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‘The Price of Acceptance’ by Sarah Winifred Searle

— Reneé Bibby

I’m excited to recommend Sarah Winifred Searle’s comic on Thanksgiving. This is an American holiday fraught with anxiety about family and weight, as it pulls us into proximity of the people who feel the most comfortable commenting on our eating habits. A holiday where the concessions to decadence and celebration is more generously extended to people who aren’t (mis)perceived to be habitually gluttonous.

Of course, speaking from personal experience, Thanksgiving isn’t the only day when people with any weight on them have to fend off microaggressions and “well meaning” comments from friends and family (and sometimes total strangers). Searle’s comic was so true and vulnerable—and so close to my own person experiences—I had to take small breaks while reading it. Searle’s comic ends without any resolution from a story perspective, because life never does have that simple narrative arc of denouement and resolution. What ending do I root for on Searle’s behalf, for myself: a slow and healthy transformation into a thinner version of herself, uncovering a well of deep, radical self-love that tsunamis all self-loathing, or a fundamental shift in societal standards for women? Perhaps a little of each. And for Thanksgiving to be a day of amazing food, free of guilt, and cruel comments.

The Nib