lot of the same stuff that we all do. 

Virginia

There are some universal pieces to this.

Corinne

Yeah, so that one is Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncover the True Meaning of Strength by Alyssa Ages. 

Virginia

Okay, I’m going to talk about a book that is already out—it came out in December—but it is On the Plus Side by Jenny L. Howe. I just had the total joy of doing one of her book launch events with her this past weekend at Split Rock Books, of course. It is such a fun, fat positive feminist romance. The premise is Everly, the heroine, gets picked for a reality TV show that’s kind of like Queer Eye meets What Not to Wear, but fat positive. And the host is sort of modeled on Nicole Byers. Like, imagine if Nicole Byers did a life coaching fat positive reality show. 

Corinne

I would watch that. 

Virginia

I would absolutely watch it. Nicole, if you’re listening, talk to Jenny. Okay, so she’s doing the show and then there’s a sexy grumpy cameraman who is not fat exactly, but definitely bigger bodied. Not your typical romance hero body. And it’s just super fun and super hot.  

The cool backstory on Jenny is that she has a PhD in medieval literature and she’s a college professor who teaches writing and literature and also writes these romance novels and that combination of things is really great.

She was hilarious and told many good stories. I’ll quickly tell one even though I’m hoping to have her on the podcast for her next book in December, but I think she has endless funny stories. This is not a spoiler but a sex scene in the book features a washer dryer—I’ll let you use your imagination. And she told us that as it happened when she was writing the book, she and her husband purchased a new washer dryer. So she asked her aunt who is her accountant, “can I write off the washer dryer as book research?” And her aunt said, “Only if you can show that it is used 50% of the time for book research.”

Corinne

Wow. I mean…

Virginia

She was like, I don’t know if I can commit to that much book research.

Corinne

That’s incredible.

Virginia

I’ll never not be laughing about that story anyway. Freelancers know we come up with all kinds of justifications for write offs. But yeah, that was a leap.

Corinne

So brave to ask your aunt that!

Virginia

Well, I don’t know if her aunt knew the context of how it was used, I think she was like, “there is a washer dryer in this novel.”

Corinne

The aunt will be in for a shock when she reads the book. 

Virginia

Yes. She just also had so many great things to say about how she thinks about writing fat characters, how she’s always writing against stereotypes and tropes. I already love a great romance but knowing that someone is coming at this genre with really good fat politics behind it is like all the more reason to support her work. She has a new book called How to Get a Life in Ten Dates that comes out in December. So you can go ahead and preorder that right now and we will try to have her on the pod then so we can hear more about all of that. 

Share

Corinne

Is that one also featuring a fat character?

Virginia

She was very clear, she will never not write fat protagonists. Her first novel had a fat female lead and the male lead she described as Ichabod Crane. Then this next one was a fat female lead and a bigger guy who was sort of self conscious about it—adorably so. Then the new one I think both characters are fat.

Corinne

That’s really cool. Okay, the next book I want to talk about I am extremely excited about. It’s Mechanic Shop Femme’s Guide to Car Ownership: Uncomplicating Cars for All of Us. Hopefully some listeners are already familiar with Mechanic Shop Femme! Her Her name is Chaya and she does a lot of great Instagram and Tiktok content. But, yeah, the book is amazing. It covers everything from how to buy a car, how to find a mechanic, whether or not you should consider leasing a car. Then also just like, what maintenance you should do yourself versus taking it to a shop and how to use your car manual and how to check tire pressure—all kinds of great stuff. I can definitely see myself using this book, I can see myself giving it to other people, and I’m just very excited about it. 

Virginia

I am so excited to have it. Probably one of the most gendered things about my marriage was the amount of time I spent never thinking about my cars. Dan just did all the car things.

Corinne

To be honest, that is a selling point of marriage for me. Honestly, I would love to have someone taking care of the car. 

Virginia

There were various other house chores he did that I took on with no problem. Basically, I already kind of did that or knew what to do, and the car I’m just like, oh God, I have to think about the car. I have a lot of gender conditioning fear around it. I don’t think I’m going to be taken seriously when I talk to someone about car repairs or buying a car and I feel extremely self conscious. I had to text a friend to ask, how do I get my state inspection done? Because I have I haven’t done that. It wasn’t hard. In my case, I just went to the dealer and they did it. You can also go to a Valvoline oil change type place.

Corinne

Chaya talks about that a bit at the beginning. She tells a story about wanting to go to test drive cars and calling to ask, can we come test drive cars and then showing up with her partner and basically being told to leave. 

Virginia

Women have all this money. I don’t understand. 

Corinne

I don’t know. But it’s a really good book. She definitely has the knowledge. Her story is also amazing. I think she aged out of the foster care system and then someone got her job at an auto repair place and she just learned all this stuff. She’s really knowledgeable and super smart. She has tons of great content on online about fat car safety and stuff like that. This book is definitely just a great resource.

Virginia

And it comes out in April. So I’m going to say please, please, please preorder it because this is the kind of book we want to do really well. This is such a phenomenal resource and it’s a way to support a fat author working in a space where it is very cis white male dominated. So even if you are like, I’m not that interested in my car, I have a husband who handles the cars, order this book. As I was looking through it, I was like, it’s not actually that hard. It’s that I was told I couldn’t do it. Let’s not let that be a reason we don’t understand things. This is a great resource to help us get over that fear and figure this stuff out. 

Corinne

Totally. I just I think it would be such a great gift for someone graduating.

Virginia

Or getting divorced! It’s a great divorce gift. I’m going to buy it for all my friends.

Corinne

Maybe you can give it along with This American Ex-Wife.

Virginia

Yes! Which we’re going to talk about next. 

You’re going to want your divorce gift package to include Chaya’s book and then the next book you’re going to want to put in it is This American Ex-Wife: How I Ended My Marriage and Started My Life by Lyz Lenz. It is just a real powerhouse of a book.

is also doing a podcast by the same name, which is hilarious and a must listen.

I also want to be clear, this isn’t divorce conversion therapy. You can stay married and do all of this. You can be not partnered at all and get a lot of these books. What Lyz is doing in This American Ex-Wife is going through the history of the institution of marriage to show how it was designed as a way to make women into property to control women’s ability to own a car, forget talking to the mechanic about your car, but own your own car, own your own property, have your own credit cards. All of these things that marriage was set up to prevent women from doing. 

She’s very clear that within this bad system, there are partnerships that defy this, but it’s still a bad system. It’s not surprising that it fails as many people as it does. It really opened my eyes and it helped me understand more about the structural pieces of it and how that had shown up in my own life in ways I hadn’t really grappled with. I mean it for sure convinces me I will not be repeating that process of marriage ever again.

Corinne

Never say never! 

Virginia

Not without a good prenup, let me put it that way. What I think is also important to know about it is it’s really hopeful. I mean, I get it. If you’re married and you’re reading this book in your living room, I think it’s a similar to a concern we had about Fat Talk, which was like will parents want to read a book called Fat Talk in their house where their kid might pick up the book? Are people going to be afraid? I mean, her cover has a burning wedding dress on it. Are people afraid to admit they want to be a part of this conversation? To which I say, you do want to be a part of the conversation. 

There are so many books right now that talk about mom rage or talk about structural forces against women, and we always hear that conversation through the lens of like, well, then how do you ask your partner to help more? How do you make your life better while staying within the same system? I think it’s really helpful to hear you don’t need to be a part of that system, that there is actually another way to do this that’s much happier and much more liberating and it’s not about staying in some angry “I-hate-men” space for the rest of your life. You can just opt out of that. That’s what her book really helped me think through and I found it super helpful.

Corinne

That makes sense. I’m really excited to read that one.

Virginia

Did you have another one? 

Corinne

I just wanted to quickly shout out two books that I’m excited to read, which are not books that anyone sent to me, but just books that are coming out this spring that I’m looking forward to? The first one is The Hunter by Tana French. Do you read her stuff? 

Virginia

Yes, I like her. 

Corinne

I feel like I’ve been waiting for a year for her to put out another book so I’m just super excited for that one. This one is a sequel to The Searcher, which was a story about an ex-cop living in Ireland. It’s not part of the Dublin Murder Squad thing. Maybe that series is over, I don’t know. 

Virginia

One thing I will say about Tana French is I read them and then I’m always like, did I read that one? The titles are too similar and the covers are all white with a tree on them. I would like some more distinction between.

Corinne

That’s a great point. Most of the books of hers that I’ve read, I’ve listened to. They always have really good Irish readers and there’s a lot of descriptive language where you can just kind of listen and zone out a little bit. It’s a great audio book. 

Then the other one I am excited about is Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez. She wrote the book Olga Dies Dreaming which I really liked. I’m excited for this one. 

Virginia

She’s a really beautiful writer. 

Another one, I am excited to read that I have not read yet—I’m still on divorce. I didn’t intend this to be a divorce episode.

Corinne

That’s fine, we all have our interests. 

Virginia

We have our hobbies. But Sara Peterson just read Splinters which is the new Leslie Jamison which comes out February 20th. And like, Sara is an effusive texter most of the time, I will say with love, but the texts I was getting as she was reading this book was like epiphany after epiphany. She really went on a journey and she was like, please read it. And I was like, well, I didn’t get sent an advanced copy, Sara, so I have to wait. But I have pre ordered it, so I’m very excited to read it. I think it is about Leslie—I’m assuming from the title Splinters—exploding her life in various ways. So I’m looking forward to diving into that as well. 

Corinne

That sounds cool. 

Virginia

And then there is this trio of books that I have sitting in my TBR cart, because I get so many books and they sit on the to be read cart and I do work through it. But more books come in and the cart will never be emptied. And there has been this trio of books sitting on the cart that I’m so interested in, and they are all about religion and two of them are the intersection of religion and diet culture and anti-fatness.

And so this one is We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending to Believe (and Maybe You Should Too) by Kate Cohen, who is a really phenomenal Washington Post journalist and has done a lot of great work. It’s an impassioned atheist’s rallying cry to inspire non-believers to be honest with themselves and their families about their true beliefs and in doing so change the American cultural conversation. I’m extremely interested to read that because I was raised atheist and being raised atheist in the 80s was a little bit of a stigmatizing identity, to be honest with you. So I am just curious to get into that. 

Then on the religion side, Fat Church: Claiming a Gospel of Fat Liberation by Anastasia Kidd. This critiques anti-fat prejudice and the church’s historic participation in it, calling for a reckoning with fatphobia for the sake of God’s gospel of freedom. She’s ordained in the United Church of Christ. And it’s blurbed by Christyna Johnson, who I love and Amanda Martinez Beck who’s also really wonderful. I don’t think we talk about religion very often in the space because I don’t have one so I don’t feel like it’s my work. Like, I don’t feel like I’m useful in that conversation. But I really appreciate that people are interrogating this. 

Corinne

That sounds fascinating. 

Virginia

Okay, and then the last one is called Feed Yourself: Step Away from the Lies of Diet Culture and Into Your Divine Design by Leslie Schilling. Leslie is an anti-diet dietitian. I’ve known for years and years and years, interviewed her for all sorts of stories. She really knows her stuff. She is a straight sized dietitian, but she’s someone who’s done quite a lot of work centering anti-fatness in her work. This is her interrogating the church and the messages she’s gotten from the church around bodies. 

So I think Fat Church is maybe more of an exploration of the issues and Leslie’s book is more prescriptive advice on how, if you’re staying in the church, how to navigate the messages you’re getting, how to rethink, how to think differently about your relationship with food, all of that kind of stuff. I’m really interested in all three of those.


Butter

Corinne

Let’s do butter. Do you want to go first?

Virginia

I’m very excited about my butter. 

Continue reading this post for free, courtesy of Virginia Sole-Smith.

Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith
The Burnt Toast Podcast
Weekly conversations about how we dismantle diet culture and fatphobia, especially through parenting, health and fashion. (But non-parents like it too!) Hosted by Virginia Sole-Smith, journalist and author of THE EATING INSTINCT and the forthcoming FAT KID PHOBIA.