Hunger by Roxane Gay

Hunger is a book by Roxane Gay, where she describes what it is like to be a fat woman in our society.

She talks about how she became morbidly obese, what it feels like to hate what you look like, but at the same time still crave acceptance for that appearance from the world you live in.

The assumptions that people make about her, the intended or unintended cruelty towards her … and I am guilty of having a lot of the assumptions and behavior that she talks about.

I ate because I thought that if my body became repulsive, I could keep men away. (loc. 161-162)

fat created a new body, one that shamed me but one that made me feel safe, and more than anything, I desperately needed to feel safe. I needed to feel like a fortress, impermeable. I did not want anything or anyone to touch me. (loc. 179-181)

The frustrating thing about cages is that you’re trapped but you can see exactly what you want. (loc. 184-185)

I don’t want them to think me more fragile than I am. I am stronger than I am broken. (loc. 368)

staring at the ceiling or reading myself out of my body and out of my life and into something better. (loc. 742)

I liked the idea of a boy asking me out, taking me on a date, kissing me, but I did not want to actually be alone with a boy, because a boy could hurt me. (loc. 827-828)

The men I talked to online allowed me to enjoy the idea of romance and love and lust and sex while keeping my body safe. I could pretend to be thin and sexy and confident. (loc. 828-829)

I was broke all the time, which is not to be confused with being poor. I had a safety net and I knew I had a safety net (loc. 908)

I tried to do what was expected of me. Some days, I tried really hard. (loc. 926-927)

Every time I watch a yoghurt commercial I think, My god, I want to be that happy. I really do. It is a powerful lie to equate thinness with self - worth. (loc. 1179-1180)

society tells me I am supposed to hate myself, so I guess this, at least, is something I am doing right. (loc. 1266-1267)

On bad days, though, I forget how to separate my personality, the heart of who I am, from my body. I forget how to shield myself from the cruelties of the world. (loc. 1279-1280)

We’re supposed to restrict our eating while indulging in the fantasy that we can, indeed, indulge. (loc. 1309-1310)

I do not suffer from ignorance where exercise is related. I suffer from inertia. (loc. 1356)

Most of us have these versions of ourselves that terrify us. (loc. 1576)

I don’t want fake junk food, I want real junk food, and if I cannot have real junk food, I’d rather have no junk food at all. (loc. 1835-1836)

loneliness, like losing control of my body, is a matter of accretion. (loc. 2106)

I am not a hugger. I never have been and I never will be. I hug my friends, and do so happily, but I am sparing with such affections. A hug means something to me; it is an act of profound intimacy, so I try not to get too promiscuous with it. (loc. 2148-2150)

Why do we view the boundaries people create for them selves as challenges? Why do we see someone setting a limit and then try to push? (loc. 2158)

Because I am not a touchy - feely person, I always feel this light shock, this surprise, really, when my skin comes into contact with another person’s skin. Sometimes that shock is pleasant, like Oh, here is my body in the world. Sometimes, it is not. I never know which it will be. (loc. 2162-2164)

I am as healed as I am ever going to be. I have accepted that I will never be the girl I could have been if, if, if. (loc. 2536-2537)

Version of the book

Gay, Roxane. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.