With disarming (and occasionally disturbing) candor, Vernon recounts her struggles with sexism, Islamophobia, and racism in the U.S., the fashion world, and the Muslim community, reserving much of her frustration for the fat-shaming culture which permeates all three. Vernon’s determined advocacy for body positivity as a feminist and mental health issue, and her painful journey to self-acceptance, are moving and powerful, forcing readers to examine their own preconceptions about beauty standards and health.
Vernon is more reflective and analytical in the final section, addressing plus-size modeling, modesty, and wearing (or not wearing) hijab, striving for perfection, sexism and colorism in Muslim communities, and social media trials and tribulations. Confrontational, fierce, and frequently crude, the author openly addresses the prejudices she’s faced as a fat, black, Muslim woman, and her mental health struggles. However, she seems to fail to recognize that she falls into some of the same biases she condemns in others. For example, Vernon worries that men aren’t attracted to her because she’s fat while simultaneously saying she won’t date men who are too short ... Primarily recommended for Vernon’s existing fan base, this candid memoir will also be of interest for those who have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual violence, and who are seeking forceful encouragement toward self-empowerment and self-expression.
Though these traumas have deeply impacted the trajectory of Vernon’s life, she takes care to enthusiastically portray her triumphs ... Vernon’s narration reads like an intimate heart-to-heart chat with a friend; while her off-the-cuff riffing is infectious, the storytelling occasionally rambles. Readers may balk at the author’s apparent disdain for incarcerated people and women who have casual sex, and not everyone will understand the hard-won wisdom behind Angry Black Bitch, Vernon’s inner persona that turned racist, sexist, and fat-phobic aggression into the courage'“[t]o step out of my comfort zone and fuckin’ live a little.' However, those looking for an imperfect hero of her own story, 'with [her] own opinions and skewed outlooks and quirks,' will find this a quick, cheeky read, and her message is solid ... Irreverent, vulnerable, and unapologetic in every sense.