Rummanah Aasi
A memoir about food, body image, and growing up in a loving but sometimes oppressively concerned Pakistani immigrant family.

Review: Rabia Chaudry may be a familiar name to you if you follow the Undisclosed podcast or followed the Adnan Syed trial that was highlighted in the Serial podcast. In her candid and engaging memoir, she recounts how her life has been shaped and complicated by her relationship with food and culture.
   Born in Lahore, Pakistan, and raised in the U.S. by Muslim immigrant parents, Chaudry was subject to myths of American greatness and capitalism when it came to nutritional supremacy that favored processed foods (i.e. junk food, fast food restaurants, etc) as well as baby formula over breast milk. The foods that Rabia consumed reflected simultaneously high class from the lens of her Pakistani relatives, but also a low class from the lens of a U.S. viewer.  
    As Rabia grew up from a healthy chubby baby to the heaviest student in her grade, body image has always haunted her. After years of internalizing fatphobia and being told repeatedly by her family comments that her weight made her undesirable, Rabia married the first man who approached her. Unfortunately, this was not a healthy relationship as she endured an abusive husband and suffered years of disordered eating. 
   Rabia does go on a journey of self healing seeking therapy and constructs a healthy relationship with food, and spends time with relatives who support rather than shame her, becomes a turning point. The goal turns from being thin to one of being healthy. She wonders where she walks on the side of body positivity, fat acceptance, and weight loss. Overall, I really enjoyed her candidness and critique of Pakistani culture when it comes to body image which not only entails weight but also colorism and beauty standards. I applaud this realistic story of self acceptance. I also enjoyed looking at the various recipes that are found at the back of the book. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are scenes of fatphobia, disordered eating, colorism, and domestic abuse. 

If you like this book try: Shrill by Lindsey West, Hunger by Roxane Gay, Heavy by Kiese Laymon
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