About the Film
“The Girls” have been friends, and fat, for years, having met through the Austin chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and partied together among Austin’s Big Beautiful Women community. They’ve tried every diet and every pill but getting older and facing more health and mobility challenges, some choose to have gastric band or gastric bypass weight-loss surgery.
The Girls have varied post-op experiences but one reality is true for all of them: having surgery means the loss of their primary coping strategy (eating), and the experience of shedding, or trying to shed, hundreds of pounds changes everything. Their health, their self-images, their marriages, and friendships are all at stake.
Although All of Me focuses on just one group of women, their story is not unique; more than 90 million Americans are obese. Our society’s diet and exercise talking points do not compute for those needing to lose an enormous amount of weight. 200,000 people a year are choosing weight-loss surgery and 80% of them are women.
The film focuses on the journeys of three of these Austin women: Judy, who is determined to succeed while her husband is conflicted; Dawn, who had an early career as a fat model and calendar girl, and struggles with both her weight and identity; and the heaviest of the Girls, Zsalynn, who, at over 500 pounds, desperately tries to save enough money for surgery, for her young daughter’s sake.
Through their stories, All of Me shines light on our attitudes and prejudices about obesity — its causes, challenges, and the intense psychological struggle so many have with food that no surgery or diet can cure. The Girls take us through their food addiction and emotional eating with a searing honesty. For a group so often vilified, joked about, or ignored, All of Me provides a platform for their stories and encourages viewers to take a fresh look at our own prejudices and complicated relationships with food, fat, and our bodies.
Alexandra Lescaze is a NY-based documentary filmmaker and the Executive Director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, home of the annual Hillman Prizes in Journalism and monthly Sidney Awards, honoring excellence in journalism in service of the common good. Her first film, Where Do You Stand? stories from an American mill, documented the 25-year effort of North Carolina textile workers to organize a union in the face of modernization and globalization.