Author

Hi!  My name is Kim Brittingham and I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

Even as a little kid, I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to write books.  From reading and re-reading my little yellow-spined paperback copy of From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler until it literally fell apart; to sobbing hysterically over the pages of The Great Gilly Hopkins for the umpteenth time — I knew I wanted to be a grown-up who told stories from between two satisfyingly solid, tactile covers.

I feel super-duper lucky to have fulfilled my dream.  Read My Hips is my first published book.  My second, Write That Memoir Right Now, was published by AudioGO.

Funny thing, though —  I never dreamed my big writing breakthrough would be the result of my struggle with fat.

I wasted decades of my life hating my body.  I hated its shape.  I hated its texture.  When I was ten years old, I was convinced I had “old lady legs”.  I thought my calves were too broad and flat and white to look young.  I hated the way my upper arms spread out when they rested against my sides.  I’d seen cheerleaders at school with fragile, twiggy calves and upper arms and assumed that’s what a girl’s limbs “should” look like.  Why them?  Because they were the girls I saw in advertising and on TV.  They were the girls who got all the love.  I concluded I must be a freak.

It was so sad.  And twisted.

In the video book trailer for Read My Hips, I tell a story of just how extreme my misperception of my body was.  I didn’t realize it until I went on the Today Show, and the producer asked me to dig up some photos of myself when I was younger.  Boy, wait ’til you watch the trailer and see that story.  It shocks everybody.

But I got over hating my body.  In a big way.  Finally, my eyes were opened.

This is the fake-o book cover I made. Convincing, huh? But who’s the “author”, Kimberly Cox? I used the name of a girl in eighth grade who called me fat and told me I danced funny.

In fact, they flew SO wide open that I began to see things I’d never seen before, with crystal clarity.

I saw how our culture actually creates girls – women – like me.  Like the woman I used to be: brainwashed, distracted, self-loathing.  Depressed, confused, desperate for all the wrong things.

That’s why I wrote Read My Hips.  Because I wanted to help other misled gals wake up to what real health and happiness is — not the lies being fed to us by people with money to make on our misery.

I wrote Read My Hips because there were things I wanted other fat girls to know.  And by “fat girls”, I mean both actual fat girls, and girls who just “feel” fat — which accounts for almost everyone in America with a vagina.

I wanted to tell you all, you’re not alone.  That you have a kindred spirit in this all-American body image mess.  That it’s entirely possible to jump off that crazy hamster wheel of self-hatred and failed diets for good and really be happy. 

I hope you’ll read my story and understand how I came to be an anti-diet supporter of the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement and an activist and author for body positivity.

Oh, so you may be wondering why I went on the Today Show in the first place.  It was before I wrote Read My Hips.

Actually, I went on TV to talk about a phony book.  See, I decided to do a social experiment.  I created a mock self-help book jacket with the title, Fat is Contagious: How Sitting Next to a Fat Person Can Make YOU Fat, wrapped it around a real book, and pretended to read it while riding the buses of New York City.  Then, I wrote an essay about it, which you can read here.

Some of my other essays have been published on iVillage, Salon and Fresh Yarn.

When I’m not being quietly scandalous, I work as a ghostwriter and content developer at Kim Brittingham & Co. I also teach at Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City.  I teach “How to Blog”, both online and in-person.

Want to say hi?  Feel free.  And thanks!

Kim Brittingham, by Carol Mackintosh Hiller

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