Always Be My Maybe actress Michelle Buteau is celebrating her curvaceousness in a revealing collection of personal essays titled Survival of the Thickest.
Slated to be released on December 8, 2020 via Gallery Books, the project is a candid look at Buteau’s Caribbean and Catholic upbringing in New Jersey as well as her standup career and her struggles with fertility, among other topics.
Overall though, the book is an ode to “thick” girls everywhere.
“Sharing my plus-sized stories in a sometimes small-minded world is the early Kwanzaa present I’ve always wanted,” the 42-year-old told PEOPLE of her latest work. “This book will pair well with rosé, hummus and zero judgment, huney!”
Read a full excerpt from Survival of the Thickest below.
According to Dictionary.com, the prime of your life means “the best years of one’s life, when one is at the peak of one’s powers.” But for most women, that translates to “the time when they were thin and beautiful.” This is something my mother talks about nonstop when she sees old pictures of herself. “Meh wish meh new’ow prettay en ting meh’ was.” When I look at old pictures of myself, I realize, I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for my prime.
I never looked like my mom growing up. She was thin, with wavy hair (she’s half white). She could wear bikinis and miniskirts cute as the day is long. I never had that. I’ve always been an odd-body. I try to keep my shirts tucked in, but somehow they always find a way out. I have learned to be comfortable just sitting with a wedgie. I always have a wedgie. Cloth just finds its way in my holes. Like a chimney that’s closed, the smoke has to go somewhere—and that’s usually my butt. Clothes dig into my nooks and crannies and try to hide like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. I swear, I’m such a mess if I watch other people eat, somehow I’ll get their food on my shirt. If I watch someone else eat like a pig, I’ll be five pounds heavier the next morning. I wanna reclaim my prime like Auntie Maxine Waters wants to reclaim her time at a hearing: “Reclaiming my prime! Reclaiming my prime!”