The Fat Lady Speaks

McCarthy, Joanne

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet
  • Date of entry: Nov-23-1997


An obese woman describes the advantages of being obese.

She is a fortress, strong, implacable, self sufficient, impervious to famine and weakness. She is a goddess, powerful, with the ability to crush anyone who does not take her seriously. Underlying the strong language of this poem is the reality of this woman's isolation. She is isolated from men and women alike, so afraid of being harmed by others that she chooses to be so threatening that no one will come near her. Her source of power is also her source of pain.


A well written poem that looks at obesity in a positive light. We respect the self-determination of the speaker while also feeling a bit sad for the price she has paid to feel powerful.


First published in Mediphors, Spring 1994, No. 3.

Primary Source

I Am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted


Papier Mache

Place Published

Watsonville, Calif.




Sandra Haldeman Martz