Hunger Hunger 8.7分

生为胖人 || Living While Fat

翕如

约稿的一篇书评,原稿是英文。恍然意识到,哪怕是自己翻译自己写的英语,其实也是一件很困难的事情哎。


我们的身体无时无刻不在被凝视之中。

有太多词语可以用来形容“不合规矩”的女性身体:肥、胖、超重、不健康、猪、体脂超标。这些词有的带着术语“专业”的冰冷疏离,有的则是毫无遮掩的刻薄。不同的词语背后包含的却是相近的讯息:“不合规矩”的女性身体需要被控制、必须被约束、活该被嘲讽。

Roxane Gay的新书《饥饿:关于(我)身体的自传》,写她在一个 “不合规矩”的身体里行走世间的体验。在最重的时候, Roxane Gay的体重有577磅(大约262公斤)。她节过食、去过减肥训练营、考虑过做胃缩小手术。 《饥饿》 半是回忆录半是社会评论。Gay行文勇敢、赤裸、诚实——这不是人们喜闻乐见的“瘦身成功”励志故事,《饥饿》审视社会对“肥胖”的假设、审视对“不合规矩”女性身体的想象。

Roxane Gay出生在富裕的海地移民家庭。在她12岁时,被当时自以为喜欢的男同学和他的朋友轮奸。在这之后,Roxane Gay开始暴食:“我开始吃、吃、吃,我把自己的身...


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约稿的一篇书评,原稿是英文。恍然意识到,哪怕是自己翻译自己写的英语,其实也是一件很困难的事情哎。


我们的身体无时无刻不在被凝视之中。

有太多词语可以用来形容“不合规矩”的女性身体:肥、胖、超重、不健康、猪、体脂超标。这些词有的带着术语“专业”的冰冷疏离,有的则是毫无遮掩的刻薄。不同的词语背后包含的却是相近的讯息:“不合规矩”的女性身体需要被控制、必须被约束、活该被嘲讽。

Roxane Gay的新书《饥饿:关于(我)身体的自传》,写她在一个 “不合规矩”的身体里行走世间的体验。在最重的时候, Roxane Gay的体重有577磅(大约262公斤)。她节过食、去过减肥训练营、考虑过做胃缩小手术。 《饥饿》 半是回忆录半是社会评论。Gay行文勇敢、赤裸、诚实——这不是人们喜闻乐见的“瘦身成功”励志故事,《饥饿》审视社会对“肥胖”的假设、审视对“不合规矩”女性身体的想象。

Roxane Gay出生在富裕的海地移民家庭。在她12岁时,被当时自以为喜欢的男同学和他的朋友轮奸。在这之后,Roxane Gay开始暴食:“我开始吃、吃、吃,我把自己的身体建成堡垒。”

被性侵后,在深深的恐惧和耻辱感里,她没有告诉父母(多年后,她说,自己很后悔当时没有寻求家人的帮助):食物开始成为她的安慰和庇护。Gay写,她以为,身体的“大”意味着安全和力量——而如果她的身体不能吸引男人,她便不会再受到伤害。

新的“身体”带来的,不是刀枪不入的铠甲,而是生活的另一层:

“当你超重时,在很多时候你的身体就好像是公共的……旁人会毫不犹豫地向你提供各种数据、咨询、告诉你体重超标有多么危险,就好像你不仅胖,还极其愚蠢、无知、对自己的身体、对这个无法容纳这样身体的社会充满幻想……你仅仅只是你的身体、再无其他,而你的身体实在应该更小一点。”

在太多时候,女性存在的价值,似乎仅仅只在于她们的躯壳和器官——各式各样的准则规训着这些躯壳和器官该有的样貌和功能。比基尼身材、长腿、大胸、A4腰、iPhone腿……就好像“胖”成为了“懒”和“蠢”的同义词一样,在太多时候,“瘦”、“白”、“美”似乎意味着一种道德上的优势。“如果连自己的体重都无法掌握,还怎么掌握人生”——流行话语如是说,就好像在问,“作为一个活该自讨苦吃的胖子,你凭什么要求社会能够接纳你的身体?”

而“管好自己的身体、否则后果自负”,这样的观念同样渗透在女性生活的其他方面。在《饥饿》中,Gay暴食和超重的体验,是和被性侵的创痛紧密相关的——女性不仅有责任管好自己的身体看上去“好看”,也有责任管好自己的身体保证安全。大量单方面针对女性的“安全小贴士”教女人该如何行动、如何说话、如何着装、如何和异性相处……在某种意义上,被侵害的身体也是“不合规矩”的身体:它们愚蠢、轻浮、活该、自取其辱。

Roxane Gay在《饥饿》里写,作为女人,在太多时候,“我们被教育不要占用社会空间。我们应该被看见,而不是被听见。而当我们被看见时,我们需要能取悦男性、合乎规矩。”——而《饥饿》的动人之处,恰恰在于她的叙述声音,要求被听见、被接纳、被当成“人”而不是一具“躯壳”对待。


Our bodies are constantly on display.

There are so many words for “unruly” female bodies: overweight, fat, pig, unhealthy, obese, morbidly obese, cow…Some of the terms are cloaked behind a thin veil of seemingly clinical detachment, others openly derisive and cruel. The message, nonetheless, is the same: “unruly” female bodies need discipline, deserve sanction, and invite ridicule.

In her gripping new book Hunger, Roxane Gay, an internationally renowned writer and feminist, discusses her experience of moving through the world in an “unruly” body. At her heaviest, Gay weighed 577 pounds (262 kilograms). She went to weight loss camps and on diets. She explored the possibility of gastric bypass surgery. Yet Hunger is not a weight loss story with the familiar triumphant tone and narrative arc. It is not a story of “before” and “after”. Partially memoir and partially social commentary, unflinchingly honest yet intimate, Hunger challenges our assumptions about “living while fat”, and ultimately, our assumptions about the rules governing female bodies.

Gay, daughter of well-off Haitian immigrants, was gang raped when she was twelve. Afterwards, she began overeating: “I ate and ate and ate to build my body into a fortress”. Too ashamed to tell her parents about what happened, and too scared of no longer being a “good” daughter, food became a source of solace for Gay. She thought she would find strength and security in size, and that she would no longer be vulnerable if her body was made unappealing to men. Of course, with her newfound body came another layer of reality:

“When you’re overweight, your body becomes a matter of public record in many respects…People are quick to offer statistics and information about the dangers of obesity, as if you are not only fat but incredibly stupid, unaware, and delusional about your body and a world that is vigorously inhospitable to that body ... You are your body, nothing more, and your body should damn well become less.”

Women are too often reduced to their bodies and body parts, with arbitrary standards governing the appropriate look, use, and upkeep. There are beach bodies and bikini bodies. There are legs and breasts of enticing length and size. There are idealized waists and thighs thinner than A4 papers and iPhones. Too often, being thin and attractive is conflated with a sense of moral virtue, just as being fat becomes synonymous with being lazy and stupid. “If you cannot govern your body how can you take control of your life”, echoes the popular discourse, as if asking “how dare you request the world to accommodate you, when being fat is your own choice and own fault?”

The idea of “control your body or it’s your fault” seeps into other realms of women’s life. Just as in Hunger, Gay’s lived experience of being overweight is inextricably linked with the trauma of being sexually assaulted, women are responsible for not only keeping the female body disciplined, but also keeping the body respectable and “safe”. There are numerous “stay safe” tips offered exclusively to women about the proper ways to dress, to talk, to act, to engage with the opposite sex. In this sense, “damaged” bodies are “unruly” bodies as well. They are careless, immodest, and “asking for it”.

As Gay wrote, women are too often taught that “[w]e should not take up space. We should be seen and not heard, and if we are seen, we should be pleasing to men, acceptable to society.” What makes Hunger particularly powerful is its unapologetic demand to take up space, to be heard, to be accommodated, and to be treated human, with care, tenderness, and empathy.

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